Almost every country has a standardised flag. The flag of a country is symbolic of the nation itself. They serve as a unifying force for the populace, a source of inspiration for patriotism, and a concrete representation of national pride.
When residents from different nations gather for a common cause, like the Olympics, FIFA World Cup, or the United Nations, flags serve as a convenient symbol of national identity and pride. National symbols, such as animals, anthems, flowers, and so on, may be found in the majority of nations. However, flags are the most memorable emblems.
The flag of a country is something only that country may fly. It is possible, in theory, to determine a person’s nationality just by seeing the flag they fly. But unfortunately, not every flag is as special and distinct as it might be. The flags of several nations have striking visual similarities.
The flag of the Netherlands, for instance, consists of three large horizontal stripes of (from top to bottom) red, white, and blue; the flag of Luxembourg, red, white, and light blue; and the flag of Russia, white, blue, and red.
Due to these similarities, distinguishing between various flags may be challenging.
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Red, white, and blue flag states and territories
The most common colours in flag designs are red and white, followed by blue and gold. Moreover, half the nations and territories in the world utilise the colour scheme of red, white, and blue on their flags.
Almost all flags have either horizontal stripes or solid fields of colour, and many additionally feature stars or symbols, which often incorporate many colours into their designs. Below is a brief rundown of the nations whose flags have red, white, and blue; a more comprehensive chart follows.
Countries with red, white, and blue flags
Territories with red, white, and blue flags
|American Samoa (U.S.)||Cayman Islands (U.K.)||Saint Helena (U.K.)|
|Anguilla (U.K.)||Falkland Islands (U.K.)||Sint Maarten (Netherlands)|
|Ascension Island (U.K.)||Faroe Islands (Denmark)||South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands (U.K.)|
|Bermuda (U.K.)||French Southern and Antarctic Lands (France)||Tristan de Cunha (U.K.)|
|British Antarctic Territory (U.K.)||Montserrat (U.K.)||Turks and Caicos Islands (U.K.)|
|British Indian Ocean Territory (U.K.)||Puerto Rico (U.S.)||Wallis and Futuna (France)|
|British Virgin Islands (U.S.)|
The flag designs’ symbolic language
It is not often that a flag’s design is chosen at random. Rather, the particular flag’s design—its colours, forms, and other features—tends to have symbolic meaning.
The United States flag, for instance, includes fifty stars, one for each of the fifty states in use now, and thirteen stripes, one for each of the original thirteen colonies.
Though the actual significance of the American flag’s red, white, and blue colour scheme remains unknown, these hues have come to be associated with certain unofficially recognised meanings.
In the late 1700s, the colours red, white, and blue were thought to represent the qualities of bravery, innocence, and righteousness, respectively.
President Ronald Reagan revised this meaning in 1986, declaring that red represented heroism and sacrifice, white represented good intentions and lofty aspirations, and blue represented vigilance and justice.
Why do the flags of so many countries resemble one another?
Flags of different nations and regions may seem quite similar to one another. There may be a random element to this, but more commonly it is intended to symbolise the unique bond between the two countries.
As an example, consider the United Kingdom. Every square inch of this flag is covered with the iconic Union Jack pattern, featuring red and white stripes on a blue backdrop.
The Union Jack appears in the upper hoist corner of the Australian flag, and the rest of the flag is blue with one large seven-pointed star (six points for Australia’s states and one point for the territories) and five smaller stars arranged in the shape of the Southern Cross, a constellation only visible in the Southern Hemisphere.
The Union Jack on the Australian flag symbolises six different things: the nation’s adherence to democracy, the rule of law, freedom of expression, and citizens’ rights; its past as a British colony; and its allegiance to the British Empire.
Most British overseas territories, including the Cayman Islands and Montserrat, fly flags that are visually similar to the Australian flag.
The flag of Liberia is very similar to the American flag. All 50 states are represented by white stars on a blue background in the upper hoist corner of the American flag.
The flag has 13 red and white stripes. There is a single white star on a blue field in the top hoist corner of the Liberian flag, which is otherwise comprised of eleven red and white horizontal stripes.
This symbolises the liberation of Liberia by freed American slaves. Each of the 11 stripes represents one of the signatories to the Liberian Declaration of Independence, and the flag’s colours stand for bravery and moral superiority.
The white star symbolises the first African nation to achieve independence.
|Country||Horizontal Stripes||Vertical Stripes||Diagonal Stripes||Stars or Emblem (may be multi-colored)|
|British Virgin Islands||true||true||true||true|
|Turks and Caicos Islands||true||true||true||true|
|Wallis and Futuna||false||true||false||false|