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Somalia Independence Day

1. When is the Independence Day of Somalia celebrated?

Somalia officially became Somalia Republic on July 1st 1960, after British protectorate of Somalia joined and Italian Somaliland. Since then this day has been observed as the Independence Day of Somalia.

2. How is the Independence Day celebrated?

On this day Somalia commemorates the beginning of new nation after achieving freedom from the colonial powers and merging to form one nation. The day is marked with speeches fostering unity and peace, hoisting of flag, signing of national anthem and colorful police parade.

3. What is the significance of Independence Day of Somalia?

On July 1st 1960, the present-day north and south Somalia, which were under British and Italian control respectively, merged to form one nation—the Republic of Somalia, thus ushering a new chapter in the history of the country. These regions were then called British Somaliland and Italian Somaliland, and there were other territories which now form part of present-day Ethiopia, Kenya and Djibouti, which was then a French colony and was referred to as French Somaliland.

The European power tussle began in 1800s with France, Italy and United Kingdom, using Somalia as coaling stations. While for most of late 1800s and early 1900s, the three rival powers recognized the lines of demarcation, the political situation began to change with the rise of fascism in Italy.

At the advent of Second World set in, Italy declared a war on Britain in 1940, and overran the British troops. However, in 1941, Britain turned the tables when it brought the most of Italian Somaliland under its control. Since then the British ruled the entire area, with Italy returning to its former protectorate (Italian Somalia) in 1950 as United Nations trustee with an aim of granting complete freedom to Somalia in the next ten years.

While British granted freedom to its colony on June 26 1960, Italian Somalia won freedom on July 1, 1960, and on the same day the two regions merged to form Republic of Somalia with Abdullah Osman Daar becoming its elected president.

French Somalia, or Djibouti attained its freedom in 1977, thus giving birth to Republic of Djibouti.

4. What does its national flag represent?

The present Somali flag was adopted in 1954, and it consists of a deep blue background, and a white star with five pointed sides. The blue base stems from the flag of the United Nations (the body that helped it to realize the dream of becoming a sovereign nation), and symbolizes the sky over Somalia and United Nations.

The White Star signifies the African Liberation as a whole and on a national level it represents five regions inhabited by the Somali people: Italian Somaliland (Somalia), British Somaliland (Somalia), French Somaliland (Djibouti), the Ogaden region of Ethiopia and north Kenya.

5. Who wrote the Somali national anthem?

The present national anthem, named “"Soomaaliyeey toosoo," which translates to “Somalia Wake Up,” was composed in 1947 by Ali Mire Awale and Yusuf Haji Adan.  It was adopted in the year 2000 with the hope of reviving unity among the people at a time when Somalia was embroiled in the civil war.  

Last Updated On: July 10, 2012

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