48 Of The Best Flags On Earth

On April 21, 2013 by Tim Newman


(Original image courtesy of Danilka’s Blog)

Below is an exquisite collection of world flags. From Bahrain to Burundi, we examine some of the finest flags that planet Earth has to offer.

What’s your favourite flag of all time? If you’re anything like me, you’ll find that a very tricky question to answer. There are simply too many fine looking flags out there to choose from.

But over the last few years, I’ve put together a few online collections that showcase the wonderful drama of flags.

There is something magical in the simplicity of a flag.

Whether you like flags or not, sit back, relax, and enjoy the onslaught of some of the best regional and country flags known to man:

American Samoa

American Samoa Flag

If you’d like to know a bit more about the flag of American Samoa here’s an article.


Andorra Flag

The coat of arms in the centre shows an Urgell, Foix, Bearn, and Catalonia; the motto reads VIRTUS UNITA FORTIOR (Strength united is stronger).

The flag combines the blue and red of the French flag with the red and yellow of Spain to show Franco-Spanish protection. Although, if I’m being honest, it looks like purple and pink to me.

If you want to know a couple more facts, here’s a short article about Andorra and its flag.


Bahrain Flag

The flag of Bahrain was updated in 2002, they reduced the number of red points from eight to five because the flag of Qatar is pretty much identical but a bit more burgundy. The points now represent the pillars of Islam, I don’t know what they represented before.

If you want more information on the flag of Bahrain and some photos click here.


Burundi Flag

Burundi’s flag, adopted in 1967, includes green, symbolising hope and optimism, white to show purity and peace, and red for the blood shed in the struggle for independence.

The three stars in the disc represent the three major ethnic groups: Hutu, Twa, and Tutsi, as well as the three elements in the national motto: unity, work, and progress.

If you want to read more about Burundi,click here.

Burundi have changed their flag a few times. They used this beauty from 1966 to 1967:

Flag of Burundi - 66 to 67

Central African Republic

Central_African_Republic Flag

If you want to read more about the Central African Republic click here: CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC – ANOTHER TROUBLED NATION

The CAR’s flag above was adopted in 1958. It was designed by Barthélemy Boganda, the first president of the autonomous territory of Oubangui-Chari who believed that “France and Africa must march together.”

So, he combined the blue, white, and red of the French tricolour and the Pan-African colors red, green, and yellow.

CAR used this wonderful design from 1976-79:

CAR Flag - old

Imperial Standard of Bokassa I (1976–1979)” by TRAJAN 117This vector image was created with Inkscape. – Own work, based upon [1].. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.


Gibraltar Flag

Gibraltar is famous for its rock, not its flag, which is unfair.

The castle represents Gibraltar as a fortress, while the key is a symbol of their strategic position as the key to the Mediterranean.


“An escutcheon on which the upper two thirds shall be a white field and on the said field set a red castle, and below the said castle, on the other third of the escutcheon, which must be a red field in which there must be a white line between the castle and the said red field, there shall be a golden key which hangs by a chain from the said castle, as are here figured.”

Got that?

French Polynesia

French Polnesia Flag

The weird thing in the middle of this flag is a Polynesian canoe. It has a crew of five doing star jumps to symbolise the five island groups.

Click on this link for more info about French Polynesia and the French’s devastating nuclear testing there.

Some of the archipelagos that make up French Polynesia have their own flags, some of which are great:

Marquesas Islands

Flag of French Polynesia - Marquesas Islands

Austral Islands

Flag of French Polynesia - Austral Islands


Flag of French Polynesia - Moorea-Maiao
Flag of Moorea-Maiao” by ArnoldPlatonOwn work, based on this flag. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.


Guatemala Flag

The coat of arms includes a green and red quetzal, which is their national bird (click for more on the impressive bird-life of Guatemala).

The scroll bears the inscription “LIBERTAD 15 DE SEPTIEMBRE DE 1821” — the original date of independence from Spain — superimposed on a pair of crossed rifles signifying Guatemala’s willingness to defend itself. And the pair of crossed swords represent honour.

The laurel wreath symbolises victory, the blue bands stand for the Pacific Ocean, the Caribbean Sea, the sea, and the sky. The white band denotes peace and purity. Quite a lot of symbolism.

The indigenous people of Guatemala have their own flag called Bandera de los Pueblos:

Flag of Guatemala - Bandera de los Pueblos

Bandera de los Pueblos Guatemala” by Joins2003Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.






Kazakhstan Flag

The eagle has been the symbol of Kazakh tribesman for centuries, and the sun’s rays are shaped like seeds.

Photo collection of Kazakhstan from the air.

