1. Vilches, since 2009

    "Vilches, The City of Quilters."

     
  2. King of Morocco

    Today is the birthday of King Mohammed VI. His royal standard is a square green flag with the Moroccan coat of arms in the centre. The original drawing of the arms had the Atlas Mountains in between the red field and the rising sun, but nowadays they’ve been replaced with an abstract diamond pattern. 

    While looking up the blazon for this coat of arms, I learned that the technical term for that curvy horizon bar is a “fess embowed”. Those heralds had a weird sounding name for everything.

     
  3. Mosquito Coast, 1834-1860

    20 August is World Mosquito Day. This has to do with malaria prevention and is completely unrelated to the Mosquito Coast, which was a British protectorate in Nicaragua. There are a bunch of different drawings of this flag with anywhere between six and twelve stripes, and the Union Jack is sometimes shown as a square. After 1860, the Nicaraguan flag replaced the Union Jack.

     
  4. Grand Kru County

    I love Liberian county flags! So inventive and colourful. The pattern of gold and green stripes on the edge here is particularly unique.

     
  5. North York, 1972-1985 (top), 1985-1997 (bottom)

    The Borough of North York upgraded to the City of North York on Valentine’s Day 1979, and from then on it used the excessively cutesy motto, “The City With Heart”. Hearts featured all over official signage and whatnot, and in 1985 they finally made their way onto the flag.

    Unlike the Scarborough and East York, which still occasionally fly their flags in an unofficial capacity, North York dumped its flag when it amalgamated with the City of Toronto in 1997. Most people probably don’t even remember either of these existed.

     
  6. Ambassadors of Chile

    I imagine the Chilean Ambassador to Iceland must get a lot of confused looks.

     
  7. flaglog:

    Metropolitan Toronto (?-1997)

    Before Amalgamation, Toronto was a two-tier municipality, with Metropolitan Toronto being the upper level. Metro’s logo was made up of six interlocking rings, representing Etobicoke, YorkScarborough, North York, East York, and the old City of Toronto.

    I’m not quite sure when this flag was adopted, but I live like ten minutes from the city archives so I could probably figure it out if I wasn’t such a lazy jerk.

    Update! This flag was adopted in the year 1978. The more you know.

     
  8. Chad, since 1959

    When Chad became independent on 11 August 1960, Romania’s blue-yellow-red tricolour had a communist emblem on it, so the two flags were distinguishable. But after the Cold War, Romania reverted to its original plain tricolour and the two countries wound up with identical flags.

    The two flags are occasionally said to differ in their shade of blue, with Chad’s being PMS 281c and Romania’s being PMS 280c, but that’s such a small difference that it’s almost impossible to tell them apart, and in practice neither flag uses a single blue shade consistently.

     
  9. Malaya, 1949 proposal

    Given how much the Malaysian flag looks like the American flag, it might surprise you to learn that its red, white and blue colour scheme was actually chosen before its American-style layout. The colours were selected because they were the most common ones in the individual sultanates (yellow was fourth). One popular element from the proposals that didn’t make it onto the final flag was a pair of crossed kris daggers.

    (Incidentally Wikipedia seems to suggest that the Malaysian flag is based on the East India Company flag, but comments from people involved with the creation and selection of the Malayan flag make it clear that it was based on the Stars and Stripes.)

     
  10. Rarotonga, c.1858-1888

    If you ask people to think of a South Pacific colour scheme, they’ll normally go to colours like turquoise and orange and green. But the flags adopted by the South Pacific kingdoms in the 19th century — designed in the shadow of French, British, and American imperialism — were mostly red, white and blue. (Red in particular was a sacred colour in Polynesia and used liberally there.) The kingdom of Rarotonga here became a British protectorate in 1888 (at which point it added a union jack to the top left corner of its flag) and then later became a colony called the Cook Islands Federation. The territory lost the right to fly a distinct flag when it was transferred to New Zealand in 1901, but this original Rarotonga ensign was still used until the death of Makea Takau in 1911.

     
  11. Amman, since 2009

    City flags aren’t very common in the Arab world, so it’s nice to see that the Jordanian capital has such a cool and unique one. It’s more logo-y than flaggy to be sure, but I think it works.

     
  12. Yugoslavia, 1918 proposal

    On 4 July 1918 a Yugoslavian flag was raised for the first time at the Agricultural Building in Washington D.C. At this point, Yugoslavia didn’t actually exist, and neither a national flag nor a state coat of arms had been selected for it. But the nascent country did have a royal coat of arms, and that was apparently what was used at the ceremony. A New York Times article about the flag raising describes a red-blue-white tricolour — like that used by Serbia or Montenegro — with an emblem that combined the arms of Serbia, Croatia, and Slovenia on the blue stripe.

    When Yugoslavia’s national symbols were formally adopted later that year, the tricolour was blue-white-red and the Slovenian compartment of the coat of arms was a crescent and three golden stars instead of the blue Carniolan eagle.

     
  13. Pakistan, naval jack since 1960

    If Pakistan was a line of clothing this would be its attempt at an upscale rebrand.

     
  14. Swedish-Danish Icebreaker Service

    Around World War II, Sweden and Denmark teamed up to form a Scandinavian icebreaking dream team. Their ships flew this triangular pennant made up of both their national colours. Much like the ice they once cleared, the two countries have since broken up.

     
  15. Colombian Air Force, ensign

    Bet you can’t guess Colombia’s national colours.