The National Flag of Botswana

The national flag of Botswana, known as “folaga ya Botswana” in Setswana, features a sky blue field intersected horizontally at the centre by a black stripe bordered with a thin white line. Adopted in 1966 to replace the Union Jack, it has represented the Republic of Botswana since gaining independence that year. Notably, it stands out among African flags for not incorporating the colours of the Pan-Africanist movement or the dominant political party.

Historically, Botswana, then known as Bechuanaland, became a British protectorate in 1885, following negotiations between Tswana leaders and the British to seek protection from Boer invaders from the nearby South African Republic. Despite South Africa’s efforts to annex Bechuanaland, widespread opposition from the Batswana people prevented this, leading to Bechuanaland’s eventual independence from Britain in 1966 and its renaming as Botswana.

Before independence, Botswana lacked its distinct colonial flag, with the Union Jack serving as the de facto flag. The design of Botswana’s flag in 1966 was intentional, symbolically contrasting with South Africa’s flag, particularly as South Africa was then under apartheid rule. The black stripe with the white border came to symbolize the peace and harmony between the African and European descent populations residing in Botswana. The flag was first raised at midnight on September 30, 1966, marking Botswana’s independence.

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Botswana Flag
Botswana Flag
Botswana Flag

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