1. Honduras, since 1866

    Before 1866, Honduras didn’t actually have a legally defined national flag. It kept using the old Central American blue-white-blue tricolour mostly out of inertia. If you look on flag charts from that era they generally just don’t have an entry on Honduras at all. 

    Even after 1866 the five-star flag was only a merchant ensign, officially speaking. Flag charts from that time period, when they do show Honduras, almost always just show a plain blue-white-blue flag (or they get it mixed up with one of its neighbours). It wasn’t until World War I that foreign sources started consistently using the five-star version. In 1949 five-star flag was standardized and made the sole national flag.

    September 1 is Honduran Flag Day.

     
  2. Telanganaunofficial flag reported c. 2002

    This four-striped flag is reported as the “Telenganan national flag” in a book called the Encyclopedia of the Stateless Nations. Who specifically designed and used this flag it doesn’t say, and I can’t find any more on it. Wikimedia Commons also has another version that goes yellow-blue-red-green.

     
  3. Saint Albert, since 1980

    The Alberta town has a very preppy looking flag. It looks like it should be a polo shirt or something. The blue area represents the original Francophone and Métis settlers of the town, while the red represents the Anglophones that came later.

     
  4. Liberia, 1827-1847

    August 24 is Liberia’s Flag Day. As a colony, Liberia distinguished itself from the United States by adding a cross to its flag instead of a field of stars. After independence, the cross was replaced with a star and the number of stripes reduced to eleven. Some reports have a Latin cross (the tall kind) instead of a Greek cross.

     
  5. Ukraine, 1990s proposal

    August 23 is Ukrainian Flag Day. As you’re doubt aware by now, not everyone in Ukraine is enamoured with the current flag. There were a couple of proposals to change it the early 1990s that never really went anywhere. This one added a third purple stripe to represent the Zaporozhian Cossacks.

     
  6. Vilches, since 2009

    "Vilches, The City of Quilters."

     
  7. 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.

     
  8. 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.

     
  9. 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.

     
  10. 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.

     
  11. Ambassadors of Chile

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

     
  12. 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.

     
  13. 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.

     
  14. 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.)

     
  15. 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.