Although when the AU was formed, a competition was announced for designing a new emblem and flag, the Assembly of the African Union decided at the Addis Ababa session of 2004 to retain the emblem and flag of its predecessor, the Organisation of African Unity, and adopt them as the new AU flag and emblem.
The palm leaves stand for peace. The gold circle symbolises Africa's wealth and bright future, while the green circle represents African hopes and aspiration for unity. The map of Africa, without boundaries, signifies African unity, while a series of small interlocking red rings at the base of the emblem stand for African solidarity and the blood shed for the liberation of Africa.
- "Assembly of the African Union: Third Ordinary Session, 6–8 July 2004, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 19 February 2009. Retrieved 12 July 2009., p. 15.
- African Union Symbols, AU website.