United Kingdom

Uganda Network

Flags and Emblems

Flags are curious things. They can embody national pride and the sight of ones own at special times can be particularly meaningful. Yet because of this, they can also be used to alienate others. Think, for instance of the way in which many totalitarian and fascist regimes have used their countries' signs and symbols to direct prejudice against others.

Our own national flag is meant to symbolise unity, with the colours of three other flags joined together. Yet, for historical reasons, the red and green of Wales does not appear on the Union flag.

The colours of the Uganda People's Congress were used for the national flag when the country gained its independence in 1962.

The colours of the Ugandan flag like all other flags are symbolic and represent the following:

  • Black represents the people of Uganda.
  • Yellow the sun.
  • Red is for brotherhood.

The Baleiric Crested Crane in the centre of the flag was chosen as the emblem for Uganda. It has a black and white body with a tufted crown of gold and red feathers.


The Uganda coat of arms is interesting.
  • The supporters on either side of the coat of arms are the Uganda Kob representing the wildlife of Uganda and the Crested Crane, the emblem of the country.
  • The drum represents Uganda's culture. It was once believed that drums could scare away evil spirits. We take a closer look at drums and activities that can be done with them later in this book.
  • The spears and shield are representative of Uganda's traditional form of weapons and symbolise the nation's defence and security.
  • Blue stripes at the top of the shield symbolise the waters of all the great lakes and rivers in Uganda. Blue stripes at the bottom represent the source of the river Nile.
  • Green stands for the abundance of green vegetation in Uganda and the coffee and cotton plants shown on the background represent Uganda's main export crops.



Start at home. Does your Group have an emblem or badge? Does the Colony have a flag? What do these mean to the Beaver Scouts?

What does your District badge symbolise? And your County Area one? Why are your Group's scarves coloured the way they are? Do they symbolise anything? Many Roman Catholic Sponsored Scout Groups, for instance, use the Papal colours of yellow and white.


Discover your local coat of arms.

Does your town have an emblem or coat of arms? If so, what do they symbolise? Perhaps your Lord Mayor, or the equivalent, would invite the Beaver Scouts to the Mayor's parlour one evening to see the actual coats of arms and sign the visitors book.


Jigsaw puzzle relay.

Make a number of large (the larger the better) jigsaw pieces that when put together create your District badge. The Beaver Scouts take it in turns to run, hop, skip or walk up the room to collect a jigsaw piece. When all the pieces have been collected they can put it together.

You could, of course, adapt this old favourite to include national flags, maps and so on. The sky, as they say, is the limit.

Activities - Colouring in

Download some blank Uganda Flags and the Beavers can colour them in and then decorate the Headquarters with them.



A Flag for Me!

Discuss with your Colony what the purpose of a flag or emblem might be. Could the Beaver Scouts design a flag for themselves? What would it have on it? Footballs, action figures, Nintendo Gameboys? What colours would they use?

If the Colony were to draw on pieces of old cut up sheets, the results could then be sewn together by an enterprising and supportive mum or dad to create a complete Colony banner!

A Flag for Others

Help the Beaver Scouts to find out if any countries use the same colours as Uganda for their flag. Can you find out why they used those colours?

Some flags don't change if you turn them upside down. Others become the flags of other countries. Turn the Ugandan flag upside down and it's obviously wrong. But can the Beaver Scouts recognise when the Union flag is turned the wrong way up? Many adults can't! Try some other flags and turn one country into another at just the flick of a hand.

Flag Cookery?

Look at the countries surrounding Uganda. Find out about their flags. Ice biscuits or cakes with the colours of all the different countries in the region.

You will need water, icing made using icing sugar, water and food colouring. (Be careful not to use those colourings which can cause allergic reactions in young children). The Beaver Scouts can make the icing themselves with a little guidance. Don't forget to, wrap the children up in aprons or old shirts. Food colourings stain! And remember to tell the Beaver Scouts that they need to add very little water to the required amount of icing sugar and not the other way round. Otherwise you will end up with rivers of useless sugary water! Think carefully once more about the colours used. Green sometimes stands for the fertile land of the country or its forests. It can also stand for the religion of Islam. White can stand for peace and purity. Blue often means sea, rivers, sky or hope.

Visit Flag hunting

Take the Beaver Scouts on an activity which involves flags. Ask them to look at what is happening and how people are behaving. It's worth thinking carefully about which events might be suitable for children of this age.

The Beaver Scouts may notice that flags are respected and that the people's behaviour reflects this. If your own Colony has a flag you might consider when and where it is used. Talk about your flag and its meaning with the Beaver Scouts. Too often we assume that the children realise the significance of things we take for granted, when in fact they have no idea of their importance.

Contact the Uganda Network Copyright © The UK Uganda Network - 2002
Last modified 29 December 2003


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