Friday, January 27, 2012

The flags of Haiti and Lichtenstein (and more)!

Today I watched a new episode (5x14 - The Beta Test Initiation) of my beloved TV-series The Big Bang Theory and I learnt the following curious fact.
Only in the1936 Olympics (!!!) people realized that Haiti and Lichtenstein shared just the same flag! After that, since 1937 a crown has been added to the Lichtenstein flag.

Interesting, since 1807, the Haitian flag has always had - in the center - the National Coat of Arms (COA).
It is formed (see below) by a palmette, two cannons, six Haitian flags, a drum,  the motto "L'UNION FAIT LA FORCE" (French for In union there is strength) and other elements. With this COA the two flags would have been different also in 1936, but unfortunately, it wasn't part of the Haiti civil flag but only the military one, therefore the inconvenient during the Olympics!

National Coat of Arms of Haiti

The flag of Haiti

The flag of Lichtenstein 

Interestingly, the case of the flags of Haiti and Lichtenstein is not unique!

Still today, there are other examples of similar (or almost identical) flags! Sometimes the similarities are fortuitous while in others they are intended because there are historical reasons behind.

Here are a few examples! Enjoy!

Monaco and Indonesia: different only for their proportion (the colors are red and white).
And if you forget about the moon and stars they very similar to Singapore too! Not to mention that with a reversed order of colors (white then red!) you have Poland! 

(Monaco, from wikipedia

(Indonesia, from wikipedia)

 (Singapore, from wikipedia)

(Poland, from wikipedia)

 It's also very interesting the case of Austria and Lebanon:

(Austria, from wikipedia)

(Lebanon, from wikipedia)

Also Latvia has colors similar to those of Austria and Lebanon (but the red is darker!)

(Latvia from wikipedia)

Turkey and Tunisia play instead of the position of the star and the crescent moon!

 (Turkey, from wikipedia)

(Tunisia, from wikipedia)

Apparently, a very popular combination of colors is blue, yellow and red, since they are on the flags of Romania, Chad, Moldavia and Andorra (vertical stripes) and in those of Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela (horizontal stripes)!!!

The flags of Romania and Chad

(Romania, from wikipedia)

(Chad, from wikipedia)

The flags of Moldova and Andorra (ok, at least there are different symbols in the middle...)

(Moldova, from wikipedia

(Andorra, from wikipedia)

Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela share similar flags due to historical reasons given they were part (for a while) of Gran Colombia, the country they composed upon their independence from Spain.

  (Colombia, from wikipedia)

(Ecuador, from wikipedia)


 (Venezuela, from wikipedia)

But please do not confuse the flags of these countries (and especially Columbia!) with the one of Armenia! The colors are the same, just the order is different!

(Armenia, from wikipedia)

Once again, due to historical reasons (i.e. the Arab revolt of 1916–1918), EgyptIraq, Syria and Yemen share also similar flags:

(Egypt, from wikipedia)

(Iraq, from wikipedia)

(Syria, from wikipedia)

(Yemen, from wikipedia)

White, blue and red are popular colors in all the Slavic countries and in particular for Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia and Serbia that have very similar flags.

(Russian Federation, from wikipedia)

(Slovakia, from wikipedia)

 (Slovenia, from wikipedia)

and with reversed colors ... Serbia!

(Serbia from wikipedia)

And let's finish with Australia and New Zealand, both having similar flags due to the British heritage:

 (Australia, from wikipedia)

(New Zealand, from wikipedia)

If you relax the condition of having pretty much the same order and/or tone of colors, the number of similar flags grows heavily!

For example: order comes into play to distinguish Ireland and Ivory Cost

(Ireland, from wikipedia)

(Ivory Cost, from wikipedia)

About tones... if you assume that the lighter Italian green is not that different from the darker Mexican one, well... it turns out that Italy and Mexico have similar flags too (except for the Mexican COA)!

