24 May 2022
The National Day of Eritrea marks independence from Ethiopia on May 24th 1993.
It is the National Day of Eritrea and marks the anniversary of two important events in Eritrea’s recent history; the arrival of resistance fighters in the capital in 1991 and independence from Ethiopia in 1993.
The history of this small country on the Horn of Africa is intertwined with its larger neighbour to the south, Ethiopia. 2,000 years ago, both countries were part of the Kingdom of Aksum. The region we identify as modern-day Eritrea emerged as Italian Eritrea in the last decades of the 19th century.
After Italy’s defeat in the second world war, the country fell under British control. Planned independence came in 1952 with self-governance and a 10-year period of support from Ethiopia. In 1962 Ethiopia annulled the Eritrean parliament and formally annexed Eritrea.
The invasion was resisted by the Eritrean People’s Liberation Front (ELF) and a 30-year armed struggle came to an end on May 24th 1991, when ELF forces entered the capital Asmara.
The current flag of Eritrea was adopted on May 24th 1993. the motif of an olive branch encircled by a wreath represents Eritrean autonomy. The colours are based on the flag of the (ELF).