A country’s flag usually has a very interesting backstory. Let’s have a look at some of the world’s most interesting flags and the stories they tell.
Each country has its own unique flag that details tales of a country’s history, culture, and core values.
While the origins of flags is largely unknown, some of the earliest country banners seem to have come around as far back as 11th century BC China.
While in Europe, the first flags to represent nationality were adopted in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance.
Behind each country’s flag, there is a unique and fascinating story of war, conflict, freedom, triumph, and more. So, let’s take a look at five flags from across the world that tell fascinating stories.
5. Nepal – one of the world’s most irregular flags
We are starting off strong with the Nepalese flag, one of the most interesting and unique flags in the world, not only because of its unusual shape but because of the story that comes with it, too.
Firstly, the Nepal flag is one of three world flags that isn’t rectangular in shape. The triangular shape of this particular flag is said to represent the Himalayas as well as the country’s two major religions, Hinduism and Buddhism.
The sun and the moon are said to represent a hope that the country itself will last as long as the real sun and moon.
The crimson red of the Nepalese flag is said to represent the country’s people. Since the time of Ramayana and Mahabharata, the red triangle has been a Hindu symbol of victory.
4. Ireland – representing the union of two sides
Ireland’s flag is one with a fascinating history behind it, one that represents segregation turned to hope and unity.
Known as the tricolour on the Emerald Isle, the Ireland flag meaning is complex and beautiful. Interestingly, the Irish flag was actually gifted to Ireland by a group of French women who supported Ireland’s fight for freedom.
Made up of three colours – green, white and orange – each colour represents the inclusion and union of Roman Catholics, the green, and Protestants, the orange, with white symbolising peace in between them.
3. Mozambique – the country’s fight for independence
Behind every great flag story is a story of struggle, strife, and the fight for freedom, and that’s exactly what you will find behind Mozambique’s flag.
Mozambique was colonised by the Portuguese for several centuries, and so the images depicted on the country’s flag represent their struggle for independence.
The flag of Mozambique was adopted on 1 May 1983 and features a striking design. Featuring horizontal stripes of green, black, and yellow, the red triangle in the centre depicts an AK-47 assault rifle crossed with a hoe atop an open book.
Each colour represents something important. The green represents the land of Mozambique; the black symbolises Africa and its people; the yellow stands for wealth; the red represents the fight for independence; and the rifle represents the armed struggle the people of Mozambique faced.
2. Bhutan – a flag of protection
The flag of Bhutan features a white dragon on a yellow and orange background. The striking image of the dragon is said to represent Bhutanese culture and the protection of the country.
Meanwhile, the jewels depicted represent the wealth and prosperity of Bhutan. Bhutan adopted its current flag in 1972, when the country transitioned from an absolute monarchy to a constitutional monarchy under the reign of King Jigme Singye Wangchuck.
It is distinct and instantly recognisable as it reflects Bhutan’s commitment to preserving its unique cultural identity.
1. South Africa – one of the world’s most colourful flags
Interestingly, South Africa’s flag derives from the flag of the Netherlands, as well as the Union Jack. It consists of red, green, blue, black, yellow and white, making it one of the most colourful flags in the world.
Beginning in a ‘V’ shape and flowing into a single horizontal band, this element of the flag is often interpreted as the convergence of diverse elements within South African society.
All of these different elements take the same road ahead in unity. The blue is said to represent the sky; the green is the land of South Africa, the black is the people of Africa, the white is the people of Europe, and the yellow symbolises gold and prosperity.