(Italy, from wikipedia)

(Mexico, from wikipedia)

Hungary and Tajikistan

(Hungary, from wikipedia)

(Tajikistan, from wikipedia

Curious the comparison between Nicaragua and El-Salvador, where the tone of blue is different but the symbols in the middle look similar!

(Nicaragua from wikipedia)

(El Salvador,  from wikipedia)

And do not forget all the Nordic countries Iceland, Faroe Islands, Orkney Islands, Yorkshire West Riding, Shetland Islands, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Åland Islands, Finland.

 (a nice image from wikipedia)

The Netherlands and Luxembourg are also quite similar...

(The Netherlands, from wikipedia)

(Luxembourg, from wikipedia)

In the case of Cuba and Puerto Rico, the colors are inverted

(Cuba, from wikipedia)

  (Puerto Rico, from wikipedia)

With Burma (Myanmar) and Lithuania it is just a play of tones... and a star!

(Burma (Myanmar), from wikipedia)

(Lithuania, from wikipedia)

And last but not least: Czech Republic and Philippines

(Czech Republic from wikipedia)

(Philippines from wikipedia)

Have you read everything until this point? I am proud of you!

The material in this post could have been the content of an episode of Fun with flags starring Sheldon Cooper and Amy Farrah Fowler! :)

Anyway I just wanted to let you know that if you enjoyed this post, you may like this one too! 
It shows some of the most strange, special flags around the world.

Keep visiting my blog or just insert your email in the appropriate field on the right to know when a new post is published! Trust me, it's totally worth it :)

and a lot of other wikipedia's links!!! 



Geoffrey said...

Fascinating. Must have been a startling revelation for them! It seems weird to me to have different civil and military flags...and Haiti using just one flag would have prevented the problem!

eddie said...

You are right! unfortunatly it seems pretty common for many Countries to have more than one flag (civil, military, nautical).

Anonymous said...

You forgot to add Slovenia's flag - almost identical to Slovakia's.

Anonymous said...

See Slovenian flag also. Similar to Russian and Slovak.

Anonymous said...

I've got another one: Lithuania and Burma.

eddie said...

Updated! Thanks!

eddie said...


eddie said...

I mentioned at the end, but the tones of colors and the star make them a bit different!

Anonymous said...

don't forget the argentina flag, same to nicaragua and el salvador ;)

eddie said...

I didn't include the Argentinian flag because it has a Sun in the middle and the blue stripes are ... well pale-blue :)
The two things make it - in my opinion - clearly different from those of Nigaragua and El Salvador :)

dedi cated said...

add kktc like turkey flag.

eddie said...

Thanks for your comment.
I haven't included the "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus" because it is strongly related to Turkey, as the name says :)

Anonymous said...

Austria & Latvia are quite similar, just different shades.

Anonymous said...

Luxembourg & the Netherlands?

Anonymous said...

You can also throw the entire Scandinavian region in there.
Iceland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, the Orkney islands, The Faroe Island and the Åland Islands all share the "Nordic cross" design, only changing the colors.

eddie said...

Yeah, you're right! I will update the post later today!

eddie said...


Elizabeth Rodriguez said...

Cuba and Puerto Rico

eddie said...

Sorry for the late answer! I have just updated the post with your suggestion! Thanks!

A. Shkiperov said...

about slavic flags - Serbia has same colors reversed

A. Shkiperov said...

And as I remember, Bahrain has white/red flag.

eddie said...


eddie said...

Yes, it is but is also peculiar in a certain way... that serrated line makes it special.
Maybe I can write a special post about that... :)
Thanks for your comment!

eddie said...

I added Bahrain, but to this other post:

Mauricio Sierra said...

Also the flag of Armenia is the upside down flag of Venezuela without the stars.

eddie said...

You are right!
Post updated!

eddie said...


JCTouzet said...

Perú and Canada is another case. They have the same colors and patterns, the only difference is that Canada has a maple leaf and Perú it's coat of arms.

JCTouzet said...

I have to say that the other difference is that the white rectangle is wider in the Canada Flag, in Perú flag the 3 rectangles are of the same size.

