Liberia

Did you know that Liberia, on the west coast of Africa, is the continent’s oldest republic? Liberia is a hot and humid land with coastal plains, tropical rainforests and low mountains. Its name means ‘land of the free’, but decades of political instability have left it a poor nation. Use our collection of resources below to find out more.

Downtown Monrovia, capital of Liberia.
Downtown Monrovia, capital of Liberia. Photo by Erik (HASH) Hermann

A Little Geography…

  • Liberia borders Sierra Leone, Guinea, the Ivory Coast and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. The capital is Monrovia.
  • The country has a population of around 4.6 million people, living in an area of about 110,000 square kilometres. The official language is English, although over 20 ethnic languages are also spoken.
  • Liberia’s economy depends on the export of rubber, coffee, cocoa, timber, iron and diamonds. However, many people are unemployed and more than half are unable to read. There is also a shortage of electricity and running water. Most people are farmers growing just enough to feed their families.

A Little History…

  • Liberia was founded in 1820 when freed African American slaves joined the area’s native tribes. The slaves travelled to this ‘land of the free’ in the hope of starting a better life.
  • The first immigrants built a settlement in Christopolis. In 1824, they renamed the city Monrovia after the US president, James Monroe.
  • But the country has been blighted by years of civil unrest and political instability. In 1980, the military overthrew the government and a bitter civil war from 1989 to 2003, claimed up to 250,000 lives.
  • Liberia has recently been trying to build a democracy. In 2006, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf became the first woman to be elected as an African head of state. She was replaced in 2017 by George Weah, a former football star (who played for Paris Saint-Germain, AC Milan, Chelsea and Manchester City before he became a politician in 2002).

And Some Interesting Facts…

  • Sapo National Park is Liberia’s largest protected area of rainforest, and home to rare species such as the pygmy hippopotamus and the African golden cat. Elephants, crocodiles, leopards, monkeys and chimpanzees are more common, but watch out for the wide variety of snakes – vipers, mambas, cobras and pythons!
  • Liberia is also home to the strange-looking and endangered long-tailed pangolin. Highly-sought after in China for its health properties, these rare creatures are threatened by poaching. Their scales are said to fetch up to $3,000 per kilogram.
  • In 2014, an outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus in southern Guinea saw the disease spread to Liberia and Sierra Leone. Over 11,000 people died in just two years.

The Liberian Flag

The Liberian Flag

You might not be surprised to learn that the Liberian Flag is modelled on the U.S Stars and Stripes flag! The white star on the flag is symbolic of African Unity. The flag was officially adopted on July 26, 1847.


Our Liberia Resources

Liberia Flag Colouring Page

Liberia Flag Colouring Page

Print out our Liberia flag colouring page and grab your red and blue colouring pens. The stripes alternate red and white, starting with red at the top.

Liberia Flag Printable

Liberia Flag Printable

Print out the Liberia flag, with its red and white stripes and white star on a blue background, in four different sizes.

Liberia Worksheet

Liberia Worksheet

Use this simple Liberia worksheet to collect some information and facts about the country.

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