The flag of Senegal (French: drapeau du Sénégal) is a tricolour consisting of three vertical green, yellow and red bands charged with a five-pointed green star at the centre.
Senegal became an autonomous territory in France and adopted a flag that consisted of a green field with a yellow star in 1958. It became part of the Mali Federation in 1959, at which point it adopted a flag with the same three stripes as the current flag that featured an abstract image of a human in place of the star.
Senegal was one of the oldest French colonies in Africa, and it was a place where leading intellectuals such as Léopold Senghor hoped to combine both European and African values. They consequently looked to the simple design of the French Tricolor as an inspiration for the flag of Senegal when the nation achieved autonomous status in 1958. This influence was clear when Senegal linked with the Sudanese Republic (now Mali) in the Mali Federation on April 4, 1959, and adopted a vertical tricolour of green-yellow-red with a central representation in black of a human figure known as the kanaga. Independence followed on August 20, 1960, but the federation ended and Senegal became a separate country with its own flag in September. (See also Mali, flag of.)
Senegal retained the green-yellow-red flag but substituted a green star for the kanaga. Green is seen as a symbol of hope and of the country’s major religions, while yellow is for natural riches and the wealth derived from labour. Red recalls the independence struggle, life, and socialism. Those three pan-African colours had been used by individual political parties in Senegal in the 1950s and were also adopted by many nearby countries for their national flags, including Benin, Guinea, Ghana, Cameroon, and others.