Formely Northern Rhodesia, Zambia became independent in 1964 and adopted a national flag of green, red, black and orange. The orange symbolises the importance of copper in the country's economy. The fin flash and roundels are based on the national flag, the roundels also featuring a white eagle.
Before 1980 Zimbabwe was known as Rhodesia and even earlier as Southern Rhodesia. The Southern Rhodesia Air Unit was formed in 1937 and became the Air Force in 1939. Until 1947 Rhodesian aircraft carried standard RAF markings with serial letters SR. From 1947 they were distinguished by the addition of green, yellow and green side bars to the fuselage roundels.
The Central African Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland was formed in 1953. Aircraft of what was now the Royal Rhodesian Air Force carried standard RAF roundels with the addition of three small assegai spears on the central spot to represent Northern and Southern Rhodesia and Nyasaland. With the break up of the Federation in 1963 RAF roundels with a thin white line and carrying a larger single assegai were used.
Rhodesia declared its independence in 1965 but continued to use the 1963 markings until the mid-1970s. The new insignia adopted was a green and white fuselage roundel, the white area bearing a golden lion, and a green and white fin flash. There were no wing markings. By 1979 all national markings were deleted from active service military aircraft.
Rhodesia became Zimbabwe in 1980. Initially no markings were carried. By 1982 however, aircraft carried a yellow representation of the soapstone bird, the national emblem, on the fin. In 1994 a roundel of green, yellow, red, black and white was marked on fuselage and wings. The national flag was carried on the port side of the fin, the soapstone bird on the starboard.