Geek God Review 100th article: Our Top 15 Favorite National Flag Designs

This is our 100th article in Geek God Review and because we need something popular to be published, we present this sure hit article that will generate so much clicks Google AdSense will cry. Or not.

For our 100th article, we go back to our roots of what this site is all about: unpopular topics that would bore majority of humanity. The topic that we chose: National Flags. It’s not easy, we listed some of our favorite national flag designs to come up with our top 10, but there’s so many of them we can’t seem to agree to a list of just 10. So after a painstaking argument and much bribery and cutting-edge negotiations (involving mushroom-filled pizza), we present to you our top 15 favorite national flag designs. We beg readers from countries not included in this list to forgive us. Don’t worry, maybe we could do a part 2?

Warning: this article will be boring as hell because apart from saying why the flags our included in the list, we will also discuss the meaning behind every symbol, every color, and the history behind these flags. Every details. So cheers!

Top 15: Belize

(Where to Find it: North America)

flag_of_belize-svg

This is a country, believe us, although their flag looked like a US state flag, that’s why it’s on the top list. Anyway, blue and red are the colors of the administration and the opposition parties respectively, and the 50 leaves in the wreath symbolize 1950, when the independence movement began. The arms retain the main features granted to British Honduras in 1907: sailors’ and woodmen’s tools and a sailing ship. That’s a mahogany tree behind the shield and a white and black men purportedly to symbolize equality. The motto means: “Flourish in the Shade.”

Top 14: Swaziland

(Where to Find it: Africa)

flag_of_swaziland-svg

In real life, like if you see it in a flag pole, this is a cool flag with its historic symbols. If you’re looking for it at a map, its within South Africa, like a hole. It’s official local name is, get this it’s cool: Umboso we Swatini. The red symbolizes the battles of the past, yellow for wealth and blue for peace. The black and white Swazi shield is that of the Emasotha Regiment, formed in the late 1920s. Behind the shields are assegais, traditional fighting sticks with tinjobo tassels, made from widow-bird and loury feathers.

Top 13: South Africa

(Where to Find it: Africa)

south-african-flag-largeThe Republiek van Suid-Afrika, we like to say it in Afrikaans because it’s classy, has a kind of new flag adapted just in 1994 after those apartheid shameful things were eliminated. Though we like their old flag more (they have three flags within a flag it’s bad ass, look for it), this design is cool. It belongs to a non-existent flag family that we will now legitimize by naming it as the “Cuba variety” (we’re talking about the triangular thingy which includes Timor Leste, the Philippines etc). It transformed the “variety” to a different level by combining the African and Boer colors in one flag. If you’re creating it with art papers, it kind of not that hard. The flag combines the colors of the Boer republics (red, white, blue) and the African National Congress (black, green, yellow). The Y shape symbolizes unification and convergence.

Top 12: Timor Leste

(Where to Find it: Asia)

flag_of_east_timor-svg

Will say it now, the reason this is included in the list is because of the cool triangular designs and the lopsided star. The colors yellow and red and black are so good in the eyes especially up close and in real life. Timor Leste or East Timor is a new country in Southeast Asia so this flag is new, like 2002 new. This was first hoisted in 1975 when they proclaimed their independence, banned by Indonesia when they occupied the territory nine days later. Red symbolizes blood shed for independence, black for colonial oppression, yellow for spear of freedom. The star is the symbol of hope.

Top 11: South Korea

(Where to Find it: Asia)

south-korean-flag-largeThis is another flag full of (deep) symbols. This is included in the list because we like Koreans (not kidding) and because, well, just look at their flag, wow. The Korean national color of white symbolizes purity, peace, and justice. The central emblem is a reflection of Chinese cosmogony: the cooperation of Yin and Yang. This synthesis is called taeguk thereby the flag’s name Taeguki. The four trigrams in the corner (Yin for broken bars, Yang for unbroken bars). Clockwise from the upper hoist the trigrams symbolize a): heaven, the south and summer; b): the moon , the west, autumn, and water; c): the earth, the north, and winter; d) the sun, the east, spring, and fire. The black stands for vigilance, perseverance, justice and chastity.

Top 10: Cuba

(Where to Find it: North America)

cuban-flag-large

This is quiet a simple flag but some flags originate from the Cuban design so it deserves to be included in the list (though this one originates from the Stars and Stripes). There is something awesome on the simplicity of this design with the perfect blend of colors we can’t help but ogle on it. The flag was designed by Cuban poet Teurbe Tolon in 1849. The Lone Star (La Estrella Solitaria) was selected to light the way towards freedom  and was taken from the flag of Texas. The triangle is a Masonic symbol and the three blue stripes stands for the three sectors of Cuba. White is for justice and red is for blood shed for independence.

Top 9: Philippines

(Where to Find it: Asia)

flag_of_the_philippines-svg

Of course this one should be included or else we’ll lose our citizenship (or else we’ll be shot by our president). Seriously, the reason why this is included in the list is that it is the only flag in the world to, get this, change the position of its colors: in time of war, the upper stripe is red (for bravery) and the lower blue (for patriotism), how cool is that! Once there is this government official who refused to enter a room displaying the flag with the red stripes on top afraid he might acknowledge that the country is at war, which at that time, they’re not. True story. The golden sun with eight rays stands for the eight provinces which started the Philippine Revolution against Spain, the three stars represents the major regions of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao and the white triangle represents purity.

