Botswana adopted the current flag on the 30th September 1966, the day of its independence. Unlike many African countries whose leading party colours are incorporated into the country flag, the Botswana flag doesn’t follow this trend. The colours of the Botswana flag carry both cultural and political meanings. The flag consists of the following colours:
Light blue– to signify water, in particular rainwater. This is because water is a precious and scarce commodity in Botswana. Botswana has a huge agricultural sector and therefore needs as much water as possible to keep it going. Also, Botswana being a semi-arid desert, home to the infamous Kalahari Desert, is subjected to years long droughts because of the extremely dry conditions of the desert.
Blue also carries a wider meaning that conveys the idea that rain is the provider of life. This is carried over to every day life, with the people of Botswana often greeting each other with a shout of Pula! Literally meaning rain. Pula can be used as a greeting, to welcome people, to bid people farewell, among others.
So valuable and important is rain to Botswana that the currency (bank notes) is called the Pula. The importance of water, or more specifically rain, to Botswana can never be overstated. Rain is also represented in the Botswana coat of arms.
It appears as a single word, denoting rain and hope for the future.
The Black and White straps- Signify the racial diversity that exists in Botswana as well as the harmonious and cooperation that exists between the people of different races who live in Botswana. Additionally, the black and white stripe also stands for the stripes of the national animal of Botswana, the Zebra.