Romania, 1948
While not the most tractor-loving nation in the world (that honour would have to go to Belarus), Romania is the only country to ever actually put a tractor on its flag. It was replaced by a nature scene a couple of months later.

Romania, 1948

While not the most tractor-loving nation in the world (that honour would have to go to Belarus), Romania is the only country to ever actually put a tractor on its flag. It was replaced by a nature scene a couple of months later.

Midway Atoll, since 2000
There are around 3 million birds on Midway and only 60 people, so it’s fitting that they have such a bird-centric flag. I also like how they have two slightly different shades of blue for the sea and the sky.

Midway Atoll, since 2000

There are around 3 million birds on Midway and only 60 people, so it’s fitting that they have such a bird-centric flag. I also like how they have two slightly different shades of blue for the sea and the sky.

Sabah, 1963-1981
In the 1981 state election, the United Sabah National Organization was utterly crushed. They had already been in opposition since 1976, but this time they were reduced to a mere three seats out of 48. (The winning party had 44.) The new government stripped the state flag of USNO colours, replacing it with one that looked a lot like the Czechoslovakian flag. In 1988 the old pattern was restored, but the yellow stripe was removed and the green and brown colours were replaced with a second and third shade of blue.

Sabah, 1963-1981

In the 1981 state election, the United Sabah National Organization was utterly crushed. They had already been in opposition since 1976, but this time they were reduced to a mere three seats out of 48. (The winning party had 44.) The new government stripped the state flag of USNO colours, replacing it with one that looked a lot like the Czechoslovakian flag. In 1988 the old pattern was restored, but the yellow stripe was removed and the green and brown colours were replaced with a second and third shade of blue.

Peru-Bolivian Confederation, 1836-1839
There were actually two Perus in the Peru-Bolivian Confederation. The Republic of South Peru got an entirely new flag and coat of arms when it declared independence in 1836, but North Peru kept the old Peruvian state symbols. The coats of arms of the three constituent states were put together onto this kind of cluttered national flag.

Peru-Bolivian Confederation, 1836-1839

There were actually two Perus in the Peru-Bolivian Confederation. The Republic of South Peru got an entirely new flag and coat of arms when it declared independence in 1836, but North Peru kept the old Peruvian state symbols. The coats of arms of the three constituent states were put together onto this kind of cluttered national flag.

British Virgin Islands, since 1999
"Vigilate" is latin for "be vigilant." Why is this not still a verb? Imagine telling someone to vigilate!

British Virgin Islands, since 1999

"Vigilate" is latin for "be vigilant." Why is this not still a verb? Imagine telling someone to vigilate!

Namibian Police Force, since 2009
The Namibian police flag is on the model of South African police flag, only it has a diagonal line instead of a horizontal one, which kind of messes up the composition a bit.

Namibian Police Force, since 2009

The Namibian police flag is on the model of South African police flag, only it has a diagonal line instead of a horizontal one, which kind of messes up the composition a bit.

Queen of Mauritius, 1968-1992
Before Mauritius became a republic, Queen Elizabeth had a personal flag for use in that country. Like the rest of her personal flags, it was a banner of the national coat of arms with her emblem over top of it. The bottom two panels represented the island’s nickname: “The Star and Key of the Indian Ocean.”

Queen of Mauritius, 1968-1992

Before Mauritius became a republic, Queen Elizabeth had a personal flag for use in that country. Like the rest of her personal flags, it was a banner of the national coat of arms with her emblem over top of it. The bottom two panels represented the island’s nickname: “The Star and Key of the Indian Ocean.”

Gold Coast, 1877-1957
Sierra Leone, 1889-1914
The Gambia, 1889-1965

The British were not the most inventive flag designers in the world

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.

Combined Logistics Command of the Republic of China, 1973-2012
I have to say, if I was China I would be very concerned about a possible Taiwanese flying camel invasion right about now.

Combined Logistics Command of the Republic of China, 1973-2012

I have to say, if I was China I would be very concerned about a possible Taiwanese flying camel invasion right about now.

Cocos (Keeling) Islands, since 2004
There aren’t many places in the world that have brackets in the official name. The parenthetical Keeling comes from the discoverer of the islands, Captain William Keeling. Cocos is just the fancy scientific name for the coconut genus.
(designer: Mohd Isa Minkom)

Cocos (Keeling) Islands, since 2004

There aren’t many places in the world that have brackets in the official name. The parenthetical Keeling comes from the discoverer of the islands, Captain William Keeling. Cocos is just the fancy scientific name for the coconut genus.

(designer: Mohd Isa Minkom)

Pittsburgh (ensign), since 1899 (top);
Philadelphia (ensign), since 1895 (bottom);

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])

Kukurečani, until 2003
The emblem of the former municipality of Kukurečani was a sun with wheat sheaves for rays. A fitting symbol for a Macedonian farming town. 

Kukurečani, until 2003

The emblem of the former municipality of Kukurečani was a sun with wheat sheaves for rays. A fitting symbol for a Macedonian farming town. 

Garifuna people
19 November is Garifuna Settlement Day in Belize. The coat of arms in the centre of the flag is quite ornate, including the “eyes of the ancestors” crying blood up top.
(designer: Thomas Vincent Ramos)

Garifuna people

19 November is Garifuna Settlement Day in Belize. The coat of arms in the centre of the flag is quite ornate, including the “eyes of the ancestors” crying blood up top.

(designer: Thomas Vincent Ramos)

Wele-Nzas (?)
From time to time weird unsourced flags show up on Wikipedia. Earlier this year, a user named EG111111 uploaded flags for each of the seven provinces of Equatorial Guinea, listing only “Own work” as their source. 
This one is the most conventional, and the easiest one for me to convert to vector image. Some of the others are… well, see for yourself. Where did they come from? Did EG11111 invent them or document real world flags? I’m guessing it’s the former, but it’s tough to say one way or another. Just another reason why you should be wary of Wikipedia.
(designer: EG111111 [?])

Wele-Nzas (?)

From time to time weird unsourced flags show up on Wikipedia. Earlier this year, a user named EG111111 uploaded flags for each of the seven provinces of Equatorial Guinea, listing only “Own work” as their source. 

This one is the most conventional, and the easiest one for me to convert to vector image. Some of the others are… well, see for yourself. Where did they come from? Did EG11111 invent them or document real world flags? I’m guessing it’s the former, but it’s tough to say one way or another. Just another reason why you should be wary of Wikipedia.

(designer: EG111111 [?])