The Germans were th3 first Europeans to settle in East Africa. About 1884 the german Karl Peters received sovereign right of the chiefs in Usumbura, By treaty between the Britisch and the Germans the interior was divided amngst them and the Sutan of Zanzibar received a strip of the coast. In 1888 the sultan left the coast leaving the German East Africa Company to obtain soverign rights in all of future Tanganyika. In 1891, after some rebellions the region was made a german protectorate by the Government of Germany, one year after Zanzibar had become a british protectorate. Only in 1907 a civic colonial administration was established. After the colony had been defended in WWI by the germans in a kind of guerilla, it had to be ceded by the Treaty of Versailles to the League of Nations which gave it as a mandatory territory to Great Britain. It received the name of Tanganyika Territory. 


Deutsch Ostafrika






Arms of the Deutsch Ostafrikanische Gesellschaft, 1891.

Arms of the Company on coins issued 1891-1902


During the rule of the Deutsch-Ostafrikanische Gesellschaft in East Africa the arms of the company were used. They were:


Arms: Gules, a palmtree proper, charged with a lion passant Or. [1]


On coins, issued after 1891, the date of issue was added in base.


The first flag of the Company was white with a landscape of a palmtree, a lion passant and the Southern Cross in white on a red field, surrounded by a frame of double black lines and black square crosses in the corners (as shown).

The second, flag adopted 1895 showed a black cross and in the upper mast end the stars of the Southern Cross on a red field. 






After a civic colonial administration was established a coat of arms was designed in 1914 which, because of the beginning of WWI could never be used. The project shows:

Arms of Deutsch Ostafrika, 1914.


Arms: Gules, a lions’ head affrontée Argent, and a chief Or, an eagle Sable, billed and clawed Gules with an escutcheon quarterly Argent and Sable on its breast.

Crown: The German Imperial crown. [2]


Governor’s Flag. 05.03.1891

190 Í 315 cm.


The flag of the Governor was adopted according to the “Flaggen- und Salutordnung für die Kaiserliche Marine § 17. 2” in which it is provided that “The Governor of German East-Africa has the right to fly his flag when within the borders of the Protectorate, as soon as he embarks on a ship of the Imperial Navy or on a boat of the administration of the government.” [3]


Tanganyika Territory




In the time of the Mandate of the League of Nations a badge according to British tradition was used. This showed a giraffes’ head on a white disc. This badge was on the British Red Ensign for commercial purposes. The head only was on the Blue Ensign for other services.

Governors’ Flag






Tanganyika became an independent kingdom on 9 December 1961and Queen Elizabeth II its head of state. The next year the republic was proclaimed on 9 December.

The achievement granted to Tanganyika in 1961 was a precendent for the use of a native shield. The achievement was:

Arms: Per fess, the chief per fess, the first Gules and the second of the national flag being Vert, a fess Sable fimbriated Or.; the base barry wavy of six Argent and Azure; and a torch surrounded by four rings Or, the flame proper per pale over all.

Supporters: Dexter: A tanganyikan man vested Vert, supporting an elephants’ tusk; Sinister a tanganyikan woman, vested Vert, her headscarf orange, supporting an elephants’ tusk

Compartment: Mount Kilimanjaro (5,895 m.) between a branch of coffee and a branch of cotton proper.

Motto: uhuru na umoja (Liberty and Unity) in red lettering on a white ribbon with green lining.


Of the torch was spoken by Julius Nyerere in his speech at the occasion of te proclamation of independence on 9 December 1961. He said: “The people of Tanganyika will kindle a light on the Kilimanjaro which will shine beyond our borders as a light of Hope.” After an unsuccesful military coup  in 1963 he said: “Shame was brought over us by them who tried to control the nation by force of arms but still the torch of freedom is alight”.


Governor Generals’ Flag 1961-‘62


Presidential Arms, 1962-‘64





The Republic of Tanganyika and the People’s Republic of Zanzibar and Pemba joined on 26 April 1964 into the United Republic of Tanganyika and Zanzibar. The name of the Union was changed on the following 28 October. The capital was Dar es Salaam and from 1985 it is Dodoma.

For the United Republic of Tanganyika & Zanzibar a provisional emblem was used consisting of two crossed lower arms, having a torch for Tanganyika and a spear for Zanzibar in their hands. [4]

When the new name was introduced a new achievement was created which consists of the achievement of Tanganyika augmented with the symbols of Zanzibar.

The arms are now: Per fess of four, the first Or, a torch copuped Or, its flame proper; the second of the national flag being parted of Vert and Azure, a bend sinister Sable fimbriated Or. The third Gules; the fourt barry wavy of six Argent and Azure; the three lower parts charged with a spear per pale charged with two axes in saltire Or.

Supporters, compartment and motto were not changed.


Æ See illustration in the head of this essay


Presidents’ Flag 1964-present


Armed Forces


Photo Ebay

British Tanganyika Territory Force


Tanzania People’s Defense Forces


Tri Service






Tanzania Army cap badge


Tanzania Air Force Roundel





Tanganyika Police Badge

Tanzania Police Crest



See also  ZANZIBAR



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© Hubert de Vries 06.12.2006. Updated: 19.03.2013



[1] Karaschewski, Jörg M. Wappen und Flaggen der Deutsche Koloniens, Wolffenbüttel, 2011. Pp. 100-104.

[2] Pama, C.: Lions and Virgins, 1965. P. 112.  And Karachewski, op. cit. Pp. 14-20. Picture from: http://www.dr-herzfeld.de/flaggenkunde/FlaggenSchutzgebiete.pdf

[3] Karaschewski, op. cit. p. 46. “Dem Gouverneur von Deutsch-Ostafrika steht für die Dauer des Aufenthalts innerhalb der Grenzen des Schutzgebietes das Recht zur Führung seiner Flagge zu, sobald er sich auf einem Schiffe der Kaiserlichen Marine oder auf einem Regierungsfahrzeuge des Gouvernemnts eingeschifft hat.”

[4] This was depicted on stamps issued in the year the Union existed. (Ill.)