Saturday, February 1, 2014

Strange, special flags around the world

Following the post about the similar flags, I decided to write a new post about those flags being, somehow, special! 

Special doesn't mean necessarly ugly, even if in some cases...  ok, just have a look and decide for yourself!

Let's start with countries,  even though it is not that easy to define a Country...


Bahrain & Qatar
Other countries have the white and red in their flags (e.g. Monaco, Poland), but Bahrain and Qatar have well distinct serrated lines on them.
In the case of Bahrain, the line is made of five triangles representing the ISLAM's pillars.


Near Bahrain there is Qatar and it also has a serrated line, but composed by nine triangles instead of five. The nine-point serrated line indicates that Qatar is the 9th member of the "reconciled Emirates" of the Persian Gulf in the wake of concluding the Qatari-British treaty in 1916. White is the color of peace and the maroon colour symbolises the blood shed during the several wars Qatar has undergone, particularly in the second half of the 19th century (from wikipedia).

(source: wikipedia)

Isle of Man
This small country between UK and Ireland has a read flag displaying a triskelion, composed of three armoured legs with golden spurs, upon a red background. A triskelion or triskele is a motif consisting of three interlocked spirals, or three bent human legs. It's use in the European Civilizations is very very ancient. A triskelion is also depicted on the flag of Sicily (see after) but Sicily is not an independent country.

(source: wikipedia)

There is a dragon the flag of Bhutan! Do I have to say more?  :)
The Thunder Dragon (also known as Druk) is an important element of the Bhutanese mythology.

(source: wikipedia)

Nepal is the only country having a non rectangular shaped flag, it is indeed formed by two single pennons. Red is the color of rhododendron flower, the Nepal's national flower but red is also the color victory in war. The borders instead are in blue, that is the color of peace. The flag includes also a sun and a crescent moon, both of them used to have human faces (removed in 1962 to modernize the flag). This is the most original flag! Awesome!

(source: wikipedia)

The coat of arms of this flag includes a star, a book, a hoe and an AK-47 rifle (better known as a Kalashnikov)! Even if there are other countries displaying weapons (aka cannons) on their flags, Mozambique is the only country using a modern rifle. The rifle stands for defence and vigilance (reminding the indipendence from Portugal), the open book symbolizes the importance of education, the hoe represents the country's agriculture, and the star symbolizes Marxism and internationalism.
Accoring to wikipedia in 2005, a competition was held to design a new flag for Mozambique. 119 entries were received and a winning flag was selected, but to this day the flag remains the same.

(source: wikipedia)

Switerland & Vatican City
These are the only two countries having square flags.

For the Swiss flag, the white cross was used in the Old Swiss Confederacy (the precursor of Switzerland) since the 14th century but the modern design of a white cross suspended in a square red field was introduced only during the Napoleonic period.

(source: wikipedia)

For the Vatican City, the flag was adopted in 1929 under the Pope Pius XI, who signed the Lateran Treaty with Italy, creating a new independent state governed by the Holy See. Before that treaty, the Popes have been considered themselves "prisoners" (since 1870!) of the unrecognized Kingdom of Italy!
Anyway, the coat of arms (yes ... the symbol on the flag) is made by the papal tiara (i.e. crown) as used under the Pope Pius XI, two keys representing the keys to Heaven (according to the Gospel of Matthew 16:19) and a red cord connecting the two keys.

(source: wikipedia)

Let's continue with the regions of independent countries... 

Province of Friesland (The Netherlands)

(source: wikipedia)

I know what are you thinking but I have to tell you: you are wrong. Those are not hearts! This flag consists of four blue and three white diagonal stripes; in the white stripes are a total of seven red pompeblêden, leaves of yellow water-lily, that may remind of hearts, but according the official instructions "should not be heart shaped".

Sicily (Italy)
As I reaveled in the description of the Isle of Mann, Sicily has also (since 2000) a flag with a triskelion on it.
The triskelion (called trinacria) in its middle, is formed by the (winged) head of Medusa and three wheat ears. The three bent legs allegedly represent the three points of the triangular shape of the island of Sicily itself (at least according to Pliny The Elder). The two colors are homages to the city of Palermo (red) and Corleone (yellow).

(source: wikipedia)
Do you have some other flag to suggest for this post? 
Let me know it in the comments below!


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the art less. I saw The Big Bang Theory episode just recently about the flags of Haiti and Licktenstein. And your follow info on similar flags was quite informative.

Thanks for taking the time to share this.

eddie said...

Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment ;)
Keep following the blog!