Several Commonwealth militaries have a tricolour flag that looks something like this. The red stripe stands for the army, the light blue stripe stands for the air force, and the dark blue stripe stands for the navy. Kenya’s version has the national flag in the top-left corner and a combined insignia of army, navy, and air force symbols on the fly.
Curiously, the ribbon on this image says “Kenya Armed Forces” instead of “Kenya Defence Forces”. I don’t know if it’s an old version of the flag or just a mistaken rendition or what.
After becoming President for Life in 1964, Papa Doc Duvalier discarded Haiti’s red and blue colours (first flown in 1803) in favour of the red and black used by Jean-Jacques Dessalines when he proclaimed himself Emperor in 1804. The flag remained in use until the end of the Duvalier dictatorship.
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.
Tlicho, since 2005
The Tlicho are a First Nations people living in the Canadian Northwest Territories. Their autonomous government, established by the 2005 Tlicho Agreement, manages an area nearly as big as Switzerland with just 3000 residents.
They’ve got a great flag up their, and you can see a bunch of pictures of it on their government website. The four tents on the flag represent the four Tlicho communities. The sun and the waves represent the words of the Chief Monfwi when he signed Treaty No. 11:
This sun that rises, if it does not go back on itself, this Great River that flows, if it does not flow back on itself, on this land, we will not be restricted from our way of life.
For as long as this land shall last, it will be exactly as I have said.
The proper way to spell their name, by the way, is Tłı̨chǫ. Count yourself lucky if your computer rendered that properly.
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.
Nova Scotia, since 1858
Nova Scotia has the oldest provincial flag in Canada (older than the country itself!) but it will only become official this year, thanks largely to the efforts of a grade 5 student. 11-year-old Regan Parker discovered during a research project that the flag of Nova Scotia had never been recognized by the provincial legislature. She brought the oversight up to her local MLA and he introduced the Provincial Flag Act, which passed its Third Reading this past Thursday.
The flag is a banner of Nova Scotia’s coat of arms, first granted all the way back in 1625. Other provinces have heraldic banners for flags, but Nova Scotia is the only one that never bothered with any kind of official authorization. Instead the public just kind of started using it on their own, beginning with the Nova Scotia Philanthropic Society in 1858 and continuing more or less uninterrupted to the present day.
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.
Wadhwan was a princely state in Gujarat. The prince of Wadhwan flew green flag with Shiva’s trishula at the centre.
Prince of Wales (personal Canadian flag), since 2012
Prince Charles has his own flag for use in Canada, first used during his royal tour of the country last year. It consists of the Canadian banner of Arms with the Prince’s ostrich-feather insignia at the centre, surrounded by a garland of maple leaves. The white stripe at the top with three tabs is a heraldic device called a label, which signifies the son of a monarch.
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.
Podlaskie, since 2002
The colours of the Podlaskie flag come from the Polish eagle and the Lithuanian Vytis on its coat of arms. Coincidentally, Lithuania itself considered using a gold-red-white flag in the 1940s.
Today is the last day that Prince Willem-Alexander will be using this standard, which features the bugle-horn of the House of Orange-Nassau and the castle of the House of Amsberg. Tomorrow he will be crowned King of the Netherlands (the first since 1890) and adopt his mother’s old royal standard. His brothers Friso and Constantijn will continue flying the princely standard.
The city of Spokane has had three wildly different flags in its history. The first was a sharp minimalist blue and white flag, the second was a detailed drawing of the city on a lilac background, and the third was a very seventies-looking design which included blue and white diagonal stripes. The one all three flags have in common is the sun. This is a reference to the Spokane tribe, whose name means “Children of the Sun.”
The most recent flag lay unused and forgotten for decades before being revived by the current mayor. It’s a shame he didn’t dig a bit further and revive this first one. The current flag has a bit of a charm to it, but the original definitely the best of all three.
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.