Updated: Sep 20, 2022
Mauritania, or officially the Islamic Republic of Mauritania.
Mauritania is a sovereign state in Northwest Africa. It is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean, Western Sahara, and Algeria to the north, Mali to the east and south, and Senegal to the south.
The reason for naming the country
The country derives its name from the ancient Berber kingdom of Mauretania, which existed from the 3rd century BCE into the 7th century CE in the modern-day.
The flag was adopted on April 1, 1959, when the country gained independence from France. The current flag was first used on 28 November 2017, the 57th anniversary of Mauritania's independence. The flag of Mauritania consists of a green background with a gold crescent carrying a gold five-pointed star and two horizontal red stripes at the top and bottom of the flag. The flag has both traditional African and Islamic symbolism - yellow and green. The Green color, the crescent, and the star symbolize Islam; the state religion, the gold color symbolizes the sands of the Sahara desert, and the red stripes represent the spilled blood of the freedom fighters.
Arabic is the official and national language of Mauritania. The local spoken variety, known as Hassaniya, contains many Berber words and significantly differs from the Modern Standard Arabic that is used for official communication. Pulaar, Soninke, and Wolof also serve as national languages. French is widely used in the media and among educated classes.