The national flag of Cameroon was adopted in its present form on 20 May 1975 after Cameroon became a unitary state. It is a vertical tricolor of green, red and yellow, defaced with a five-pointed star in its center. There is a wide variation in the size of the central star, although it is always contained within the inside stripe.
The colour scheme uses the traditional Pan-African colours (Cameroon becoming the second state to do so), and the tricolor design is adapted from the flag of France. The centre stripe is thought to stand for unity: red is the colour of unity, and the star is referred to as "the star of unity". The yellow stands for the sun, and also the savannas in the northern part of the country, while the green is for the forests in the southern part of Cameroon.
The previous flag of Cameroon (1961-1975) had a similar colour scheme, but with two gold (darker than the third stripe by comparison) stars in the upper half of the green. It was adopted following British South Cameroon's joining of the State of Cameroon.
The original flag, first made law by Law 46 of 26 October 1957, was the simple tricolor. It was confirmed on 21 February 1960 in the new constitution.