As with many countries, the Kazakh flag has changed through the years. For a few decades, the Soviet hammer and sickle were the prominent symbols. They also have a Kazakh Khanate flag, which is worthy of mention:

Flag - Kazakh Khanate


Kiribati Flag

Kiribati is a chain of islands in the mid Pacific, straddling the equator, forming part of Gilberts islands.

The featured bird is a frigate bird. These impressive sea-faring flappers are so large and unusual that they’ve been mistaken for extant pterodactyls in Papa New Guinea.

Sadly, Kiribati is a doomed haven, slowly sinking into the sea. She will soon be gone. The flag will live on, though.


Kyrgyzstan Flag

The cross in the middle of this flag represents the top of a traditional Kyrgyzstan yurt. The 40 fingers poking from the sun represent the 40 Kyrgys tribes that combined their power to fight off the Mongols and form a nation.

It’s a beautiful, sparse, and wild country by all accounts: KYRGYZSTAN IN PICTURES


Macau Flag

Macau is part of China in the same way that Hong Kong is. It’s less than 12 square miles in area and has the densest population on earth at more than 48,000 humans per square mile.

It also has the 4th highest GDP per capita thanks to legal gambling. In fact, the gaming, tourism, and hospitality industry account for about half of its GDP.

Here’s the Macau coat of arms used from 1935-1999:

Macau Coat Of Arms

Here’s a video of some of the weirdest flags about…

Marshall Islands

Marshall Islands Flag

The current Marshall Islands flag was adopted in 1979. The diagonal line represents the equator.


Mozambique Flag

Guns and hoes. The AK-47 symbolises defence and vigilance, the hoe refers to the country’s agriculture, and the open book stresses the importance of education. The star represents Marxism and internationalism.

Here is a version of the flag they used from 1975-1983:

Flag - Mozambique - 75-83

…and this is the Presidential Standard:

Flag - Mozambique - Presedential Standard

Visit here for some lovely details about the BIRD LIFE OF MOZAMBIQUE.

Norfolk Island

Norfolk Island Flag

Norfolk Island is situated between Australia and New Zealand. Who doesn’t like trees?

Northern Mariana Islands

Northern Mariana Islands Flag

The North Mariana Islands are situated between Hawaii and the Philippines.

The symbol behind the white star is a latte stone (a kind of pillar), used in the island’s traditional Chamorro house foundations. The latte stones look like this in real life:


Latte1” by Hajime NAKANO from Tokyo, Japan – Latte stone. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

This is the North Mariana Islands’ flag, officially used between 1976 and 1981:

Flag - Northern Mariana Islands - 1972

Saint Pierre and Miquelon

Saint Pierre and Miquelon Flag

Saint Pierre and Miqueloon is an island off the eastern coast of Canada. This flag has been officially in use since 1794, which helps explain the retro mood.


Seychelles Flag

Love it.


Turkmenistan Flag

The only flag with a bit of carpet on it, as far as I am aware. The Turkmenistan flag design department are a talented bunch, the Presidential Standard is also wonderful:

Flag - Turkmenistan Presedential Standard

And this is the flag of the Turkmenistan Air Force:

Flag - Turkmenistan Air Forces

Here’s a couple of links to stuff about Turkmenistan:




Turks And Caicos Islands

Turks And Caicos Islands Flag

The Turks and Caicos Islands are in the Bahamas chain, and their flag showcases some of the island’s common critters: a conch shell, a spiny lobster, and a Turks head cactus.

Here’s Turks and Caicos Islands’ coat of arms in more detail:

Coat of arms - Turks_and_Caicos_Islands


Uganda Flag

No, it’s not a chicken, it’s a grey crowned crane, a bird famed for its gentle nature. The bird was also the military badge of Ugandan soldiers under UK rule.

The raised foot symbolises Uganda’s march forwards as an independent country.

Here’s an earlier version from 1962:

Flag - Uganda - 1962

We’ve covered a lot of global flags today, so here are some flags from UK counties:

Outer Hebrides

Best Flags Counties - Outer Hebrides

Isle of Portland

The Isle of Portland is a 6 kilometres (4 mile) long by 2.4 kilometres (1.5 mile) wide speck of limestone off the Dorset coast.

Best Flags Counties - Isle of Portland


Best Flags Counties - Buckinghamshire


Best Flags Counties - Cumberland


Best Flags Counties - Hereforshire


Best Flags Counties - Merseyside


Best Flags Counties - Northumberland


Best Flags Counties - Rutland


Best Flags Counties - Suffolk

Tyne & Wear

Best Flags Counties - Tyne and Wear


Westmorland was absorbed into Cumbria in the 90’s but let us never forget their flag.

Best Flags Counties - Westmorland


Best Flags Counties - Somerset

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