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FIAV 111110.svg Flag ratio: 2:3
1964–2010 flag
Pre-independence flag of colonial Nyasaland

The current flag of Malawi was adopted on 29 July 2010, after the Democratic Progressive Party-led government had proposed a new flag. The stripes were altered from the previous flag to match the original Pan-African Flag layout, with the red stripe at the top, the black stripe in middle, and the green stripe at the bottom. The rising sun at the flag's top was replaced with a full, centred white sun representing the economic progress Malawi has made since becoming independent.[1] The opposition United Democratic Front is challenging the legitimacy of flag change in court.[2] The flag was endorsed by the President of Malawi, Bingu wa Mutharika, who approved the flag change on 29 July 2010.[3] There was much public outcry about whether there was a need to change the flag at Malawi's present political juncture, but the flag change continued in spite of the change being unwelcome to much of the public.[4]


The previous flag was adopted on 6 July 1964. The rising sun represented the dawn of hope and freedom for the continent of Africa (when the flag was created, more countries in Africa were gaining independence from European imperial rule). The black represented the indigenous people of the continent, the red symbolized the blood of their struggle, and the green represented nature. The flag resembled the Pan-African flag designed by Marcus Garvey's Universal Negro Improvement Association, with the red and black bands reversed and a red sun in the top. It also resembled the flag of the now-defunct Republic of Biafra.

Flag colours

The colours of the flag are defined using British Standard colours:[5]

Scheme Black Red Green
British Standard Colours 0-000 0-005 0-010


  1. The proposed new Malawi national flag, Nyasa Times
  2. Flag change to be challenged in court, Nyasa Times
  5. Malawi at Flags of the World. Accessed 17 February 2006.

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