Empire of Ethiopia, 1875
The first flag known of the Empire of Ethiopia was probably introduced under European influence, from 1875 when Yohannes IV unified the country by uniting his kingdom, Tigray, with that of Menelik II, King of Shewa (Showa, central Ethiopia). It could be called an imperial banner. The colours purple (amethyst) and white were of Tigrinya origin and disappeared after 1881. The central emblem, with a somewhat rudimentary design, represents the Lion of Judah (the emperor was considered a descendant of that biblical tribe, the same as Jesus), holding a rod with the Christian cross, decorated with ribbons, in his right hand.