Flags and Symbols of Ethiopia

The Imperial Flag of Ethiopia is the National Tri-color, Green (top), Yellow (middle), and Red (bottom) horizontal stripes of equal size. At the center is a Gold Lion marching east carrying a cross and wearing the Imperial Ethiopian crown. This is the Lion of Judah symbol, which is the symbol of the Emperor of Ethiopia. This flag has been adopted by the Ras Taffarian movement which is based on the belief in the divinity of Emperor Haile Selassie, and is widly used in the Carribean and around the world by Rastas as their own colors. Many countries around Africa have also adopted the three colors of the Ethiopian flag for their own flags upon independence, in a show of African unity and as a mark of honor for the oldest flag in independent Africa. Each country has positioned the colors in different positions on their flags and added their own national symbols and elements.

Flags and Symbols of Ethiopia
Flags and Symbols of Ethiopia

Above is the Flag of the Empire of Ethiopia as it appeared until September 1974. The colors of the Ethiopian flag are Green Yellow and Red in horizontal stripes. They have appeared in different orders during different reigns, and sometimes white was substituted for yello, and blue instead of green. Emperor Yohannis IV also used an additional banner of two red horizontal stripes separated by a yellow stripe. The Zagwe Emperors are said to have used an image of christ on their banners. The present order was formaly established in law by Emperor Menelik II, where the green stripe is always on top. The Lion of Judah, which is the emblem of the monarch has been in use for centuries in Ethiopia.