1. The flag on Jeddah’s new monster flagpole is going to weigh 570 kilograms.

     
  2. Granada, maritime flag since 2004.

    I talked about Spain’s maritime provinces in an earlier post but not all of their flags are as conventional as Tenerife’s. Granada’s has a canton in the bottom-left corner of the flag. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen that before.

     
  3. isavorhateasmuchicravelove:

    Sam got his Great Divide flag tattooed today. Picture from puntyhaha on Instagram.

     
  4. Mali, 1959-1961

    The first modern state to bear the name Mali was the Mali Federation, a union of French Soudan and Senegal. Senegal broke away shortly after the union gained independence in 1960 and it replaced the stick figure with a green star. The Soudanese Republic kept the old flag and on 22 September 1960 it officially exited the moribund Federation and changed its name to the Republic of Mali.

    In 1961, the black kanaga effigy in the centre of the flag was removed at the insistence of Muslim fundamentalists, who objected to having a depiction of the human form on the national flag. This left it with a flag that was not only super similar to Guinea’s, but actually identical to one that had just been adopted by the soon-to-be-independent Rwanda

     
  5. "World Peace Flag", 1913

     
  6. Bamileke National Movement, reported circa 1996

    This is a pretty slick flag, but comments on Wikipedia from actual Bamileke people make me think it may not actually exist. Or at least, it may not be as common as a google image search for “Bamileke flag” would suggest.

     
  7. (Source: thetrashkid)

     
  8. Riograndense Republic

    The hilariously-named “Ragamuffin War” started on 20 September 1835. It began as an anti-tax revolt among the gauchos of Rio Grande do Sul, and within a year the province had declared itself independent from Brazil. The new country got some recognition from Uruguay but had little support elsewhere. It was joined by the neighbouring Juliana Republic in 1839 but that state collapsed in a matter of months. In 1845 the rebels were defeated and Brazil resumed control of the province.

    (designer: Tito Livio Zambeccari)

     
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  10. Libya, 1977-2011

    Remember this thing? Muammar Gaddafi’s green banner wasn’t the only single-colour flag in history but there haven’t exactly been a whole lot of them.

    Why was this one so plain? I’m pretty sure part of the reason is that it was originally supposed to be temporary. Until 1977, Libya used the flag of the Federation of Arab Republics: a red-white-black horizontal tricolour with a gold hawk in the centre that was shared by Egypt, Syria and Libya. Then on November 19, Egyptian President Anwar Sadat became the first Arab leader to visit Israel, initiating the process that would lead to the Camp David Accords.

    Gaddafi was furious. He had the federation flag burned in front of the Egyptian embassy and pledged to replace it with a new uniquely Libyan flag. In the meantime he whipped up a plain green “interim” flag, no doubt a reference to his “Green Book” philosophy. But green was always Gaddafi’s favourite colour, and once the interim flag was flying he apparently didn’t see a need to replace it. It was another 34 years before country’s original independence flag was flying again. 

    (designer: Muammar Gaddafi)

     
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  12. Tenerife, since 1989, maritime flag since 1845.

    There are quite a few legends about how this Spanish island came to have a flag that looks just like Scotland’s, but in reality it’s just a total coincidence. In 1845 Spain’s maritime provinces were assigned individual flags. These flags were just supposed to distinguish one province from another, and didn’t have anything to do with local symbolism. The designs were simple and geometric: crosses, saltires, cantons, borders, and basic divisions of the field, and they used just four colours: red, blue, yellow, and white. The Canary Islands maritime province was arbitrarily assigned a white saltire on blue. That province was split into Tenerife and Las Palmas in 1869, and the former kept the original flag.

    Even though the flags weren’t supposed to represent local symbolism, many of them turned into local symbols anyway. (The Galician flag is the classic example of this.) The Tenerife flag made its way onto land, and gradually evolved from a flag representing ships from the island to a flag representing the island itself. It was officially adopted on land in 1989.

     
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  14. United Kingdom (minus Scotland), 2012 proposal 

    Okay just for the record: the idea that the rest of Britain would have to stop using the Union Jack if Scotland separated is just silly. Flags aren’t like automatically updated by a computer whenever the size of the country changes. If the people of the United Kingdom want to keep their flag they are entitled to do so, protestations of the deputy chairman of the parliamentary flags and heraldry committee notwithstanding.

    If you want to see this principle in action, look to the dissolution of Czechoslovakia. Before the split the Czechs and Slovaks had both agreed that neither would use the old Czechoslovakian flag, but then the Czech Republic decided to keep the old flag anyway and there was nothing Slovakia could do about it. Or look at the Comoros. They have a star and a stripe on their flag representing Mayotte, an island which has never even been a part of their country.

    Bottom line: if Scotland declares independence, the UK will be allowed to keep St Andrew’s Cross on their flag, just like Newfoundland was allowed to keep using the Union Jack after it became a Canadian province and New Zealand was allowed to keep the Union Jack on its flag after it became fully independent. So don’t worry about it.

     
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