Flags, Symbols, & Currencies of Kenya (2023)

Flags, Symbols, & Currencies of Kenya (1)

Kenya is identified by its national flag that was inspired by the Pan-African flag adopted in 1920 by the African Communities and League Universal Negro Improvement Association. The national flag of Kenya was adopted December 12, 1963, when it gained independence. Its design has been used by other African countries including Southern Sudan and Malawi.

Meaning and Symbolism

The tricolors of the Kenyan flag are designed in bright and vibrant shades that give it its meaning. The flag is a symbol of national unity and pride of the Kenyan people. It consists of three equal horizontal bands of black (top), red, and green. The three color bands are separated from each other by two white thin stripes. A large Maasai warrior's shield covering crossed spears is superimposed at the center of the flag.. The black color, which appears at the top, represents the people of the Republic of Kenya. Post-office red in the middle represents the sacrifices and bloody price for freedom from British colonialist, while the green color at the bottom stands for the fertility of the lands and richness in natural wealth. It represents agriculture and national reserves, which form the backbone of the country’s economy.

Bordering the red horizontal stripe are thin parallel white stripes at the top and bottom. The white stripes incorporated in the flag represent peace, honesty, and unity of Kenya. In the middle of the flag is a shield with two crossed spears on it. The shield is red in color with black flanks, 4-white charges, and a white disc in the middle. They are a representation of the traditional Maasai war items that stand for the enthusiasm and readiness to defend the country.

As a symbol of authority, the Kenyan flag is incorporated in the Military flag of the Armed forces, Kenya Airforce, and the Kenya Navy Ensign. It is usually placed at the top left-hand corner of the flags. There are various variants of the flag based on its executive use. Each of the four presidents has had a unique design of the national flag to represent their Presidential Standard.

History of the Kenyan flag

The Kenyan flag (Bendera ya Kenya) is a tricolor of black, red, and green with two white fimbriations. Superimposed at the center is a red, black, and white traditional Maasai shield and two crossed spears. The flag was adopted from KANU's flag that had three horizontal rectangular design of black, red, and green respectively. In the middle, there was an emblem of a white cockerel symbolizing the dawn of a new day. After independence, KANU wanted to use their flag as the national flag but Thomas Joseph Mboya, the Justice and Constitutional Affairs minister at the time proposed for a different design that incorporated two white fimbriations, the traditional Maasai shield, and the two crossed spears to replace the cockerel. The current flag was designed with a proportion scale of 2:3.

Symbols of Kenya

National Coat of Arms of Kenya

Flags, Symbols, & Currencies of Kenya (2)

Kenya's coat of arms contains two lions (a symbol of protection) supporting a traditional East African shield. Both the shield and spears, crossed behind it, are representative of unity and defense of freedom. The shield contains the colors of the national flag, with a rooster at the centersymbolizing the dawn of a new day. Below the shieldis a silhouette of Mount Kenya containing some agricultural crops such as maize, pineapple, and coffee, symbolizing agriculture as the main economic activity in Kenya. Finally, a scroll with the word: HARAMBEE (Swahili word for "Unity" or "Pulling Together) appears at the base of the shield.

National Anthem

  • Anthem Title: Ee Mungu Nguvu Yetu (Oh God of All Creation)
  • Music composer: Collectively, 1963
  • Lyricist: Graham Hyslop, G. W. Senoga-Zake, Thomas Kalume, Peter Kibukosya, and Washington Omondi
  • Date of Adoption: 1963

The national anthem of Kenya, "Ee Mungu Nguvu Yetu," can be sung in both Swahili and English since the version are recognized by law. However, the original lyrics were written in Kiswahili by Graham Hyslop, G. W. Senoga-Zake, Thomas Kalume, Peter Kibukosya, and Washington Omondi in 1963. The commission of five also collectively composed the anthem from the lyrics. The anthem is based on a Pokomo tune sung by children and their mothers.

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Ee Mungu Nguvu Yetu (Swahili)

Ee Mungu nguvu yetu

Ilete baraka kwetu

Haki iwe ngao na mlinzi

Natukae na undugu

Amani na uhuru

Raha tupate na ustawi.

