April 25 – National Flag Day in Swaziland

(Edited to say that, around the same time I was writing this post, unbeknownst to me, the absolute ruler of Swaziland, King Mswati III, decided to rename the country. A few days before I actually posted this, he made his announcement that the nation would change its name to eSwatini. I missed the publicity around this change; apologies!)

Posted on April 25, 2018

Waaaaaaay back in 1881, the British government signed a declaration that said that Swaziland was an independent nation. This was a period of time when there was such a lot of hurried effort by European nations to divvy up and control various parts of Africa, historians call this period "the Scramble for Africa." Against the trend of grabbing control from the locals, in this case the Brits said, "This is THEIR nation."

See that red dot near the southern end of Africa?
That's Swaziland!

Except....year after year...(after year!) the British and Dutch weighed in on mineral rights and land ownership, and they formed three-way governments with Brits, Dutch, and Swazi officials, and then they formed protectorates through the Republic of South Africa. And it turned out that Swaziland really wasn't fully independent. Despite that signed piece of paper...

Finally, almost a century later, Swaziland got its independence. On this date in 1967, the flag was flown for the first time. Actual independence was achieved in September 1968.

The symbolism of the flag is:

Red for past battles
Blue for peace and prosperity
Yellow for Swaziland's resources

The Nguni shield is black and white to show that black and white people can live in harmony in Swaziland. The shield and two spears also recall Swaziland's history.

Take a look at Swaziland's land:

Also on this date:

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