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Flag Facts

There are 195 countries in the world (depending on how you count them), and of course there are just as many different national flags around the world.

But did you know...

Jamaica flag
Mauritania flag

The majority of national flags contain at least one of the following colours: red, white or blue.


The flags of Jamaica, Mauritania and Sri Lanka do not have any of those three colours:  

Sri Lanka flag

The flags of every country have changed over the years.  The oldest national flag still in current use is that of Denmark.  The current design was adopted in 1625.

Denmark flag
Fiji flag

A bunch of bananas can be found on the national flag of Fiji.

Christmas Island flag
Cyprus flag

The flags of Christmas Island (a territory, not a country), Cyprus and Kosovo contain a silhouette of the island or country,  which owns the flag.

Kosovo flag
Nepal flag

The flag of Nepal resembles the shape of the Himalayas which are the home to this mountain nation.  Their flag is the only non-square or rectangular flag.

There is a lot going on in Mozambique’s flag and everything has a meaning: the green stripe represents agriculture, the black, the African continent and the yellow, the abundance of minerals.

The red in the triangle represents the fight for independence. The star stands for socialism; the book for education and progress; the hoe for agriculture, and the weapon, the battle for freedom.

Mozambique flag
Switzerland flag

The Swiss flag is the only square national flag in the world. The flag of the international humanitarian organisation 'Red Cross' uses the reverse of the Swiss flag - It has a red cross on white background.

Bhutan means dragon and this is what is shown on the country’s flag. The dragon comes from Bhutan mythology and it holds jewels in its paws that represent wealth.

Bhutan flag
United States flag

The flag of the USA consists of thirteen horizontal red and white stripes which symbolise the first thirteen states that declared independence in 1776. 

The blue rectangle with the white stars represent the number of states. Today there are 50 of them.

If you like these facts about flags then you can call yourself a vexillologist: a person who studies flags

Indonesia flag
Monaco flag

Indonesia and Monaco have identical flags in terms of colour and design. The only difference is in their proportions -  the flag of Indonesia is longer than the flag of Monaco.

Ireland flag
Ivory Coast flag

The flags of Ireland and the Ivory Coast are mirror images of each other.  Their aspect ratio is also different (the Irish flag is wider than the Ivory Coast flag).

Luxembourg flag
Netherlands flag

Luxembourg and the Netherlands also have very similar flags...

...and so do Chad and Romania...

Chad flag
Romania flag

...and Mali and Senegal.

Mali flag
Senegal flag

Libya’s solid green flag (in use from 1977 to 2011) was the only plain, solid colour national flag to ever exist. An earlier, insignia-bearing, version of Libya’s flag was reinstated in 2011.

Libya flag (1977)
Dominican Republic flag
El Salvador flag

The flags of the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Paraguay have the name of the country written on them.

Nicaragua flag
Paraguay flag
United Kingdom flag

The flag of the United Kingdom is often called the Union Jack.  It was created from combining the flags of the three nations: England and Wales, Scotland and Ireland (although since 1921 only Northern Ireland has been part of the United Kingdom).

The flag of the United Kingdom is probably the only national flag which is hard to work out which way is up. It is often flown upside down (even in the UK itself)!

In 1822 the country of Gran Colombia dissolved to form three new countries: Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela.

The flags of these new independent countries retain the colours and style of their former country.

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