Amkeni ndugu zetu

Tufanye sote bidii

Nasi tujitoe kwa nguvu

Nchi yetu ya Kenya


(Video) What do the Kenyan flag colors Symbolise

Tuwe tayari kuilinda

Natujenge taifa letu

Eeh, ndio wajibu wetu

Kenya istahili heshima

Tuungane mikono

Pamoja kazini

Kila siku tuwe na shukrani

Oh God of All Creation

O God of all creation

Bless this our land and nation

Justice be our shield and defender

May we dwell in unity

Peace and liberty

(Video) The Kenyan Flag | Quiz

Plenty be found within our borders.

Let one and all arise

With hearts both strong and true

Service be our earnest endeavour

And our homeland of Kenya

Heritage and splendour

Firm may we stand to defend.

Let all with one accord

In common bond united

Build this our nation together

And the glory of Kenya

The fruit of our labour

Fill every heart with thanksgiving.

(Video) Do you know the symbol at the back of your currency?

The Currency of Kenya is the Kenyan shilling

The official currency in Kenya is the shilling which is subdivided into 100 cents. Its sign and code is KSH and KES respectively. The use of Kenyan shilling commenced in 1966 when it replaced the East African shilling.


In 1966, the first denominations of coins in denominations of 5, 10, 25, and 50 cents, and 1 and 2 shillings were issued for circulation. However, the production of 25 cent coins stopped in 1969. The 5 shilling coins entered circulation in 1973. The image of the first president Jomo Kenyatta was initially inscribed on all coins in Kenya between 1967 and 1978. However, in 1980 after the death of President Jomo Kenyatta, the then president Daniel Toroitich Arap Moi's image was replaced until 2005. In 2005, the Central Bank of Kenya reintroduced the portrait of President Kenyatta.

To mark the commemoration of the 40th anniversary of independence, a 40 shilling coin bearing the image of former president, Mwai Kibaki, was circulated in 2003. Additional coins with Kenyatta’s image came into circulation in 2005. After the promulgation of Kenya’s new constitution, section 231(4) stipulated "Notes and coins issued by the Central Bank of Kenya may bear images that depict or symbolise Kenya or an aspect of Kenya but may not bear the portrait of any individual.” The news banknotes and coins entered circulation in 2019. .


After the Kenyan shilling took over from the East African shilling at par, the demonetization was not until 1969. The denominations of 5, 10, 20, 50, and 100 was produced by Central Bank of Kenya. All notes have Mzee Jomo Kenyatta’s image and the first prime minister of Kenya on the front face and different types of economic activities in Kenya on the back.

In 1985, the replacement of 5 shilling banknotes took place followed by the 10 and 20 shillings in 1994 and 1998 respectively. The introduction of notes in the denominations of 200 and 500 shillings occurred in 1986 and 1988 respectively followed by the current highest denomination and 1000 shillings in 1994. When President Mwai Kibaki took over from Moi, the 5, 10, and 20 shilling banknotes with Kenyatta’s image that had been kept unused were reintroduced for circulation. Later, the denominations of 50, 100, 200, 500, and 1000 shillings entered the market carrying President Jomo Kenyatta portrait. De La Rue, an England company situated in Kenya, prints the banknotes. Banknotes bearing fauna and landmark images were introduced in 2019.

Kenyan shilling Banknote

Flags, Symbols, & Currencies of Kenya (3)

Kenyan shilling Coin

Flags, Symbols, & Currencies of Kenya (4)

Historical Currencies of Kenya

Kenyan shilling was introduced in 1966 to replace the cused in areas in East Africa controlled by the British. The East African shilling was issued from 1921 to 1969 and was minted in banknotes and coins of various denominations, including 5, 10, 20, 100 shillings notes, and 1, 5, 10, 50 cents,1 shilling coins. This currency was mainy used in Kenya, Tanganyika, and Uganda and was pegged on sterling pound. When Kenya gained independence in 1963, it used the East African shilling as a transition currency for three more years before replacing it with the Kenyan shilling at par.

East African shilling

Flags, Symbols, & Currencies of Kenya (5)


What are the flags in Kenya? ›

The flag is a black, red, green and white-bordered horizontal tricolour. The red colour represents for the fight for independence; the black represents the people, the green for the landscape and the white for peace and the Maasai shield and spears represent defence.