Top 8: Cambodia

(Where to Find it: Asia)

flag_of_cambodia-svgThis is another Southeast Asian flag just because. The Angkor Wat in the middle of the flag is enough for it to stand out (though the real Angkor Wat is way, way awesome). This is the seventh design since 1948, the year of its independence. All of them, except one, bear the representation of the Angkor. Our favorite is the one before this present flag, maybe we could talk about it in the next episode of this article roughly titled “Old Flags and Why They are our Favorites.” 

Top 7: Albania

(Where to Find it: Europe)

flag_of_albania-svg

For some reason we associate this flag with Victor Krum (the Quidditch superstar) although he’s Bulgarian which is weird. The black double headed eagle with its red background is bad-ass. The star on top is missing, but still. This flag was the ensign of George Castriota, known as Skanderberg, the hero of the uprising against the Turks and founder of the independent state in 1443. The eagle stems from the legend that Albanians are the descendants of the eagle. They call themselves Shkypetars which trans;ates as “the sons of the eagle.”

Top 6: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

(Where to Find it: Europe)

1200px-flag_of_the_united_kingdom-svg

The father of most flags, the origin of United Kingdom’s flag, the Union Jack (also called the Union Flag) is so awesome we need to discuss it here. You see, this one is a combination of the crosses of the patron saints of Scotland, England and Ireland and minus the Wales’ dragon, because where will you place a dragon in there? It’ll be weird. Plus, the dragon is not Wales’ patron whatever you might read. So there’s St. George’s cross for England (red cross on white field), St. Andrew’s cross for Scotland (white saltire on blue field) and St. Patrick for, of course, Ireland (red saltire on white field). St. George’s cross according to a legend originates when he saved princess from a dragon and made a sign of the cross on his white shield using its blood. St. Andrew’s cross was patterned after that of St. Peter’s.

Top 5: United States of America

(Where to Find it: North America)

usa-flag-large

It’s a good thing that the blue canton is quiet huge or else those stars will not fit on it. Inspired by the British red ensign, the Star-spangled Banner’s red stripes was inspired by the flag of the Revolutionary Society of the Sons of Liberty. The blue canton symbolizes the union and the 13 stripes symbolizes the 13 states which formed the independent nation. Here are some of the flags inspired by the US flag: Chile (1817), Uruguay (1828), Cuba (1850), Greece (1822), Liberia (1827), the old Brazilian flag (1889), Malaysia (1950) and Togo (1960).

Top 4: Mexico

(Where to Find it: North America)

mexican-flag-large

Three reasons why Mexico is on the list: 1) the legend behind the eagle of Mexico 2) the almost real eagle on its design 3) the unique green shade. The flag is based on the French Tricolore. The green-white-red flag was charged with the national emblem, a modern interpretation of the ancient Aztec symbol. According to Aztec legend, an eagle grasping a serpent on its claws and standing on a flowering nopal cactus growing from a rock in the middle of Tenochtitlan Lake appeared and that was the site where the Aztecs built their capital soon afterwards, claiming it as a sign from the gods. Originally green is for independence, white for purity,  and red for unity with motherland Spain.

Top 3: Portugal

(Where to Find it: Europe)

portuguese-flag-largeThe flag associated with Cristiano Ronaldo (at least for us football fans) is one of the oldest in the world, like older than Ferdinand Magellan. The red stands for revolution, the green for hope. The armillary sphere (a navigational instrument of the Age of Discovery) commemorates Prince Henry Navigator, who inspired the sea voyages that led to the discovery of new lands and created Portugal’s colonial empire. The central part of the shield shows the arms of Portugal, adopted by Alfonso Henriques after the Battle of Ourique in 1139. The five blue shields represents the defeated Moorish kings of Lisbon, Badajoz, Beja, Elvas, and Evora. The five white dots represents the five wounds of Christ, the divine assistance of which helped Henriques to victory. The red border is charged with seven yellow castles was added to the arms after the annexation of Algarve and the wedding of King Alfonso III and Beatriz of Castile in 1252.

Top 2: Spain

(Where to Find it: Europe)

spanish-flag-large

For a powerful country which discovered much of the new world, they need a bad-ass flag so here it is. The basic design of the flag (the yellow stripe is twice as large as the red stripes) was introduced in 1785. With the state arms placed near the hoist, it was until 1931, the war ensign. Without the arms, it served as a merchant flag. On 1936, General Francisco Franco Bahamonde decreed it as official flag of Spain. The colors of the flag are the livery colors of the oldest Spanish kingdoms: the red of Leon, and both colors of Castile, Aragon, and Navarre.

Top 1: Fiji

(Where to Find it: Oceania)

flag_of_fiji-svg

Fiji is an archipelago of more than 300 islands in the South Pacific. Our favorite national flag consists of the Union Jack with the light blue background it’s so good in the eyes especially in real life when it is fluttering in a flag pole or something. For the first time in history, the color of the blue ensign was changed to distinguished it from the flags of New Zealand and Australia. The light blue symbolizes the Pacific Ocean. The central device on the shield of arms, granted in 1908, is the cross of St. George separating local agricultural products (sugar cane, coconuts and bananas) and a flying dove with a breadfruit leaf on its beak, the emblem of the Kingdom of Fiji. On the upper part of the shield is a British lion holding a coconut between its paws.

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