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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