History and Meaning of the Flag of Kenya
The current Kenya flag was adopted on Independence Day, December 12th 1963. It was based on the flag of KANU (Kenya African National Union), the political party that led Kenya to independence. The original flag of Kenya had three equal stripes of black, red, and green. These colours symbolize:
- Black – The indigenous Kenyan people
- Red – The blood that was shed in the fight for independence
- Green – Kenya’s rich agricultural land and natural resources
The white stripes, the traditional Masai shield, and the two crossed spears were added to the flag of Kenya after Kenya attained independence. The white colour symbolizes peace while the shield and spears signifies that all Kenyans are always ready to defend the independence they fought so hard for.
Coat of arms
The coat of arms of Kenya features two lions, a symbol of protection, holding spears and a traditional East African shield. The shield and spears symbolize unity and defence of freedom.
The shield contains the national flag’s colours. The middle red strip bears a rooster holding an axe, which according to local customs, denotes a new and prosperous life.
The shield and lions stand on a silhouette of Mount Kenya containing in the foreground examples of Kenya agricultural produce – coffee, pyrethrum, sisal, tea, maize and pineapples.
The coat of arms is supported by a scroll upon which is written the word ‘Harambee’. In Swahili, Harambee means “pulling together” or “all for one”. This word is echoed by everyone when a collective effort is made for the common good, such as helping a family in need, or the construction of a school or a church.
|Ee Mungu nguvu yetu
Ilete baraka kwetu
Haki iwe ngao na mlinzi
Natukae na undugu
Amani na uhuru
Raha tupate na ustawi.
Amkeni ndugu zetu
Tufanye sote bidii
Nasi tujitoe kwa nguvu
Nchi yetu ya Kenya
Tuwe tayari kuilinda
Natujenge taifa letu
Ee, ndio wajibu wetu
Kenya istahili heshima
Kila siku tuwe na shukrani
|O God of all creation
Bless this our land and nation
Justice be our shield and defender
May we dwell in unity
Peace and liberty
Plenty be found within our borders.Let one and all arise
With hearts both strong and true
Service be our earnest endeavour
And our homeland of Kenya
Heritage of splendour
Firm may we stand to defend.
Let all with one accord
In common bond united
Build this our nation together
And the glory of Kenya
The fruit of our labour
Fill every heart with thanks giving