What are some symbols of Kenya? ›

Coat of Arms

The lions symbolize Kenya's wildlife and the courage of the people of Kenya to defend their country. The shield (which bears the colours of the national flag) and the spears symbolize unity and defence for freedom.

What does the Kenyan flag symbolize? ›

Black: – Represents the people of Kenya. Red: – Represents the bloodshed in the fight for independence. Green: – Represents the fertility of the land. White: – Represents peace.

What does the 4 colors of the flag mean? ›

The stripes represent the original 13 Colonies and the stars represent the 50 states of the Union. The colors of the flag are symbolic as well; red symbolizes hardiness and valor, white symbolizes purity and innocence, and blue represents vigilance, perseverance and justice.

What is the currency of Kenya? ›

The Kenyan shilling (KES) is the official currency of the Republic of Kenya.

What are the 3 types of flags? ›

There are three types of American military flags today:
  • Service Flags.
  • Maritime Flag.
  • Personal Flags.

What are the 10 national symbols? ›

National Symbols
  • More on National Flag... National Anthem. ...
  • More on National Anthem... National Song. ...
  • More on National Song... State Emblem. ...
  • More on State Emblem... National Bird. ...
  • More on National Bird... National Animal. ...
  • More on National Animal... National Flower.
Oct 8, 2021

What are the five national symbols? ›

Common official national symbols
  • The flag or banner of a nation-state.
  • The coat of arms of the land or ruling dynasty.
  • The seal or stamp of the land or ruling dynasty.
  • The head of state, especially in a monarchy.
  • The associated device and motto can also be used separately.
  • The national colors, often derived from the above.

What are the three 3 colors of the flag and what is their significance? ›

According to custom and tradition, white signifies purity and innocence; red, hardiness and valor; and blue signifies vigilance, perseverance, and justice.

What does the 3 colors of the flag mean? ›

Colours of the Flag

In the national flag of India the top band is of Saffron colour, indicating the strength and courage of the country. The white middle band indicates peace and truth with Dharma Chakra. The last band is green in colour shows the fertility, growth and auspiciousness of the land.

What does the flag with the snakes mean? ›

Don't tread on me began on what's known as the Gadsden flag, which features a rattlesnake coiled above the expression on a yellow background. The flag was first flown on a warship in 1775 as a battle cry for American independence from British rule.

What does the spear on the Kenyan flag mean? ›

The coat of arms of Kenya features two lions, a symbol of protection, holding spears and a traditional East African shield. The shield and spears symbolize unity and defence of freedom.

What are the symbols of national unity in Kenya? ›

Symbols of national unity
  • The National Anthem: This song is a prayer for Kenya. ...
  • The National Flag: Kenya's national flag has four colours. ...
  • The Loyalty Pledge: It expresses our loyalty and faithfulness to the country.
  • The Presidency: the position held by the president who is elected by the people to represent them.

What is the flag with 4 snakes? ›

The symbol of the four snakes, present on the uniform of the gendarmes of Martinique until 2018 was the popular flag of Martinique until then. Although the French flag is the official flag of Martinique, the snake flag was used to represent the island over the years.

Does Kenya have two flags? ›

The Flag of Kenya (Swahili: Bendera ya Kenya) is a tricolour of black, red, and green with two white edges imposed with a red, white and black Maasai shield and two crossed spears.
Flag of Kenya.
UseNational flag, civil and state ensign
Adopted12 December 1963
4 more rows

What are the 4 Australian flags? ›

Australian National Flag. Australian Defence Force ensign. Australian white ensign. Royal Australian Air Force ensign.

Why are there 3 Australian flags? ›

The 3 flags of Australia include the Australian National Flag, the Australian Aboriginal Flag and the Torres Strait Islander Flag. The Aboriginal Flag and the Torres Strait Islander Flag were appointed flags of Australia in 1995, while a version of the Australian National Flag has been in use since 1901.

What is the 7 star flag? ›

The seven stars represent the seven original states: South Carolina; Mississippi; Florida; Alabama; Georgia; Louisiana and Texas. The seven star flag was used officially for two years, but never established as the Confederate Flag by law.


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