The Styrian flag is the only one I know of that features a panther. No, not the black jungle cat, the weird pale horned firebreathing goat creature of ancient legend. Those ancients sure came up with some weird shit.
Ontario (unofficial), 1962-1965
When the Garden of the Provinces in Ottawa was opened in 1962, a set of unofficial flags were made to represent the country’s provinces and territories. Each flag had a provincial shield on a plain coloured background. The colours were arbitrary. Some were white, some red, some blue; PEI’s was green and Ontario’s was yellow. The flags soon spread beyond the garden and effectively became unofficial provincial flags.
Already in 1962 there were four provinces with flags of their own. By the end of the decade every province had one. But despite provincial reservations, the federal government continued flying the plain coloured flags until the mid 1970s. When Alberta finally adopted its flag in 1968 it just went with the plain blue flag from Ottawa, making it the last survivor of a weird and somewhat unloved group of Canadian flag designs.
Just in case you were wondering, this flag belongs to THE GOVERNOR.
Ascension Island, since 2013
Four years after it started looking for one, Ascension finally has a flag of its own. The tiny South Atlantic island forms a single overseas territory with Saint Helena (1300km away) and Tristan da Cunha (3200km away). Until the flag raising on Saturday, it was the last British possession without a flag (excluding the Sovereign Base Areas on Cyprus).
The final version is a lot like the proposal I reported last year, but the scroll has been removed and a helmet with green and white mantling has been added.
Governor of Alabama, since 1939
The governor of Alabama flies the state flag defaced with the state coat of arms and military crest. The arms are a composite of five flags: French, Castilian, British, Confederate, and American.
University of North Texas, since 1986
This is a variation on the Texas state flag done up in UNT’s green and white colour scheme. It was first created as a decorative item for the university president’s podium, and it can be now be seen flying around campus.
(designer: Jim Hobdy)
Wadhwan was a princely state in Gujarat. The prince of Wadhwan flew green flag with Shiva’s trishula at the centre.
Today is Cinco de Mayo, a holiday which commemorates the Mexican victory at the Battle of Puebla. This is obviously a big deal in the state Puebla, which proudly carries the date right in the middle of its coat of arms.
Like most all Mexican sates, Puebla has no official flag. Instead a white field with the state coat of arms on it is widely used.
Lasbela was a princely state on the coast of the Arabian Sea that acceded to Pakistan in 1948. It and the rest of the princely states were abolished in 1955 as part of the One Unit policy.
Prime Minister of Portugal, since 1972
High government officials are allowed to fly their own flags, with the Prime Minister’s one being the most ornate. Regular cabinet ministers fly the same flag minus the red border, and the President flies a flag with a plain green background.
Vojvodina (proposed), 1996
In the 1990s, the League of Social Democrats of Vojvodina proposed the creation of an autonomous Republic of Vojvodina within a federal Serbian state. The flag of this republic would have been a simple blue-yellow-green vertical tricolour.
The meaning of the colours was never officially explained. Some people thought they represented the sky, corn, and wheat; some thought they repesented the sky, the sun, and the land; and others thought that blue and yellow stood for Europe while green stood for nature. It’s also been suggested the colours came from the coat of arms of Bačka, a large region in the northwest of the province where the capital Novi Sad is located.
Iran (naval ensign and war flag) 1979-1980
For a year after the Islamic Revolution, the new Iranian regime continued using old state symbols, minus of course any symbols of royalty. The Pahlavi Crown on the old naval ensign was removed, leaving just a blank space above the Lion and Sun. On 29 July 1980 the new Iranian flag was introduced and it was deemed that there was no need for a separate naval ensign.
Crown Prince of Iran, since 1971
The Iranian Royal Family was granted a set of sky blue flags a few years before the 1979 Revolution. The Shah and Empress of Iran had their own ornate emblems, but the Crown Prince’s flag just used the national coat of arms. I count four lions, five swords, and six suns on this flag, and I wouldn’t be surprised if there were more hiding in there somewhere.
Reza Pahlavi has kept using his flag in exile, and still uses the title of Crown Prince even after the death of his father.
East Yorkshire, since 2013
England has been on a regular flag adopting spree lately. A new flag for the East Riding of Yorkshire was unveiled yesterday. It features a white York rose on a background of blue and green, representing the sea and the agricultural land.
(designers: Trevor Appleton and Thomas Appleton)
Worcestershire, since 2013
A new flag for Worcestershire was raised at Worcester cathedral last Monday. It features a local pear variety called the black Worcester, which has been a symbol of the county since the middle ages. The background of the flag symbolizes the rivers and hills that run through the county.
Interestingly, the shield in the centre of the flag isn’t a “real” coat of arms, although it does look a bit like the arms of the city of Worcester.
(designer: Elaine Truby)