Several Commonwealth militaries have a tricolour flag that looks something like this. The red stripe stands for the army, the light blue stripe stands for the air force, and the dark blue stripe stands for the navy. Kenya’s version has the national flag in the top-left corner and a combined insignia of army, navy, and air force symbols on the fly.
Curiously, the ribbon on this image says “Kenya Armed Forces” instead of “Kenya Defence Forces”. I don’t know if it’s an old version of the flag or just a mistaken rendition or what.
After becoming President for Life in 1964, Papa Doc Duvalier discarded Haiti’s red and blue colours (first flown in 1803) in favour of the red and black used by Jean-Jacques Dessalines when he proclaimed himself Emperor in 1804. The flag remained in use until the end of the Duvalier dictatorship.
Just in case you were wondering, this flag belongs to THE GOVERNOR.
Today is Cinco de Mayo, a holiday which commemorates the Mexican victory at the Battle of Puebla. This is obviously a big deal in the state Puebla, which proudly carries the date right in the middle of its coat of arms.
Like most all Mexican sates, Puebla has no official flag. Instead a white field with the state coat of arms on it is widely used.
Lasbela was a princely state on the coast of the Arabian Sea that acceded to Pakistan in 1948. It and the rest of the princely states were abolished in 1955 as part of the One Unit policy.
Worcestershire, since 2013
A new flag for Worcestershire was raised at Worcester cathedral last Monday. It features a local pear variety called the black Worcester, which has been a symbol of the county since the middle ages. The background of the flag symbolizes the rivers and hills that run through the county.
Interestingly, the shield in the centre of the flag isn’t a “real” coat of arms, although it does look a bit like the arms of the city of Worcester.
(designer: Elaine Truby)
Swaziland, c. 1894
The first reported flag Swaziland was flown just before the country became a protectorate of the Boer South African Republic. The design was a Swazi shield on a field eleven horizontal blue and light blue stripes. If the flag was still in use during the Second Boer War, it was abolished after the British victory in 1902.
Andalusia (proposed), 1883
Before 1918 there were a number of proposals for the Andalusian flag, almost all of which included the colours green and white. The most popular proposal from the 1883 Assembly of Antequera had four stripes: black for the Sierra Morena, red for federalism, white for the Sierra Nevada, and green for the Guadalquivir. A similar flag was proposed at Ronda in 1918 but with the green and white stripes reversed.
Belgian Luxembourg (official), since 1955
The Belgian province of Luxembourg is unusual in that it its officially designated flag is almost never flown, not even by its own government. As you can see in this photograph of the government building in Arlon, the actually-used but unofficial flag is the province’s banner of arms: a red lion on a background of ten blue and white stripes.
Both flags are nearly identical to the flags used by the neighbouring Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. The province’s official flag is just the country’s state flag with a coat of arms added to the centre, while the province’s unofficial flag is identical to the country’s civil ensign, which is widely used at sporting events. Being a Luxembourgish vexillologist must be stressful.
Amsterdam (unofficial) until 1975
Amsterdam’s simple and bold city flag, though based on acenturies-old coat of arms, is actually less than 40 years old. Before 1975, the city flew an unofficial tricolour of red white and black with the full coat of arms in the centre. Flags made after 1947 probably also included the city motto.
The Indonesian province of Aceh officially adopted the flag and coat of arms of the separatist Free Aceh Movement at the end of March. The government in Jakarta has balked at condoning the use of an insurgent flag and has given Aceh fifteen days to “clarify” its by-law. So far the province doesn’t seem to be backing down.
President of Namibia, since 1990
In the first draft of the Namibian coat of arms, the two gemsboks which flank the shield were wearing diamond collars. When Sam Nujoma saw this, he noted that you would be unlikely to see a gemsbok running around wearing any collar, much less one studded with diamonds. The heralds agreed and removed them.
The Namibian presidential standard is based on South Africa’s old presidential standard. The colours green, gold, and blue were chosen because they were the most common submissions to the committee that designed the country’s national symbols.
(designer: Frederick Brownell)
West Germany (proposed), 1949
It wasn’t at all clear what the German flag was going to look like after World War II. Black red and gold was the preferred colour scheme, but the pattern was up for debate. Proposals included a Scandinavian-style cross, a “Republican tricolour” with vertical stripes, and a US-style flag with gold stars on a black canton over a plain red field. In the end the horizontal tricolour of the old Weimar Republic won out in both east and west.
(designer: Paul Wentzcke)