Anonymous said...

Hello, there is another country, better said Kingdom (not-existing yet), the Kingdom of Bohemia (1198–1918) with similar flag to Poland´s one.
And what about Protectorate of Czech and Moravia with tri-color flag similar to Russian one (however with different order of colors)?
And there is Latvia with its flag similar to Austria´s one, only the red color is a bit different.
And what about similar flags of Bahrain and Qatar, there is only the difference in colors.

eddie said...

Sorry for the late answer!
I do not put flags of old countries/kingdom otherwise this already long post will grow even more :) but I did include Latvia :)

About Bahrain and Qatar, they are discussed in another post

Anonymous said...

Hello, and what about similar flags of the Czech republic and the Philippines?I think, they should also be mentioned here.

eddie said...

Here is! I will probably make another post to include just the similar flags :)
Thanks for your contribution!

Anonymous said...

Hello, I found another couple of flag pairs/ groups, hope you´ll choose any of these suggestions as valid for this web-site:
Paraguay - Croatia,
Malawi - Libya (new flag, NO that green one),
French Polynesia to the group of Austria and Lebanon,
Niger - India,
Morocco - Viet Nam,
Bangladesh - Japan - Palau (cases of big dot on another colour),
Bulgary - Hungary (and similar to them and very similar one to another: Iran - Tajikistan - Somaliland),
USA - Malaysia - Liberia,
Lesotho - Uzbekistan - Siera Leone (reverse order),
Senegal - Mali - Guinea,
Uruguay - Greece,
Taiwan - Samoa - Burma/Myanmar - Tonga (maybe),
Bolivia - Ethiopia - Ghana (reverse),
Costa Rica - North Korea - Thailand (reverse) (maybe Swaziland similar to North Korea),
Laos - Belize - Kambodja (reverse),
Nigeria - Norfolk Island.

eddie said...

Thanks for your contribution!
I will go through it, but I guess it's really time to make a new post. E.g. If we consider all the possibilities coming from reversing the order of colors... well we can include many more flags!

---------------- said...

What about countries like Kuwait, Jordan, UAE, Palestine and Sudan, they all have very similar flags

eddie said...

you are right! they will be part of a new post!
Thanks for your contribution!

Anonymous said...

Heh, interesting article. Funnily enough, I got here after being curious about that bit of Big Bang Theory dialogue. Flags are pretty cool. xD

I feel the need to point out though: You mention the use of a "half-moon" on two flags up there, and the shapes used are crescent moons, not half ones. c: (and... your egregious overuse of the exclamation point is a little worrying... eheh. ^^;)

eddie said...

It seems you really went through the post!
You're definitely right and I made the correction :)
Keep following the blog!

DoctorBastardo said...

Hey Mali is also Red/Green/Yellow and including the english PART OF a county. Thats county not country, Blighty is made up of lots of countys.... Some counties have decent claims on being countries (cornwall) and there are of course England, Wales etc etc.... The irish bit is disputed and the scots may well leave the united kingdom shortly.... THE WEST RIDING OF YORKSHIRE is frankly incredible. Are you by any chance american??????? This is why some people think americans dont have a clue about the rest of the world.... brilliant just brilliant..... yeah giggling so much im typing with one finger...... i am not normally a troll but COME ON...... Then again there are yorkshiremen who no doubt want independence lol

eddie said...

WOW man! I will try to have a look :)

Marcos Vega said...

The situation at the 1936 Olympics must have been akin to two women who show up at a party wearing the same dress. Awkward!

eddie said...

@Marcos Vega
yeah ... kinda of!

eddie said...

it seems so :(

DeeDee said...

This was a great find that I really enjoyed reading. I felt like I was watching a Fun with Flags episode :-)

eddie said...

Thanks DeeDee for your comment!
I made me laugh ;)

Michael Handel said...

what about Hunagry and Tajikistan

eddie said...

Thanks Michael!
I updated the post!