The green color symbolizes hope, the white symbolizes peace, and red represents those who fell in the struggle for independence. The three stars stand for the three major ethnic groups of Burundi: the Hutu, the Twa and the Tutsi. The three stars also stand for the three elements of the national motto: “Unity, Work, and Progress“, which can be seen on the Coat of Arms of Burundi.
The Kingdom of Burundi was characterized by a hierarchical political authority and tributary economic exchange. The king, known as the mwami, headed a princely aristocracy which owned most of the land and required a tribute, or tax, from local farmers and herders. In the mid-18th century, this Tutsi royalty consolidated authority over land, production, and distribution with the development of the ubugabire - a patron-client relationship in which the populace received royal protection in exchange for tribute and land tenure.
European explorers and missionaries made brief visits to the area as early as 1856, and they compared the organization of the kingdom of Burundi with that of the old Greek empire. It was not until 1899 that Burundi became a part of German East Africa. Unlike the Rwandan monarchy, which decided to accept the German advances, the Burundian king Mwezi IV Gisabo opposed all European influence, refusing to wear European clothing and resisting the advance of European missionaries or administrators. The Germans used armed force and succeeded in doing great damage, but did not destroy the king’s power. Eventually they backed one of the king's sons-in-law Macono in a revolt against Gisabo. Gisabo was eventually forced to concede and agreed to German suzerainty. The Germans then helped him suppress Maconco's revolt. The smaller kingdoms along the western shore of Lake Victoria were also attached to Burundi.
Sources: Wikipedia 1 and Wikipedia 2
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