From Academic Kids
Two sets of three colours are referred to as the Pan-African colours.
The term "Pan-African colours" sometimes refers to green, gold and red. These colors are now found on the flags of many African nations, and originate in Ethiopia, from where they have relevance for the Rastafari movement. They were used on many ancient African flags - most notably they were part of the bloom found on the flag of Grenada, the Moorish state in Spain. The colours appear most prominently on the 1798 flag of Abyssinia, with the green at the bottom; however, they were accidentally flown upside-down on a state ceremony and the tradition was adopted by the Ethiopian government and by several African states, as well as by Pan-Africanist organizations around the world. It is now common to see these flags with green on top (or in front of) of yellow, and red at the bottom (or at the trailing edge) of the flag.
Except for a brief period of occupation by Italy under the Fascists, Ethiopia remained outside European control during the colonial era, and was therefore admired by many newly-independent African states. The adoption of the Ethiopian national colours was a consequence of this. The first African state to adopt red, gold and green for her flag upon independence was Ghana in 1957.
According to the UNIA constitution, the Pan-African colors are red, black and green, "red representing the noble blood that unites all people of African ancestry, the color black for black people whose dignity is upheld by the existence of the flag, green for the abundant natural wealth of the Motherland, Africa." The UNIA flag, which can be seen here (http://www.unia-acl.org/history/flagstor.htm), was designated the official colors of the African Race by the UNIA at its convention in Madison Square Garden on August 13, 1920 in New York City.
The following are countries that combine three to four of red, black, green, and yellow in their flags as representative of their African identity.
- Burkina Faso
- Central African Republic
- Saint Kitts and Nevis
- South Africa
- Flag Story (http://www.unia-acl.org/history/flagstor.htm)