Who designed PNG Flag and Its Meaning

The Papua New Guinea (PNG) flag is a striking emblem of the country’s rich culture and history. It is a symbol of national pride and identity, representing the unique blend of tradition and modernity that characterises this island nation.

In this article, we uncover the meaning of the PNG flag and find out who designed the PNG flag.

Who Designed the PNG Flag?

The PNG flag was designed by Susan Karike, a 15-year-old schoolgirl from Port Moresby, the capital of Papua New Guinea.

Karike’s design was chosen from among hundreds of submissions in a national competition to create a new flag for the country.

The competition was held in 1971, four years before Papua New Guinea achieved independence from Australia.

Susan Karike's IMAGE - the girl who designed PNG Flag
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Meaning Colours on PNG Flag

The PNG flag is a powerful symbol of the country’s independence and national identity. It represents the rich cultural heritage and natural beauty of Papua New Guinea, as well as the country’s ongoing commitment to progress and development.

The flag is often flown at official events and ceremonies, and it is widely respected and admired both within Papua New Guinea and around the world. It features a black and white diagonal pattern representing the country’s traditional tribal art, with a yellow bird of paradise in the centre.

The colours and symbols of the flag have significant meaning to the people of Papua New Guinea.

  • Black represents the Melanesian people of Papua New Guinea, who make up the majority of the population.
  • White represents purity, and the diagonal pattern is inspired by the traditional “Barter System”, in which food and goods are exchanged between tribes as a sign of friendship and alliance.
  • The yellow colour of the bird of paradise symbolises the sun, which is a source of life and energy.
  • The Bird of Paradise represents ”Unity in Diversity” among the many languages and tribes of PNG.
  • To find out the meaning of RED on PNG Flag, click here.

The pattern (two triangles) is also said to represent the shape of a shark’s tooth, which is a symbol of strength and courage in Papua New Guinean culture.

The bird of paradise in the centre of the flag represents the country’s unique wildlife, as well as the national motto, “Unity in Diversity.”

Overall, the flag’s colours and symbols represent the diversity and strength of Papua New Guinea’s people and culture.

Susan Karike and PNG flag

Susan Karike, the designer of the PNG flag, was a schoolgirl at the time of the flag’s creation.

Her design was chosen from among hundreds of submissions in a national competition, and it was subsequently adopted as the official flag of Papua New Guinea.

Karike’s achievement is a testament to the creativity and talent of the people of Papua New Guinea, and her legacy continues to inspire generations of young people in the country.

In summary, the flag of Papua New Guinea (PNG) embodies the nation’s identity and heritage. Its colours symbolise Melanesian culture (black and red), the sun’s radiance (yellow), purity and friendship (white), and strength (shark’s tooth). The flag’s central Bird of Paradise represents unity in diversity. In essence, the PNG flag tells a profound story of history, culture, and aspirations, standing as a proud emblem of the nation’s past, present, and future.

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