On January 9, 2005, Amani Karume, President of Zanzibar, inaugurated the isle’s new flag nearly four decades after it entered into union with mainland Tanzania.
The inauguration ceremony was marked by a 21-gun salute and singing of the island’s national anthem. The flag, a symbol of national unity in the island, is made up of green, gold, dark-blue, light blue and black, and it features an inset of the United Republic of Tanzania flag.
The new Zanzibar flag represents the culture, environment, and people of Zanzibar. Under the law protecting it, any person who is found guilty of contempt of the flag will be liable to a jail term or a fine.
The evolution of the Zanzibar flags started on December 10, 1963, when the Zanzibar Protectorate was granted independence as the Sultanate of Zanzibar by the British. The original flag was red with a green disc on which were emblazoned two yellow cloves. This flag proved short lived. Its place was taken by the People’s Flag of Zanzibar, after the January 17 revolution that deposed the Sultan. That flag, with its horizontal black yellow and blue stripes, was also short lived, and was replaced by a blue-black-green stripes, and with a white stripe in the hoist.