The Ivory Coast is officially the "Republic of Cote d'Ivoire" but widely known as the Ivory Coast. The English version of the original French name, is not so popular with government officials.
French missionaries and trading companies were in 1637 the first European to impact on the lifestyle and culture of this African nation. Soon the French flag was flown everywhere and French became the main language. After the past French influence and over sixty years as a French colony, the "Republic of Cote d'Ivoire" celebrated its independence in 1960. Political unrest which started in 1999 ended with an agreement between political Rebels and government officials in 2003. A close connection to France remains to this day and French is still their main language.
The national Flag with its three colours looks in reverse quite similar to the Flag of Ireland. It is said that the orange colour represents the land and a reminder of the fight for freedom at the high cost of the lives of many young people. Peace, unity and justice is represented in white, while green stands for the lucrative woods and timber resources in the south of the country.