Design Features of Flags From Around the World & What They Mean
The flags of the world are numerous. There are over 200 countries around the world, and they all have their own flag design. Some even have more than one! Some designs are disputed, while some are updated. There are even examples of country flags that are controlled by other countries, so the new country has created its own, unofficial design.
That’s not all! There are plenty of state flags too!
Some flags are instantly recognizable, while others aren’t. Some flags look almost the same as other flags, while others are undeniably one-of-a-kind.
No matter how similar or different, there are some things all flags have in common. Every flag contains the following features:
Although you may assume that the colors used on international flags are chosen simply because they look good, that’s not the case. There is a lot of meaning attributed to each hue, and each one is often chosen after much deliberation.
A few colors that can commonly be found on flags, and their most common meanings, include:Black: Determination, ethnic heritage, and defeating enemies
- Black: Determination, ethnic heritage, and defeating enemies
- White: Peace, purity, and harmony
- Red: Power, revolution, and courage
- Blue: Determination, liberation, and good fortune
- Green: Agriculture, prosperity, and fertility
- Yellow and Gold: Wealth, energy, and happiness
- Orange: Courage and sacrifice
Although those are common reasons to choose various colors for flag design, there are other reasons why a country may choose certain colors. For example, an island nation may choose the color blue, not because they want it to represent determination, but because they are surrounded by water.
There are also some color combinations that carry their own meanings by representing countries in a common area. For example, green, red, and yellow are often used on Pan-African countries, while red, white, green, and black are seen on the flags of many Arab nations.
The way all flags of the world look is completely different. However, you’ll notice that many flags have a similar design, even if the colors that are used aren’t the same.
The triband flag is the most common flag design around the world. Whether the flag features horizontal or vertical stripes, 30-percent of all flags in the world feature this design. Most of the time, all three stripes are the same size, but they don’t have to be.
Other flags contain design features that have their own meanings. For example, the Union Jack is actually the combination of three different flags. The United States flag has stars that represent the number of states and stripes that represent the 13 original colonies.
Flags with simplified designs are popular, but there are also plenty of flags that use more complex images as part of their flag design. For example, the Canadian flag uses an image of a maple leaf, while the flag of Wales features a red dragon.
Nearly every flag in the world is rectangular. However, the sizes of those rectangular flags can vary. Some flags have a 1:2 ratio, as is the case with Britain and all its overseas territories, while others have wholly unique sizes. Many Scandinavian countries have uniquely sized flags. For example, Denmark’s flag has a 28:37 ratio.
There are some exceptions. For example, the Swiss flag is square-shaped, while the flag of Nepal is comprised of two triangles.
Bad flag designs
Countries and states can put anything they want on a flag, but some features are more common than others simply because they make for a good design. Other features are used on some flags, but you won’t see them very often because they don’t make for very good flag design.
For example, nearly every national flag is devoid of writing. It is usually only found on state and local flags because it can’t easily be read when displayed in the air.
Most country flags have basic designs that can easily be recreated if someone were to draw them. Designs that can’t easily be copied by the average person from memory are a lot more difficult to recognize, which means the flag isn’t very effective, and therefore more likely to be designed by a local municipality.
There are many other flags that are highly recognizable, like the flag of the United Nations and the Olympic flag. The Flag Makers has them all! Browse our wide selection, and if you don’t see what you’re looking for, just ask, and we’ll make it special just for you!