President of Zambia
Orange is hardly a common flag colour, but Zambia’s never been one for traditional colour schemes. The African Fish Eagle in the crest is the same as the one on the national flag. Before independence it was on the shield in a blue compartment, grasping a dead fish.
There’s a decent photo of the flag in flight here.

President of Zambia

Orange is hardly a common flag colour, but Zambia’s never been one for traditional colour schemes. The African Fish Eagle in the crest is the same as the one on the national flag. Before independence it was on the shield in a blue compartment, grasping a dead fish.

There’s a decent photo of the flag in flight here.

Swaziland, since 1967
Swaziland’s flag is said to be based on one presented to the Swazi Pioneer Corps in 1941, but sadly I’ve never been able to find a picture of the original one.

Swaziland, since 1967

Swaziland’s flag is said to be based on one presented to the Swazi Pioneer Corps in 1941, but sadly I’ve never been able to find a picture of the original one.

Donetsk Republic (proposed), since the 1990s
This is the other flag that’s been flying around Donetsk lately, and it too predates the current crisis. The colours are clearly based on the Russian model, but they’re given different meanings. Black for coal, blue for the Sea of Azov, and red for the memory of the 1918 Donetsk-Krivoy Rog Soviet Republic.
Wikipedia identifies a plain version of this tricolour as the flag of the that short-lived state, but as far as I know the flag was invented in the 90s. I can’t find any evidence of this flag being used as far back as 1918. And when you think about it, it wouldn’t really make sense. Why would a Soviet Republic use a flag based on the old Russian tricolour instead of a red flag? Why would the red stripe represent Donetsk-Krivoy Rog if the entire flag was based on that old republic’s flag?
Weirdly, the emblem on the shield in the centre of the flag is the Archangel Michael, which is most famously the emblem of Kiev. It’s weird how all the separatist flags have Ukrainian symbols embedded within them.

Donetsk Republic (proposed), since the 1990s

This is the other flag that’s been flying around Donetsk lately, and it too predates the current crisis. The colours are clearly based on the Russian model, but they’re given different meanings. Black for coal, blue for the Sea of Azov, and red for the memory of the 1918 Donetsk-Krivoy Rog Soviet Republic.

Wikipedia identifies a plain version of this tricolour as the flag of the that short-lived state, but as far as I know the flag was invented in the 90s. I can’t find any evidence of this flag being used as far back as 1918. And when you think about it, it wouldn’t really make sense. Why would a Soviet Republic use a flag based on the old Russian tricolour instead of a red flag? Why would the red stripe represent Donetsk-Krivoy Rog if the entire flag was based on that old republic’s flag?

Weirdly, the emblem on the shield in the centre of the flag is the Archangel Michael, which is most famously the emblem of Kiev. It’s weird how all the separatist flags have Ukrainian symbols embedded within them.

Brunei, since 1959
I’ve always thought the hands on this flag kind of look like they’re shrugging. Like “I dunno, have a parasol I guess.”
Brunei is one of only two countries in the world to have a yellow background on their flag. (The other one is Niue.)

Brunei, since 1959

I’ve always thought the hands on this flag kind of look like they’re shrugging. Like “I dunno, have a parasol I guess.”

Brunei is one of only two countries in the world to have a yellow background on their flag. (The other one is Niue.)

Georgia, 1990-2004
I always thought Georgia’s old flag was better than its current one. The colour scheme and the composition were so unique, even though it was such a simple flag. The flag was based on the one used by Georgia from 1918 to 1921, which was basically the same except for its wider ratio.
(designer: Iakob Nikoladze)

Georgia, 1990-2004

I always thought Georgia’s old flag was better than its current one. The colour scheme and the composition were so unique, even though it was such a simple flag. The flag was based on the one used by Georgia from 1918 to 1921, which was basically the same except for its wider ratio.

(designer: Iakob Nikoladze)

Tobago (proposed), 1977
Red represents the blood shed by slaves, black represents the country as a whole, and green represents nature. In the centre is a map of Tobago in gold, with the island’s motto beneath it.
Gotta say Tobago, Trinidad’s got you beat on this one.
(designer: Claudette Hector Daniel)

Tobago (proposed), 1977

Red represents the blood shed by slaves, black represents the country as a whole, and green represents nature. In the centre is a map of Tobago in gold, with the island’s motto beneath it.

Gotta say Tobago, Trinidad’s got you beat on this one.

(designer: Claudette Hector Daniel)

Maryland, 1904
Happy Maryland Day! The state of Maryland has the fanciest, most heraldic flag in the Union. It’s based on the coat of arms of George Calvert, the 1st Baron of Baltimore, but as a flag it has its origins in the Civil War.
In the 1850s the black and yellow Calvert family arms started being flown as the “Maryland colors” at public events. In 1861, secessionists started flying the red and white Crossland family arms, and Confederate soldiers from Maryland decorated themselves with the cross bonny symbol. In the 1880s, the two symbols started being flown together on flags that looked much like the current state flag (although the Crossland banner was often in the 1st and 4th quarters instead). In 1904 the state flag was officially adopted.

Maryland, 1904

Happy Maryland Day! The state of Maryland has the fanciest, most heraldic flag in the Union. It’s based on the coat of arms of George Calvert, the 1st Baron of Baltimore, but as a flag it has its origins in the Civil War.

In the 1850s the black and yellow Calvert family arms started being flown as the “Maryland colors” at public events. In 1861, secessionists started flying the red and white Crossland family arms, and Confederate soldiers from Maryland decorated themselves with the cross bonny symbol. In the 1880s, the two symbols started being flown together on flags that looked much like the current state flag (although the Crossland banner was often in the 1st and 4th quarters instead). In 1904 the state flag was officially adopted.

Ghana, 1957-1964, since 1966
Happy independence day, Ghana. You’ve got a damn nice flag.
(designer: Theodosia Salome Okoh)

Ghana, 1957-1964, since 1966

Happy independence day, Ghana. You’ve got a damn nice flag.

(designer: Theodosia Salome Okoh)

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.

Araucania

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.

Cape Breton Island
This is one of several unofficial flags, but it’s the most common one you’ll find on the island. 

Cape Breton Island

This is one of several unofficial flags, but it’s the most common one you’ll find on the island. 

Jaffna (spurious)
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.

Jaffna (spurious)

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.

Nauru Pacific Line
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.

Nauru Pacific Line

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.

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.

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.