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Federal Republic of Nigeria

Last modified: 2009-08-15 by phil nelson
Keywords: nigeria | agriculture | peace | unity | colour | niger | green |
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[Flag of Nigeria] image by Antonio Martins

Proportions: 1:2
Usage Code: [FIS Code]
ISO Code: NG NGA 566
FIPS 10-4 Code: NI
MARC Code: nr

Location: Western Africa

Neighboring Countries:

Nigeria: Index of Pages:

See also:

Outside links:

Description of the flag

According to Pedersen in "The International Flag Book in Color" (English Edition, 1971) the Nigerian National and Merchant Flag and Jack was "Chosen in 1959 from among 2870 suggestions in a competition; it was designed by a student from Ibadan, Michael Taiwo Akinkunmi. The green panels represent agriculture; the white, peace and unity." In "Flags Through the Ages and Across the World" by Whitney Smith, 1975, this flag was first officially hoisted 1 October, 1960, Nigeria's date of independence. So the flag that was adopted in 1959 didn't become the official flag of the country until Nigeria became an official country on 1 October 1960.
Nick Artimovich, 5 February 1996

The Nigerian national flag is green, under with standard No. BF of 1955 it is chart 0-0-10, under The British Colour Council it is classified as CC104-CC105, and under SILOR international color chart is classified as 193-173 (Source: Federal Ministry of Information).
Jaume Ollé, 15 July 199?

Flag Laws


The Nigerian National Flag, which is governed by the Flag and Coat-of-Arms Ordinance of 1960 is also the symbol of authority and instrument of state power. Next to Mother earth, it is the only National symbol worth dying for. It tells the history of a people and their aspirations.


The National Flag is hoisted and flown ceremoniously and briskly in the morning and at sunrise and lowered slowly in the same manner in the evening at sunset (6.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m.). A flag does not sleep.

The National Flag should always be hung and only on very rare occasions should it be laid out flat horizontally. The National Flag is usually flown at the peak of the hoist except on memorial days or during state funerals as a mark of respect. At such times it is flown at half-mast.

When the National Flag is in a room or hung anywhere, no other flag, emblem or insignia should be place higher than it should. Old or worn out flags must never be used or displayed. When a Flag becomes soiled, old, torn or mutilated, the cloth should be destroyed by burning or any other method with decorum and respect.


The law makes it an offence for the National Flag to be improperly used or displayed. Section 5 of the Law states; "any person who flies or exhibits the National Flag in a defaced or bad condition shall be guilty of an offence against this Ordinance."


The Nigerian National Flag is divided vertically into three equal parts. The central part is white and the two other parts are green. The green of the flag represents agriculture and the white Unity and Peace. The white is immaculate white and the emerald green is popularly known as the Nigerian Green.

The colours used in the National Flag are very important and are made to international colour standards as follows:

i. British Stand Number B.F, 2660 of 1965 0-0-010
ii. British Colour Council C. C. 104-CC.105
ii. SILOR International Colour Chart 193-173: Emerald Green


The dimension of the Nigerian Flag are a simple ratio of the length of the flag being double the of the Flag breadth. When folded into two-length-wise it takes the shape of a square.

Breadth Length
Big 1.2 metres2.4 metres
Medium0.9 metres1.8 metres
Small0.6 metres1.2 metres


i. When the National Flag is carried in a procession, the carrier should be neatly and properly dressed, and must be in front.
ii. When there are two flags but the second Flag is not a National Flag; for example, Red Cross flag or a banner, the National Flag should be in front.
iii. When the other flags are carried along in a procession the National Flag should be in front and at the center of all other flags in the procession.
iv. For an audience in auditorium or hall, the flag should be on the right end of the first row.
v. For a speaker on the platform, the National Flag should be on the speaker's right hand as he face the audience. Other flags can be on the left and take their position sideways both left and right.
vi. Whenever a group of flags are displayed, the Nigerian Flag should be at the centre and placed higher than the others.
vii. It is only on rare occasions that a flag can be used horizontally or laid flat. One of such occasions is over a casket. A licence must be granted by the government before this is done.
viii. On funeral occasions, Remembrance Days, or National Catastrophe the Flag is flown at half mast.
ix. Only cars of special dignitaries are allowed to use the Flag. Where permitted, the Flag should be mounted on the radiator cap or attached to the right fender of the vehicle chassis.
x. For the purpose of clarity, the only special dignitaries in the present set up, allowed to mount and fly the National Flag on official vehicles are:

a. President, Commander-in-Chief .
b. The Vice President.
c. The Senate President.
d. The Speaker of the House of Representatives.
e. The Chief Justice of the Federation.
f. State Governors.
g. Deputy Governors.
h. Others (if any) permitted by protocol.
Dov Gutterman, 27 May 2002

Taken from a Specification for the Nigerian National Flag, Nigeria Industrial Standards NIS 297 (UDC 929.9) issued in 1987: According to these last the flag's sleeve must be in the same colour as the outer panels, and that the shade of green has been set by standard flags held at the Federal Ministry of Internal Affairs and by the Standards Organization of Nigeria.
Christopher Southworth, 29 May 2005

Coat of Arms

[Nigeria Coat of Arms] image by Ivan Sache

The Nigerian national coat of arms is shown and described on:

The black shield represents the good of Nigeria.

The silver wavy bends represent the rivers Niger and Benue and their confluence.

The flowers on which the shield stands are Coctus spectabilis.

The wreath above the shield feature the national colours (green and white). The eagle stands for strength. 'Unity and Faith, Peace and Progress' is the country’s motto.

The horses are shown in white in Dorling-Kindersley Pocket Book. They symbolize dignity. The book also mentions that the initial motto was 'Unity and Faith'.


Government presence is depicted in offices and other public places with the placing of the Nigerian Coat-of-Arms side by side with the portrait of the President and Commander-in-Chief.

The portrait of the Commander-in-Chief is usually to the right of the Coat-of-Arms, while that of the Principal Officers/Chief Executives of any government establishment e.g. the Governor or Head of Establishment is on the left of the Coat-of-Arms. This position remains valid when the portraits are hung on the wall.

In a situation where the Head of State, Commander-in-Chief, is addressing the nation the Coat-of-Arms is usually encapsulated in the seal of the nation and placed above the Head of State, Commander-in-Chief’s seat.

It should be noted that the Commander-in-Chief’s portrait as well as that of the Principal Officer of the Government establishment, in which the Coat-of-Arms is located, should always support the Coat-of-Arms or the Armorial Bearings.

Note that, improper placement/display or absence of these symbols in offices of Principal Officers/Chief Executives constitutes an offence.

Ivan Sache, 4 October 2002