Portuguese, Spanish, and New Zealand Olympic Teams, 1980
As part of the US-led boycott of the 1980 Moscow Olympics, three countries participated under their Olympic Committee’s flag. While Spain and Portugal incorporated elements from their national flags, New Zealand went with the silver fern.
The tricolour on Araucania’s current flag [top] may be unremarkable, but that coat of arms is damn slick. This proposal from around 2006 [bottom] on the other hand just looks kind of sickly.
This is one of several unofficial flags, but it’s the most common one you’ll find on the island.
Wikipedia, in typical Wikipedia fashion, incorrectly identifies this as the flag of the Jaffna kingdom, a Tamil state on Sri Lanka that was conquered by the Portuguese in the early seventeenth-century. In fact, this is a modern flag used by a pretender with a dubious claim to that non-existent throne who lives in the Netherlands and is most well-known for appearing on some dumb British reality show.
This flag was originally misreported as Nauru’s civil ensign, probably because it prominently features the national flag’s twelve-pointed star. In fact, it’s the house flag of Nauru’s national shipping line.
New Zealand (proposed)
Prime Minister John Key wants to have a referendum on changing the national flag. His preference is a black flag with a silver fern on it, which would would look something like the above image. The current blue ensign has been around for quite some time (since 1869), but the silver fern is pretty old itself. It was being used as a national symbol at least as early as the Second Boer War.
East African Community, since 2009.
The stripes on the EAC’s flag reflect the flags of all of its three original member states: Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. The blue stripes also stand for Lake Victoria, which is shared between the three countries.
The original flag was adopted on 1997, but the seal in the centre was updated when Burundi and Uganda joined in 2009.
Denmark (mourning flag), until 1743
Flying a flag at half mast hasn’t always been the main sign of mourning. In Denmark they used to fly a black version of the national flag.
Turkmenistan (proposed), 2004
The Agzybirlik movement has made a bunch of proposals for the flag of a Democratic Turkmenistan. Someone on FOTW helpfully translated their description:
The theme of the flag is simple and dear to the heart of every Turkmen: scarlet and green (al-yashyl)-are always associated by the Turkmen with abundance and welfare, these colors are the the symbols of triumph, kindness and justice.
Black color-reminds us of hard times being the share of our nation, about the tests trying the existence of the Turkmen Nation. And the disc of sun on the flag is the symbol of the richness of our soil and the source of life. There are other historical parallels to the choice of these three colors:
Red-connected with the Communist history of the country which saw the founding of the modern state of Turkmenistan.
Green- is connected with Islam, the religious faith of the nation.
Black-the color of the flag of the Medieval Turkmen state, suggesting the symbolic continuity of Turkmen statehood.
At the same time this flag was on their website, they had another tricolour with red-green-white stripes. No explanation for that one. Around 2006 they changed their proposal to one with just the red and green stripes and the sun disc.
This would certainly be a more conventional design but I actually think it would be a step down. Turkmenistan’s flag may be complicated as heck, but it’s unique and it has character and it genuinely reflects a local artistic tradition. The proposed alternative is kind of just one more tricolour in someone else’s colour scheme.
Aromanticism, since 2011
Saw this pop up on the tumblr flag tag the other day. I’m pretty up on queer flags but I have to admit this was a new one to me. To quote someone involved with its creation:
Green, (being the opposite, complimentary color to red, which usually represents romance), represents aromanticism. Yellow, like the yellow rose which represents friendship, stands for various forms of queerplatonic love. Orange, being red once removed toward yellow, represents lithromantics. And black represents romantics who choose to reject traditional romance.
Looking at the discussion on that page, it seems like there’s some dispute over this flag, or at least there was in the past. I wonder how widespread it is?
(Also: When I first saw the description I totally misread it as “Afroromanticism” which in my defence would also work with this colour scheme.)
As far as we know the provinces of China don’t have official flags, but at the 2013 China National Games, the various delegations were each flying flags of their own. Most simply had the province’s name in gold calligraphy on a red field. (Inner Mongolia’s was more or less the same as those except it also had the name in Mongolian script.)
There were around a dozen that deviated from the pattern though, including Shanghai (red on yellow), Guangdong (red on white), and Hubei (white on blue). But the most distinctive of all was Liaoning, which had black characters outlined in white on a diagonally divided red-yellow-blue background. Spiffy. The games were in Shenyang so maybe it was some kind of host province thing? Or maybe they just got a bit creative with it.
(Apologies for what I’m sure is the total illegibility of the bottom image. I couldn’t find a good calligraphic font that could render the characters I needed, so I had to trace them off a low-res image. But you get the gist. It’s 遼寧省.)
Prime Minster of the Bahamas, since 1973
The Prime Minister’s flag has the ceremonial mace of the Bahamas on it, with a sun behind it on the bottom that nicely balances out the design.
Cape Verde, 1975-1992
As far as I know, the only country in history to ever have a shell on its flag.
African Party for the Independence of Cape Verde, since 1997
The PAICV governed Cape Verde until the institution of multiparty democracy in 1991. They’re still around though, and doing pretty well for themselves. The current Prime Minister is a member.
In 1997 the party adopted a new flag, which still has a lot of the elements of the former national flag in it. The main new addition is that big white field, which kind of makes it look like those old Houston Astros uniforms.