Theodisiah Okoh is the artistic designer behind Ghana’s flag, which is an achievement we should all know. Following Ghana’s liberation from colonial rule, Okoh served as a valuable asset to her country and crafted the design for the Ghanian flag that has influenced many other African countries’ flags such as Guinea, Cameroon, Senegal, Togo, Mali, The Republic of Congo, and more.
Okoh’s original inspiration for the flag’s colors stemmed from Ethiopia’s flag. Ethiopia represented an African country that was never colonized. Okoh used the same color scheme of red, yellow, and green. The red represented the struggle for independence. The yellow represented the gold and minerals in Ghana. The green represented the fertile land. Uniquely to the flag of Ghana, Okoh placed a black star to represent the skin color of the resilient African people.
The influence of Okoh’s flag extended to the greater pan-African movement that occured in the 1960s. Her work continues to inspire artists such as the flag designer for South Africa post-apartheid and Cartoon Network producer, Ian Jones-Quartey.
After initially not being recognized for her contribution, Okoh received recognition in 2015 after her passing away. Okoh is directly remembered as the Ghanian flag designer and artistic inspiration behind the pan-African movement. However, Okoh’s vital role in the nationalist movement within Ghana to her larger role in the pan-African movement, showcases the history of strong African women who played essential roles in nationalism by protecting, preserving, and shaping the nation.