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The current flag of the African Union was adopted at its 14th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government, which took place in Addis Ababa on 31 January 2010.

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During the 8th African Union Summit which took place in Addis Ababa on 29 and 30 January 2007, the Heads of State and Government decided to launch a competition for the selection of a new flag for the Union. They prescribed a green background for the flag symbolising hope of Africa and stars to represent Member States.

Pursuant to this decision, the Muammar Gaddafi-led African Union Commission (AUC) organised a competition for the selection of a new flag for the African Union. The AUC received a total of 106 entries proposed by citizens of 19 African countries and 2 from the Diaspora. The proposals were then examined by a panel of experts put in place by the African Union Commission and selected from the five African regions for short listing according to the main directions given by the Heads of State and Government.

It contains a green background symbolizing hope of Africa and 53 gold stars to represent the Member States. However, South Sudan became the 54th member state on 27 July 2011.

The previous flag of the African Union was composed of a broad green horizontal stripe at the top followed by a narrow band of gold. Below is a broad white stripe bearing the then emblem of the African Union at its centre followed by a narrow gold band and broad green stripe at the bottom.

Although when the AU was formed, a competition was announced for designing a new emblem and flag, the Assembly of the African Union decided at the Addis Ababa session of 2004 to retain the emblem and flag of its predecessor, the Organisation of African Unity, and adopt them as the new AU flag and emblem.

The colour symbolism of the old flag is as follows:

  • The colour green symbolises African hopes and aspiration to unity.
  • The colour gold stands for African wealth and bright future.
  • The colour white represents the purity of Africa's desire to have genuine friends throughout the world.
  • The colour red (of the rings (in the centre)) stand for African solidarity and the blood shed for liberation of Africa.

Data sheet

Printed Polyester Bunting which is the traditional flag material woven from 100% polyester spun yarn which gives the effect of traditional cotton bunting.
Ceremonial: Printed on two panels which are stitched together.

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