I Like Flags

Watching sport where there is more than one country involved gets me a bit excited… sometimes. Moreso when it’s something like the Olympics, or the World Cup (or Eurovison). I love watching sport. I love the excitement, the suspense, the booze and snacks…

I also love the flags.

(and the national anthems, but that’s another story)

Call me strange, but that kind of thing interests me. I like design. After watching yet another multinational tournament, I started to look up a few of the flags and found a whole new world (trying really hard not to burst into song here) of weird and wonderful flags of all nations.

I used to know all the European flags as a kid, after spending a good 6 months travelling around the continent. There isn’t much from Europe in this crop, but I did manage to come up with some of the more interesting, beautiful, ugly and slightly odd flags from around the world.

I’m possibly going to entertain nobody but myself here… but I’m kind of used to that, being an only child and all. If you want to play with me, you can come along. I don’t mind at all. I know I’m not the only geeky geek in the house…

I’ve narrowed it down to my Top 20.

It would be less, but I had enough trouble narrowing it down to this many.

So, without further ado…. and in no particular order….

BELIZE
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Aaaand first off the mark we have Belize. That wreath reminds me of one of those optical illusions where if you stare at the dot in the middle the circle starts moving around. Check it out! It’s moving! Except there is no dot in the middle.
What we have here is ebony and ivory working in perfect harmony… yet a bit apart. Or are they side by side? It says something about the country. They work the land. That’s what they do. Anyone got a problem with that? I don’t think you’d wanna fight those guys.. You might end up with a shovel in the head.

This flag also looks a bit like a corporate logo for a Latin American Kibbutz (?) Huhhh.

BAHRAIN
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Aww. It looks like the Burger King is having a bit of a nap. Other than that, I guess it’s quite striking, if a bit on the nautical side.

Sweet dreams, Burger King. When you wake, I’ll have a Whopper with cheese, add bacon. Thanks.

GEORGIA
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I’d love to live under this flag. It brings to mind all things medieval and knights of old. How wonderful. I also think it says, “Don’t fuck with us!”…and having met a few Georgian rugby players, I wouldn’t be doing anything of the sort.

GIBRALTAR
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Speaking of things medieval, come in Wizard of Id!

The King is a fink…!

How cool is that flag?

TUVALU
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One of the world’s smallest independant nations. A group of nine islands, smack bang in the middle of the Pacific. About halfway between Hawaii and Australia. So, if you’re ever trying to swim across, remember you have a rest stop. Isn’t that nice to know? I’m sure they have coconuts.

This flag makes me giggle every time I look at it because it looks like a drunk Aussie has tried to draw the Australian flag. Either that, or it’s the end result of a game of ‘Pin The Stars On The Southern Cross’…

ANTARCTICA
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Who knew that Antarctica has its own flag?

Part Rorsarch Ink Blot Test, part rhinoceros head…. you figure it out. The penguins must be pleased.

ANDORRA
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I like this one because it has moo cows on it. Any flag with moo cows on it is alright with me.

“Hello, we are from Andorra and we have cows”. Fantastic.

SWAZILAND
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Ah.. here we have Africa tapping into their rich visual heritage. It makes a strong statement about the country it’s representing. It’s a fine flag all ’round, but really I just like saying SWAZILAND.

Oh, and Richard E. Grant comes from Swaziland and Richard E. Grant rules. The end.

HONG KONG
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This flag must always be flown in conjunction with the Chinese flag and it’s not a Hibiscus flower, it’s a Bauhinia Blakensis. Okay? Good. I’m glad we’ve got that sorted. It is rather pretty though, don’t you think?

Can someone email this to Waldeck’s Garden Centre? I think they need a new logo.

LEBANON
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Ah, yes. I always think of lush, green trees when I think of Lebanon. Doesn’t everyone? An interesting, paradoxically peaceful symbol in a country that is effectively a bloody mess. I went there as a child and I don’t remember much except a lot of concrete and men with big guns.

I mean, I know the Cedar is native to Lebanon, but who are they trying to fool, exactly? Wishful thinking, perhaps…

GREENLAND
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I think this flag is hot. I dig it for it’s retro 60’s/70’s interior design sensibilities. It would make some fabulous wallpaper, no?

NEPAL
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Trust Nepal to think outside the square. The only national flag on the planet that isn’t a horizontal rectangle. They’re dancing to their own tune and it shows. Good on ya Nepal!

ISLE OF MAN
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Freaky freak show!! Haha! I LOVE this flag. This is my favourite. It has a sense of humour. How good is that? I also love that it’s rich in Anglo/Celtic mythology. Rock on.

TURKMENISTAN
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Just like the old Silk Road from Europe to Asia… or possibly a Persian carpet runner I once owned….

