While every country has its own flag, these symbols of patriotism sure do bring up a lot of inquiries. From why certain symbols are chosen to what the colors of the flags mean, we’ll examine some interesting facts about the flags of the world.
Flags are national symbols. Every country decided on a specific flag as their national symbol. Before flags, certain groups of people used decorated spears and decorated staff which showed their cultural symbols. Later people used ribbons, leather, or silk decorations on the spears to differentiate their group from another group. Flags flown in the 18th century told others that this particular land belongs to them and that they rule over the people and land.
All cultures use certain symbols with are meaningful to them. Some symbols are even universal, as they have the same meaning all over the world. Here are the symbols that are most used in flags:
Sun: The circle of the sun symbolizes unity and energy. Japan is referred to be the “land of the rising sun” and uses the sun (simplified as a circle) in its national flag (pictured). Another country that uses this powerful symbol is Argentina.
Moon: The moon is usually displayed in crescent shape to distinguish it from the symbol of the sun. In combination with a star, the moon represents divinity. Tunisia’s flag (pictured) has three powerful symbols in its national flag; the red crescent moon and one-star rest in a white circle representing the sun. Turkey and Singapore also use the moon as a symbol on their flag.
Stars: Constellations of stars often represent energy, especially when depicting the night sky or star constellation. The American flag (pictured) is affectionately known as “Stars and Stripes”. Other countries using the stars as a symbol are Australia, New Zealand, and Brazil.
Cross: In ancient times, the cross only symbolized the different points of the compass. However, in the 4th century, the cross was also taken as the symbol of faith. Countries that use the cross symbol include England’s St. George Cross (pictured), Sweden, Norway, and Switzerland.
Triangle: The three points of a triangle represent the Trinity (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) in Christianity. The triangle often also symbolizes strength and power. Countries that use a triangle as a symbol are: Bahamas (pictured), Eritrea, Sudan, American Samoa, and others.
Square: The four even lengths of the square symbolize balance and equal opposites. The Swiss flag is the only square flag in the world.
White is the color most used in flags (at 17.7%), while red is second and in third place is yellow. Let’s go over what each color means.
White stands for peace and innocence. This is also the color of purity. It symbolizes light and perfection. In many countries, white is also associated with death (wave the white flag for surrender).
Red stands for love and emotion. It is the color of life, blood, and passion. It is also associated with power and danger. In China, the color red is associated with good luck.
Yellow stands for happiness and energy. It often symbolizes the sunshine. In China, yellow is considered to be the imperial color.
Blue stands for tranquility and calmness. It often symbolizes the water and the sky. The color is often associated with trust and loyalty, as well as with wisdom and harmony.
Green stands for freshness and fertility and is a symbol of nature and new growth. It also is associated with stability and safety.
Orange stands for joy, creativity, enthusiasm and even revolutionary ideas. As a combination of red and yellow, it is usually associated with strength, passion and activity.
Black stands for darkness and mystery. It is also associated with power and strength.
Purple stands for passion and wealth. The combination of red and blue is associated with luxury and elegance, but also with power and independence. Only a few countries use purple or violet in their flags: Nicaragua, the Second Republic of Spain, and Dominica (pictured).
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