Swaziland, since 1967
Swaziland’s flag is said to be based on one presented to the Swazi Pioneer Corps in 1941, but sadly I’ve never been able to find a picture of the original one.
Rwanda, since 2001
I’ve always really liked a good blue-yellow-green colour scheme. I think part of it is it’s not too overused (Gabon and Saint Vincent are the only other countries that have it) but part of it is just feels really vibrant. It’s the colour of a bright sunny summer day and it just conveys this feeling of hopefulness and vitality. A good choice for Rwanda.
(designer: Alphonse Kirimobenecyo)
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.
There isn’t always a President of Fiji, what with all the suspended constitutions and coups d’état, but when there is one they fly a dark blue flag with the Fijian coat of arms in gold. Beneath the arms is a tabua, or whale’s tooth.
Ilinden, since 1996
For some reason a bunch of Macedonian municipalities have vertical flags. The shape at the bottom of Ilinden’s flag is the letter И, which is the municipality’s initial in the Cyrillic alphabet
Lithuania (naval jack), 1927-40
There was a set of pre-war naval flags that weren’t readopted when Lithuania regained its independence in 1991. They all featured the double cross from the Lithuanian coat of arms. The state and naval ensigns had the national tricolour with a white cross on a red shield. This naval jack was a lot more distinct.
Halifax, since 1999
April 12 is Halifax Day, although weirdly enough in North Carolina and not in Halifax. The four arrows represent the four former municipalities that were merged into the Halifax Regional Municipality in 1996.
The arc of stars in the middle of Venezuela’s flag used to be arranged in a much less attractive ring. Before that it was an even less attractive clump. I imagine if you go back far enough you’d just find them in a big old heap.
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.
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.
East Indonesia, 1946-1950
After World War II, the Dutch established several Indonesian puppet states in a last ditch attempt to keep a hold on their former colony. By the end of 1948 there were six: East Sumatra, South Sumatra, Madura, Pasundan, East Java, and East Indonesia.
The five western states all had simple tricolour and bicolour flags with various combinations of green, white, and gold. East Indonesia was a bit of an exception. Its flag was the only one to actually include the national colours of red over white, although here too they were tempered by green and gold.
On 27 December 1949, the Dutch-backed states and the much larger Republic of Indonesia were united (along with various other territories and autonomous areas) under the aegis of the Republic of the United States of Indonesia. Over the next eight months, the states were dissolved into the Republic of Indonesia, which once again declared independence from the Netherlands on 17 August 1950.
Burma, 1939-1941, 1945-1948
Even though Burma didn’t become a separate colony until 1937, and didn’t officially get a badge until 1939, the peacock on a gold field had been used as an informal coat of arms since 1915. The design was based off old silver coins minted by the Konbaung Dynasty.
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.