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Last modified: 2001-10-19 by zeljko heimer
Keywords: cameroon | cameroun | africa | panafrican colours | star (yellow) | crab | stars: 2 |
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Flag of Cameroon [National Flag and Ensign] 2:3~
by Zeljko Heimer, 13 October 2001
Flag adopted 20 May 1975, coat of arms adopted in 1984.

See also:


Vertical tricolor green red yellow, with a yellow fivepointed star in the middle. Cameroon is second modern African state (after Ghana) to adopt panafrican colours. When British South Cameroon joined federation, two stars where added. In 1972, the country became a unitary state and three years later two stars where replaced with just one. The flag was officially hoisted on 20 May 1975. Proportions are aprox. 2:3. (based on [smi82])
Zeljko Heimer 8 December 1995

Red, yellow and green are the pan-African colours and the pattern of the flag recalls the French Tricolore. Green stands for hope and the Southern forests, red for unity (and the star as well is the star of unity) and yellow for the sun ('the source of people happiness') or prosperity as well as the Northern savannas. ([udk97], [smi75c], [ped71])
Ivan Sache, 13 February 2000

In 'DTV-Lexikon politischer Symbole', 1970, Arnold Rabbow [rab70] writes: 'Green represents the rich vegetation of the southern region; yellow the soil of the extreme North; the red stands for national sovereighnty.' Mucha - Webster's concise Encyclopedia of Flags, 1985 [mch85a]: 'Green denotes the rich forest vegetation of the southern part of the country, and the hope for a happy future; red is the symbol of independence and unity; and yellow stands for the savannas in the savannas in the northern part of the country and for the sun as the source of the nation's happiness. The star symbolizes the unity of the country.'
Jarig Bakker, 13 February 2000

The colours of the flag of Cameroon are the pan-African colours, green/red/yellow. They are based on the colours of the flag of Ethiopia, a horizontal tri-colour of green/yellow/red which dates back to 1897. The colours of the Cameroon flag form a vertical tri-colour based on the flag of France which was the colonial power controlling most of its territory before independence.

The basic pattern of the flag of Cameroon dates back to 1957. In 1961 Southern Cameroon, a former British colony or dependency, voted to join Cameroon in a federal type of government. At that time two yellow stars were added to the upper part of the green portion of the flag. In 1972 the federal system was replaced by a unitary government, and in 1975 the two stars were removed from the green and a single yellow star was placed on the red portion of the flag.
Devereaux D. Cannon, Jr., 27 February 2001

Two stars' flag

1961-1975 flag of Cameroon
by Zeljko Heimer, 13 October 2001

The 1961-75 flag of Cameroon was a vertical tricolour of green-red-yellow with two yellow stars on the red. It was adopted when the former British territory of Southern Cameroon voted to join French Cameroun which became independent in 1957. The 2 stars signified the two territories. In 1972 Cameroon became a unitary state and the second star was subsequently dropped from the flag.
Stuart Notholt 30 November 1995

Pedersen's The International Flag Book in Color of 1971 shows the flag of Cameroon as a vertical tricolor of green-red-yellow with two gold (darker yellow then the third vertical) stars in the upper half of the green.

Michael Smuda, 20 July 1998

Look at a copy of Whitney Smith's 1975 book Flags Through the Ages and Across the World and you'll see the current Cameroon flag (one star) in the section on flags of the world, and you'll find the obsolete two-starred version in the "flying flags" painting at the front of the book. The design of the flag changed in 1975 during the production of that book.

Nick Artimovich, 20 July 1998

Original flag

Original flag of Cameroon
by Vincent Morley, 25 May 1997

The September 1961 issue of the 'National Geographic' magazine contains an article about the flags of the 99 states which were then members.

Vincent Morley, 25 May 1997

Flag of British Cameroon

Question from FOTW message board: Did the United Kingdom Trust Territory of Southern Cameroons have a flag badge when it was administratively separated from Nigeria in 1960 until it was absorbed into The Republic of Cameroun in 1961, and if so what was it like?

Badge existed, but wasn't officially aproved. This badge feautures a double circle with inscription "Southern Cameroon" and within the inner circle a group of bananas.
Jaume Ollé, 9 April 2000

I think it probable that this badge, described by Jaume, was not a badge of Southern Cameroons until after it had become a region of the Republic of Cameroon which has two official languages, English as well as French.
David Prothero, 4 May 2000

Historic overview

1884-1919 German colony.
After the WWI was cut in two: one fifht to British and rest to French, both under the Trusteeship system of the United Nations (League of Nations, I assume)
French created an autonomous state in 1957 which adopted the first Camerron flag on 29-10-57 (law 57/46) vertical green-red-yellow
British Cameroon was divised in two: British Nothern Cameroon (split in two non continguos piece) and British Southern Cameroon both ruled from Nigeria which became independent 1-10.60.
British Nothern Cameroon was, until then, part of the Nothern region of Nigeria, but British Sothern Cameroon was a separate entity (region).
11-2-61 a plebiscite was held in wich each region was asked wheter it wished to become part of Nigeria or Cameron (which became independent 1-1-61).
Nothern Cameroon voted to join Nigeria and Southern Cameroon to unite French Cameroon. Its is decided during the summer that a federal, rather than unitary, form of government would consist of two states: Western Cameroon (ex British Southern Cameroon) and East Cameron (ex French Cameron)
The official badge which had been used under the British trusteeship (showing bananas) was abandoned and the union Flag lowered over Buea (capital of S. Cameroon). So far as is know the states (did) not have distic flags or badges of their own
To symbolize the new federation two gold stars (note that they are not yellow like the stripe) were addded to the green stripe of the flag used by the Republic of Cameroon.
This flag must be adopted 1-Octuber 1961. Ratio in picture 24:38 (hosit band is 13, central 13 and fly band is 12) Stars from upper part to lower part are 14 (between 24) and 7 (between 13). Stars are vertically centered in the hoist band. Fron upper edge to the flag to the upper part of the star, there's 2 between 24.
from Flag Bulletin nr. 2 [tfb] summarized by Jaume Olle, 17 April 2001

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