MYANMAR
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The country formerly known as Burma. They have corn! Is it corn? Does Burma grow a lot of corn? If they don’t grow a lot of corn, you’d have to wonder why the hell they have a head of corn on their flag … What’s all that about?

LESOTHO
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Hehe… The national emblem of Lesotho is a finger puppet. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. I like finger puppets. Finger puppets are fun.

Either that, or the ol’ Rorsach Ink Blot Test is back…

KIRIBATI
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What’s this? Kiribati sinking beneath the waves of the Pacific due to the effects of Global Warming?

Oh, well. At least the bird looks like he’s having fun….

SAUDI ARABIA
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Does anyone here speak Arabic? So accessible, as you would kind of expect, really.

Oh, oh… I just took a crash course in Arabic. It is apparently the Muslim creed, “There is no god but God; Muhammed is the Messenger of God”. Consider yourself told.

TIBET
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I like this one. A little psychedelic, complete with oddly coloured sunbeams, swirls and spooky green monsters… and strangely asymmetrical with the unfinished yellow border…

Tibet’s flag is of course, due to its national state of limbo, unrecognised. I dunno, it looks pretty recognisable to me…

UGANDA
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A German (?) cock in Africa, from the country that gave us Idi Amin. There has to be some connection there. 500,000 dead Ugandan’s can’t be wrong…

Interesting that the recent film didn’t depict him feeding homosexual’s their own penises…. Or that he was stark raving bonkers due to a nasty case of Syphillis? Or did it? I didn’t see it..

So, there you have it.

So, go on…. tell me your favourite.

Or… have I just completely out-geeked myself? Hah!

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32 Comments

  1. steve said,

    May 25, 2007 at 7:00 pm

    Enjoyed your post and learned a few things too.

    My favorite? I’m kind of biased but it has to be the Welsh Flag:

    http://www.cymru66.com/cymruwales/the-red-dragony-ddraig-goch/

  2. Vanessa said,

    May 25, 2007 at 7:04 pm

    I adore the Welsh flag… I don’t even need to look. I’d have included it, if I didn’t expect people didn’t know it… but maybe that’s just me…

    I wish we had such a flag rich in symboism and history…. and WITH A FUCKING DRAGON ON IT…..

    Man.. I dread to think what we’ll come up with once we’re emancipated…..

  3. Vanessa said,

    May 25, 2007 at 7:17 pm

    Ahh crap. I think i made no sense there. It’s probably all that manic Russian music I’m presently listening to….

    Everybody click on that link. The Welsh flag is one of the best in the world. The only reason I didn’t include it is because I figured everyone knew that… but everyone isn’t me….

    Am I repeating myself? I’m so jealous of that flag….

  4. max said,

    May 26, 2007 at 1:03 am

    I vote for Greenland. That is a very sharp flag.

  5. Vanessa said,

    May 26, 2007 at 6:09 am

    Isn’t it just? I would wear that flag…

  6. modobs said,

    May 26, 2007 at 12:57 pm

    Gosh, I’m surprised of the Turkmenistan ‘s flag. With such a megalomaniac for president (oh, wait, he’s dead now), I thought the flag would have his portrait on.

  7. BriGuy said,

    May 26, 2007 at 4:31 pm

    I’m having an awfully terrible deja vous at the moment…
    *takes an aspirin and lays down*

  8. Vanessa said,

    May 26, 2007 at 8:41 pm

    modobs – I was on the lookout for flags featuring the face of a dictator. Nothing caught my attention. I’m a bit disappointed that Kim Jong-Il is nowhere to be seen…. He’d be fodder for much sarcasm and joyful finger pointing….

  9. Vanessa said,

    May 26, 2007 at 8:53 pm

    Brian – I prescribe valium and a memory eraser stick….

    I’ll be here when you awake….

  10. Vanessa said,

    May 26, 2007 at 9:04 pm

    Oh, double dose of Thorazine might also alleviate symptoms. My bad…

  11. paisley said,

    May 26, 2007 at 11:57 pm

    awesome post… i had no clue there were such cool flags int he world… i wish we’d get a new one…. ours is so old and dull…..

  12. Sumbum said,

    May 27, 2007 at 2:25 am

    this is such a good post. I love the Greenland, Nepal, Island of Man trilogy. for very different reasons, each of them.

  13. brian said,

    May 27, 2007 at 12:14 pm

    The Isle of Man flag is hilariously awesome. Thanks for sharing.

  14. Vanessa said,

    May 27, 2007 at 2:06 pm

    Paisley, I think the American flag is a great design. It really suits the country. It’s bright and unique and really suits you as a nation…. unlike the Australian flag which is mostly made up of the flag of another country. Pathetic. I can’t wait til we get a new flag…

  15. Vanessa said,

    May 27, 2007 at 2:08 pm

    Summer – Cheers love. I’m a big fan of Greenland too. And you just can’t go past the Isle of Man. Brilliant.

