History of the Flag of Niger
The Flag of Niger is a tricolor flag that is composed of three equal sized colored horizontal stripes, orange at the top, white across the middle, and green along the bottom. In the center of the white stripe is an orange roundel. The flag has been in use since 1959. In 1960 Niger officially gained its independence after 60 years of French colonial rule. To this day French continues to be the national language of the country with variations and indigenous languages used by various ethnic groups around the country.
The Niger flag is very similar, and often confused with the Indian national flag, which features the same configuration and color of stripes, only differing with the twenty-four spoke navy blue wheel in the center.
Niger is land locked and bordered by several countries, including Libya, Nigeria, and Algeria. The largest country on the African continent, Niger covers an area of nearly half a million square miles, with over 80% of its land mass made up of the Sahara Desert.
The capital city of Niamey which is located on the banks of the Niger River is home to over one million of the twenty one million residents of Niger. Despite centuries of various occupation, over 80% of the Niger people practice the Islamic faith, with 20% being practicing Christians, a religion brought to the country by the missionaries during the French colonial occupation.
Despite being a mostly religious population, Niger is a secular country, with separation of state and religion protected by the constitution along with religious freedom for its inhabitants.
Niger is classified as a developing country and regularly ranks near the bottom of the table for the United Nations' Human Development Index. In recent years and after considerable political unrest and military coups, Niger in its seventh republic is establishing itself as an exporter of goods which include, oil, gold, coal, and other mineral resources. These exports made up for the drop in the world value of its previous big export, Uranium. In recent years the cost of Uranium has steadily recovered, and it is now contributing to the stability of the economy, an economy that still relies heavily on foreign aid.
Tourism to Niger isn't promoted and the country is still largely off limits to travelers, with warnings against travel in place from various governments around the world. Attacks and the threat to foreigners of being kidnapped is still high. Despite the dangers posed, those who have visited the country have spoken of the friendly and welcoming response they received, and of the fascinating sites they've visited. Points of interest in the country include the deserted medieval villages, dinosaur graveyards, Neolithic rock art, and stunning desert oasis towns.