The symbols of Kenya's unity

The Kenya flag truly exemplifies Kenya's national unity and reflects the historical events that shaped the country.

The Kenya flag consists of three equal-sized horizontal stripes of black, red and green, each holding a symbolic significance for the country. The stripes are separated by two thinner white stripes and a large warrior's shield covered with crossed spears is superimposed over the flag's centre.

Kenya Flag

The history and meaning of the flag of Kenya

The current flag of Kenya was adopted on Independence Day, December 12, 1963. It was based on the flag of KANU (Kenya African National Union), the political party that led Kenya to independence. The original Kenyan flag had three equal stripes of black, red, and green. These colors symbolized:

The white stripes, the traditional Maasai shield, and the two crossed spears were added to the Kenyan flag after Kenya attained independence. The color white symbolizes peace while the shield and spears signify that all Kenyans are always ready to defend the independence they fought so hard for.

The Kenya National Anthem

The Kenya national anthem is a beautifully composed song with an authentic African melody. The anthem evokes a deep sense of patriotism among Kenyans. It is commonly played during international events, particularly during athletic events when Kenyan athletes excel.

In Kenya, the national anthem is played during national holidays and during other important or historical events. In these occasions, a military band performs the national anthem, asserting the anthem's role as a symbol of Kenya's national unity.

The Lyrics of the Kenya National Anthem

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
Tunayoipenda
Tuwe tayari kuilinda

Natujenge taifa letu
Ee, ndio wajibu wetu
Kenya istahili heshima
Tuungane mikono
Pamoja kazini
Kila siku tuwe na shukrani

English

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
Plenty be found within our borders.

Let one and all arise
With hearts both strong and true
Service be our earnest endeavor
And our homeland of Kenya
Heritage of splendor
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 labor
Fill every heart with thanksgiving.

Brief History of the Kenyan National Anthem

While under British colonial rule, Kenya's official anthem was the British anthem "God Save the Queen" and "Kenya Land of the Lion" was the national song sung at sporting and other such events.

Lyrics of "Kenya Land of the Lion"

Kenya! Land of the lion
Land of adventure and sun
Land where friendship and laughter
Wait for those who come after.
Onward! Grey skies or blue
We'll march steadfast and true.
Kenyans, staunch and united
We'll march on.

Kenya!Land of enchantment
We'll hold your banner on high.
Clear our voices are ringing
Youth and hope in our singing.
What of glory and fame?
We'll just stick to the game.
Kenyans, staunch and united
We'll march on.

Origins of the Kenya national Anthem

Prior to attaining independence, the government commissioned a five-member team to come up with a new anthem. The team was to incorporate traditional Kenyan music in the anthem, while ensuring that a military band could perform the tune without distorting the original tone of the melody. The melody the team selected is based on a traditional folk song of the Pokomo, a small ethnic group in Kenya's Coast province. Learn more about Kenya's anthem.

You can listen to the audio instrumental of the Kenya national anthem at: http://www.national-anthems.net/KE

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