International Flags – Pt. 1
Sep 21 2015 12:27 PM
As flag, banner and advertising aficionados, we run a tight ship around here when it comes to knowing our product – which is why we’ve already covered maritime flags, just one of the many fascinating, “secret” sides of the flag universe. Every country’s flag has a great story behind it, so while it was hard to narrow it down to just a few, this series of blog posts will explore some of our favorites from around the world.
Flag of the Earth
Before we start on the inspiration behind countries’ individual flags, imagine trying to create a flag that somehow encapsulates the entire world in one small rectangular space! The “Flag of the Earth” is a concept that has been explored many times, though, as we have yet to encounter extraterrestrial life, one wonders who it’s for – but it’s probably good to be prepared!
Many flag designs have been released as possible choices, but since no committee exists to choose one, the Flag of the Earth remains up in the air. The closest “official” version is likely the Flag of the United Nations, as it is well-recognized and intended to represent all countries that are members of the organization – but as you can see below, plenty of alternatives have been offered.
Nepal scores major points in the “uniqueness” category for being the only flag on earth that doesn’t follow the normal rectangular format. This sky-high country opted instead for a banner-like approach, the triangles of which represent its infamous Himalayan mountain range, which includes Mt. Everest. The red symbolizes the strong spirits of the Nepalese people, as well as the color of the national flower (a rhododendron), while the blue frame stands for peace.
Is something driving you just a little crazy about this flag, but you can’t quite figure out what it is? It’s not just you – the red circle in the middle of the Bangladeshi flag is slightly off-center, and it’s deliberate. The flag was designed to look completely symmetric when blowing in the wind, rather than lying flat; which, if you think about it, a flag rarely does.
Sometimes, flags are borne from creativity, other times, tradition – and every so often, one will be made from pure, practical necessity. Red and white are the traditional colors of central Europe, and so many flags in the region include them; unfortunately for the Czech Republic, neighboring Poland’s flag (which is simply a white stripe above a red stripe) was so similar that the two would often be confused. In order to differentiate the countries, Czech politely deferred and inserted the blue wedge on the left.
We hope you’ve enjoyed these fascinating flag facts! Be sure to check in for next month’s post on more fantastic flags from around the world.