Colunga, since 2012
Nothing to say about this flag except that I like it. Spanish municipalities killing it lately on the vexillology front.
Eureka Rebellion, 1854
In 1854, disgruntled gold miners in Ballarat raised what would eventually become known as the Eureka flag. There had been other flags with the Southern Cross before, but I believe this was the first that featured just the cross with no Union Jack. The rebellion was put down when the government stormed the blockade on 3 December 1854.
In the nearly 160 years since then, the flag has taken on some pretty ugly connotations. At first it was just a nationalist symbol, one especially favoured by unions and the political left, but in recent decades it’s been adopted by opponents of immigration, white supremacists, and neo-nazis.
(designer: Henry Ross)
The coat of arms of Leipzig combines the arms of two of its medieval rulers, the Margrave of Meissen on the left and the Margrave of Landsberg on the right. The three largest cities in Saxony all have variations on this design. Dresden’s used to be identical, but at some point the blue bars were changed to black. Chemnitz has the lion on the right instead of the left.
Pittsburgh and Philly have some of the oldest city flags in America, and both of them also have designated ensigns for use by riverboats. The Philadelphia version has the city’s full coat of arms, while the Pittsburgh version just has the castle from the crest.
Pittsburgh’s flag is clearly a copy of Philadelphia’s template, but it’s interesting that no other American cities saw the need to have an ensign. I guess it’s a Pennsylvania thing.
(designer: Henry Christopher McCook [Philadelphia])
Asturias (ceremonial flag), since 1990
There are actually three different official flags of Asturias, all of which feature the Victory Cross carried by Pelagius in the battle of Battle of Covadonga. On the ceremonial flag, the cross includes all of the ornate decorations and jewels that it has in real life. On the flag for everyday use the cross is plain gold. And on the flag for indoor use, the plain gold flag is centred. Some Asturian nationalists have started to use an even simpler flag, with a plain golden cross covering the entire blue field. Like the flag of Sweden but centred.
Kraków (banner), since 2002
Since 1815, Krakow’s city flag has been a simple white-over-blue horizontal bicolour. But in 2002 a new flag called a banner (chorągiew) was created. It seems to be specially for use by the city government.
President of the Republic of Korea, since 1967
The Presidential standard of South Korea has two phoenixes over a hibiscus flower. The hibiscus is South Korea’s floral emblem, and its use as a national symbol has been recorded as far back to the 1598 Battle of Noryang.
Sergipe, 1920-1937, since 1952
The flag of Sergipe is one of three Brazilian state flags base on the short-lived provisional flag of the Republic used from 15 November to 19 November 1889 (the other two being Piauí and Goiás). The first proposal had four stars and four stripes, representing four major estuaries in the state. A fifth star was added for a fifth estuary in 1920 but the number of stripes remained the same. Kind of like the estuary version of the American flag.
(designer: José Rodrigues Bastos Coelho)
Métis people, since 1816
Louis Riel was executed by the Canadian government on 16 November 1885. Even though the infinity flag had been around for a good fifty years before his rebellions, Riel used a mishmash of flags, strewn with shamrocks, fleurs-de-lis, harps, and buffalo. Rather than the blue (or sometimes red) found on the current flag, the main colours where white, gold, and green.
King of the Belgians, since 2013
Today is the King’s Feast in Belgium. I have no idea what that means, but I assume it involves the King having some kind of feast? Anyway, the royal standard changes with every new monarch, as it has the royal cypher in each of the four corners.
This island has one of the darker flags I’ve seen. The blue field represents Chesapeake Bay, the black bar represents the Virginia-Maryland state line, and the green circle represents the island sitting just south of it.
The island’s original settlers were from Devon and Cornwall (represented by St. Pirian’s Cross in the top left corner), and their descendants speak a peculiar dialect of English, which some have described as unchanged since the 17th century. It’s quite a trip to listen to. Doesn’t really sound American at all.
The People’s Republic of Kampuchea did not garner much international recognition during its brief existence, as most countries chose to continue recognizing the deposed government of Democratic Kampuchea.
After 1989 the state rebranded itself as the State of Cambodia and began a transition towards democracy. The new flag was a mix of several old one. The gold five-tower Angkor Wat and the red background of the PRK flag were retained, but the blue colour from the old Cambodian flag was reintroduced, and Angkor Wat became more ornate, like it had been before 1975.
British Indian Ocean Territory, since 1990
The BIOT is an unusual territory and it has an unusual ensign with a wavy white and blue background. The device on the fly is a palm tree with a crown over it, which seems to be imperialist shorthand for “We control a tropical island.” Looking at this flag you would never know that there was a whole group of people that called this place home. Then again, maybe that’s kind of the point.
Emperor of Vietnam, 1802-1885
This is often described as the national flag of Vietnam at the time, although I haven’t yet been able to find evidence that it was used as anything but a royal standard.
The yellow background represented earth, the blue fringe represented water, the red ball represented the south. The colours yellow and blue were also associated with the emperor and with dragons respectively.