https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Angweina

Could we change the Swahili flag from the Tanzanian flag to the East African Community flag?

Kiswahili is spoken in many East African countries, not just Tanzania. It's an official language of the EAC, and was recently accepted as an official language of the SADC (South African Development Community.

There are Kiswahili speakers in Congo, Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania, Mozambique, Malawi, Uganda, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Oman and Comoros. The Tanzanian flag alone doesn't represent all these countries.

I'd link to an image file of the EAC flag, but links aren't accepted here. Google can do the job, though.

Thanks.

August 23, 2019

8 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/machieng

a good point, I'll bring it up with the admin

August 23, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Angweina

Ahsante. Kibinafsi naona hii itaendeleza umajumui.

August 23, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PeaceForce

Interestingly, according to Wikipedia, more than 100 tongues are spoken in Tanzania, yet the country has no official language. In any case, Angweina, you make a case for DL's course banner for Swahili as an extra-national African lingua franca, but what about Swahili's due representation as a native tongue with a home country? On the other hand, given the rise of ugly nationalism and ethnic chauvinism around the world, flags of all kinds as symbols of languages would be largely problematic. Bottom line: the question might be complicated.

August 23, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Angweina

Hi PeaceForce. Funny thing is, in almost every East African country, most people usually speak an average of 2-3 languages - their mother tongue, Kiswahili and/or English. Some (usually traders) speak more.

Tanzania does have an official language - Kiswahili. It's in their constitution which I would have linked to, but I can't post links here. A web search on "Tanzania official language" should yield a couple of results.

Lastly, on the topic of nationalism. I would very much like to see your point, but I don't see how having an EAC flag representing Kiswahili would be ethnic chauvinism. Kiswahili is the official language of the EAC.

Edit: With regard to its due representation within a home country, Kiswahili's home country is on the coastal line from Somalia all the way to Mosambique; technically, its home country no longer exists.

August 23, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PeaceForce

Perhaps I stand corrected against Wikipedia's claim that Tanzania does not have a de jure official language:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tanzania#Languages

Either way, I agree, Kiswahili should be keenly appreciated as an important lingua franca across East Africa (if not the continent as a whole). At the same time, it would arguably be ideal to include the relatively few Waswahili people in any representation of the language (not to mention in any idea of East African regionalism, or, for that matter, pan-Africanism).

August 23, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Angweina

Thanks for mentioning that (their representation). I'll try as best as I can to explain this to you (who I shall assume to be foreign to East African culture).

You see, using colours, the design of the EAC flag incorporates the flags of all its member states, including Tanzania. Tanzania itself is a union of two states - Tanganyika and Zanzibar. Zanzibar is where most Waswahili live. In matters vexillology, the flag of Tanzania incorporates the flags of both Tanganyika and Zanzibar. So, if we work backwards, the Waswahili are well represented on the Zanzibari flag, who are well represented on the Tanzanian flag, who are well represented in the EAC flag.

I hope you get my point. If it's still unclear, I'm open to answer any questions you may have.

August 23, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PeaceForce

Got it, thanks! With such deep knowledge and clear reasoning, you would already clinch your case ... good luck getting the course banner changed! (How to render the multicolored, graphically rich EAC flag per DL's simplified aesthetics is another matter, perhaps ... )

August 23, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Angweina

Do you know whethere there are any official guidelines for this design scheme? I'm fairly OK at Adobe Illustrator and would like to get started on it - the DL admins can meet us halfway there.

August 23, 2019
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