  16. Vanessa said,

    May 27, 2007 at 2:09 pm

    Brian – Isn’t it just fantastic? I want to move there now.

  17. Jules said,

    May 29, 2007 at 1:56 am

    Having seen the gothic overtones on Georgia’s Eurovision entry and then seeing the flag again, I had a bit of a mosey around and have decided that Georgia is definitely on my list of places to see. Gorgeous scenery and architecture and interesting history. Fancy coming on a vodka fueled trip love? Oooh, we could pop in to the Ukraine while we’re there! 😉

  18. Vanessa said,

    May 29, 2007 at 2:02 am

    I’m right with you on Georgia. I met a few of their rugby players when they were here for the World Cup a couple of years ago and they were an interesting breed. Culturally very different. As you know I have a bit of a thing for the Baltic States/Eastern Bloc now. Hah. Yahhh…. Lets go to UKRAINE!! So sad, I’ve even taken to pronouncing it in the regional accent. OOKRAINA! Heh.

  19. Jules said,

    May 29, 2007 at 4:20 am

    I almost made Dancing Lasha Tumbai my myspace profile song today, but then I thought I’d wait to see if you wanted it first. Hehe. I’m not bothered either way however I feel as if my life won’t be complete without one of those Verka badges. I want one! *stamps foot and pouts*

  20. Vanessa said,

    May 29, 2007 at 5:15 am

    Hah! Brilliant. Let’s both do it! hehe.

    I WANT A VERKA BADGE TOOOOO!!! Hmm. Wonder if we can actually get one…..

  21. Vanessa said,

    May 29, 2007 at 5:57 am

    Alright. I have taken that infernal music player off my page and replaced it with Dancing Lasha Tumbai. I command that you do the same! [snigger]

  22. Mark Base said,

    May 29, 2007 at 6:47 am

    What a wonderfully inventive and informative experience that was. God, that sounded sarcastic – but it wasn’t, honest. I meant it.

    Good on ya. I like your style.

    All the best from Helsingborg, Sweden (which has one of those boring bog-standard Scandinavian cross flag thingies. Yawn.).

  23. Jules said,

    May 29, 2007 at 7:59 am

    I wouldn’t know where to begin looking for a Verka badge.I think we’re in the wrong part of the world. 😦

    I have however done as you commanded and added DLT to my profile. Yay!

  24. Vanessa said,

    May 29, 2007 at 10:43 am

    Woohoo! 😀

    I’m still gonna see if I can’t track them down…

  25. Vanessa said,

    May 29, 2007 at 10:47 am

    Mark,

    Cheers, indeed. You know, I don’t mind the cross style flags. They’re simple, yet striking and effective. Australia, on the other hand is still waiting to cut the apron strings tying us to the UK, so we can have our very own, simple, striking yet effective flag 😉

    Thanks for dropping by and a big thumbs- up to Sweden 😀

  26. suray said,

    May 30, 2007 at 7:06 am

    Hi, how do you do? I’ve seen a lot of flags that you put on your post, but where is Indonesian Flag? Never mind, just kidding. Oh, in case you wanna know more about my country, visit my site and search for Indonesia keyword. Bye.

  27. Vanessa said,

    May 30, 2007 at 7:11 am

    Hi Suray,

    I’m quite familiar with Indonesia. I’ve been there many times. I’m your nextdoor neighbour ;). Hmm, I’d say your flag is a little too simple in design to make it onto this list, but thanks for your comment…

  28. Qelqoth said,

    May 31, 2007 at 11:48 am

    I adore the Welsh flag… I don’t even need to look. I’d have included it, if I didn’t expect people didn’t know it… but maybe that’s just me…

    Being Welsh, that would obviously be my flag of choice. But then, that Isle of Man flag is pretty funky too.

  29. Vanessa said,

    May 31, 2007 at 11:57 am

    Agreed. I have flag envy. It’s a sickness.

  30. Jennifer said,

    May 31, 2007 at 7:36 pm

    Flag envy! hmmm I should make my own flag…… I would put cat eyes on it and tree with lots of roots and water and the moon and a top hat……. and a big pencil no i would just put my powerbook on it……a lap top flag….. for cyberworld…. oh time for me to get drunk and paint something…. wait I started that when I woke up…… never mind…..

  31. Vanessa said,

    June 1, 2007 at 2:25 am

    God, that’s brilliant. I like the first idea. Call me old school. But a powerbook flag would work for me too. Actually, we miscreants really ought to have our own flag. I think you should have a couple of tequila shots (for posterity) and design one for us. Right now. Your imagination is peaking…

  32. June 1, 2007 at 3:30 pm

    http://pressposts.com/Blogging/I-Like-Flags/

    Submited post on PressPosts.com – “I Like Flags”


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