August 24 – Flag Day in Liberia

Posted on August 24, 2015

The Liberian flag tells us something important – that Liberia has some connection to America. You can see how like the U.S. flag it is:

Most African nations were colonized by European nations, and some were bandied about a bit from one European nation to another. But only Liberia started as an American colony.

Don't get me wrong; Liberia was never an official colony of the United States. But a private organization, the American Colonization Society, started Liberia as a place in Africa for free-born blacks and previously enslaved people.

This map shows where Liberia
(colored blue) is located on the
coast of Western Africa.
In 1822 the first ships traveled from the Americas back to Western Africa with volunteers to establish the colony. Eventually, more than 13,000 Americans settled in Liberia. A few other colonies were established, called things such as Mississippi-in-Africa and the Republic of Maryland, but Liberia annexed them. In 1847, Liberia declared its independence.

Of course there were people living in Liberia who had never lived in America, but the leaders of the new nation were the “Americo-Liberians,” as they called themselves. They patterned their new constitution on the U.S. Constitution; they modeled their homes and fashions on those of Southern U.S. slaveowners; and they based their flag on the U.S. flag.

I read that the Liberian flag has 11 stripes to represent the 11 signers of the Liberian Declaration of Independence. Red stands for courage, white stands for purity, and the blue field represents the continent of Africa. The single white star represents freedom; the name Liberia means “Land of the Free.”

Today, on flag day, children are taught about their country's history and flag, and they are given small flags to hold during a parade.

For more about Liberia, check out this earlier post

Here are two photos of Liberia:

Also on this date:

Actress Marlee Matlin's birthday

Anniversary of the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius

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