The Republic of the Gambia became an independent nation on February 18, 1965. We were the last of the British colonies in Africa to gain independence. The Gambia adopted the motto of “Progress, Peace, Prosperity” following its independence and has been celebrating the Independence Day of Gambia as a national holiday since. This year we celebrate our 49th Birthday!
The Gambia was the first African nation to be colonized by the British. The Duke and Duchess of Kent were present at the handover of power to the Gambian people. The British had ruled the country for over 300 years. On the eve of February 18, 1965, the Duke and Duchess celebrated with the 35 Gambian chiefs. At the stroke of midnight, Gambia became the smallest African nation.
The Independence Day of The Gambia is celebrated with great fanfare. Official celebrations are held at McCarthy Square in the capital Banjul. Parades are organized by the army, civil servants, and school children. The President and other important dignitaries are present at the celebrations.
The national flag of Gambia consists of three horizontal lines in red, blue, and green. The lines are separated by white stripes. The red horizontal bar at the top represents the sun and also the savannah grasslands, the blue horizontal bar represents the River Gambia, and the green horizontal bar represents the verdant lands and forests of this small African country. The white lines symbolize peace. Pa Louis Thomas designed the flag and it was adopted as the national flag of Gambia on February 18, 1965, the day Gambia gained its independence.