A system of governance known as Gadaa was historically used by the Afaan Oromo speaking peoples who opted out of using kings in the traditional sense.
Some see this as one of the first democratic governmental systems and it even had its own Oromo flag representation.
The Oromo peoples were also attributed to having several independent and prosperous kingdoms, which they shared with the Sidama peoples.
For example, within the Gibe region kingdoms, there was Limmu Ennarea,Garo, Gumma, Jimma, Gomma, Leeqa Nekemte and Gera.
Until recently, the Oromos were not known to have political unity and this was caused mostly because of their historical roles in the Ethiopian state and region, various clans in various locations, and their having different religions.
Today, there is a spirit of new unity with all Afaan Oromo peoples and this promises to be a great asset for the world at large, as the Oromo people are known to be creative, hardworking, and enterprising.
The following Oromo - Oromiya - Oromia flags represent some ideologies of the Oromo peoples, both past and present.
The tree shown in most flags of Oromia is a Sycamore or Oda in the Oromo language.
Historically, officials of the Gadaa system would gather under this tree and confer before the main meetings called Chafee.
1. Oromo Traditional Gadaa Flag
This flag and its colors represent the traditional colors of the Afaan Oromo peoples and their Gadaa system.
It is believed that the colors are of the Qaallu turban or Surri Ruufa.
The colors stand for the past, present and future:
Black: Spirits who have yet to enter active life. The black shows that human life is unknown yet.
Red: Those who are in active life. The red shows the fire or the activity of human life.
White: Those who have passed through active life. In a sense the white represents the maturity and experience one attains through age. Bright white shows wisdom and compassion.
2. Oromiya Regional State
This is the current flag that represents the Oromiya Regional State, which is part of a federalist governmental system.
In comparison with other regions within Ethiopia, the Oromos have the largest population, as well as, as surface size.
The flag uses the Gadaa colors as well as the Sycamore tree or Oda .
3. Oromo People's Democratic Organisation or OPDO
Founded in 1989, Dhaabbata Demokraatawaa Ummata Oromoo (DhDUO) or Oromo People's Democratic Organization (OPDO) are one of the four parties that form the ruling EPRDF or Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front coalition.
OPDO replaced the Oromo Liberatio Front (OLF) as the main Oromo political party.
The current ruling OPDO goes along with several opposition political parties in the Ethiopian parliament that believe in the unity of the country which has 80 different ethnicities.
The OPDO flag is horizontally divided with red over yellow and a green triangle inserted alongside the hoist.
It also has the traditional Oromo Sycamore tree or Oda
4. Oromo Liberation Front or OLF
Inequality for the Oromos within Ethiopian society led to the formation of the OLF or Oromo Liberation Front in 1973.
The group then commenced political agitation in areas predominantly inhabited by Oromos.
The OLF is also considered an armed movement fighting for a liberated Oromo nation.
They were the main Oromo ethnic based party in Ethiopia before being ousted by the OPDO or Oromo People's Democratic Organization.
The Oromo Liberation Flag consists of three horizontal stripes of red, green, and red. The center has a yellow disc that is rayed.
It also has a green Sycamore or Oda tree, above which is a small five pointed red star.
5. Islamic Front for Liberation of Oromia (IFLO)
The IFLO or Islamic Front for Liberation of Oromia is a political and paramilitary organization founded in 1985.
The IFLO is militarily and politically based in the eastern parts of Ethiopia.
The group claims to control portions of the countryside in the eastern highland around Jijiga during the time of the fall of the Derg.
The Islamic Front for Liberation of Oromia has a flag with two red stripes and a bluish gray stripe in between.
In the middle, it has an Oromo Sycamore tree or Oda with half the sun's rays behind it.