6 March 1957: The day that the Gold Coast became the Republic of Ghana. The day the people of Ghana celebrate the end of colonial rule. By achieving independence on that particular day, Ghana is the first sub-Saharan nation to break free from colonial rule. Free from exploitation from the land and people. This event became a leading example for other African countries that were suppressed by European countries.
Since this big event, the 6th of March is a national day of celebration.
Independence for Ghana – briefly explained
Before colonial presence, the country consisted of a number of independent empires, with the Ashanti being the most powerful one. Because of its abundance of natural resources (gold, fruit, ivory, etc.), European countries had many interests in claiming the land for themselves. And so, after much resistance by the Ashanti, they did. The British rule came to an end after the Second World War when the colonizing country had weakened and lost its overall strength. This and the Convention People’s Party in 1949 are the main reasons that led to the independence of the Republic of Ghana. The Convention People’s Party was led by Kwame Nkrumah (first Prime minister and President) and had the goal of more self-governance for the native people.
Of course, their way to independence was much more than what’s stated in this short article. Like historian Adu Boahen says “Independence was not given on a silver platter but won by blood”.
On the day of independence, Kwame Nkrumah gave an encouraging speech to the people of Ghana, of which his words are still celebrated today. The full speech can be found here.
The flag and its meaning
A new flag, as we know it today, was introduced as the country finally became free from colonial rule. It was created by Theodosia Salome Okoh: a Ghanian artist and introducer of hockey in her country.
The Ghana flag is full of meaning: the black five-pointed star situated in the middle of the flag signifies the emancipation of Africa and unity against colonialism. This star-symbol was introduced by Marcus Garvey during the Pan-Africanism movement. Just like the black star, the colors carry their own meaning too:
|Red||The blood of those who died during the fight for independence from European colonization|
|Gold||The richness of the country through its mineral wealth|
|Green||The country’s rich forests and natural wealth|
|Black five-pointed star||A symbol that stands for the emancipation of Africa and unity against colonialism|
In the following video Youtuber Bianca from Bee’s Corner tells you 5 facts about Ghana, including more information on the black star 👇🇬🇭
A message to my readers
This article is merely a brief summary of Ghana Independence Day. There is so much more to learn. Please consult our friend Google to get to know more about the history. I’d also like to emphasize that the country’s history pre-colonization is equally interesting and important to know. Unfortunately, this history is not taught in western schools. Educate yourself 🤓