The national flag of Mauritius, also known as the Four Stripes and Les Quatre Bandes (French for “the four stripes”), was adopted upon independence, March 12, 1968.
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The four equal horizontal bands recall the colours of the island’s coat of arms. Red stands for independence, blue for the Indian Ocean, yellow is a symbol of a bright future, and green is for the lush vegetation. A French colony from 1715, Mauritius was seized by Britain in 1810. African slaves worked in the sugar-cane plantations, but the abolition of slavery in 1833 saw the arrival of indentured labourers from India, whose descendants now constitute about 70 per cent of the population. Internal self-government in 1957 was followed by independence within the Commonwealth in 1968. Tourism is important to the economy.