I’m a big fan of flags.
I collect them. I subscribe to the vexillology subreddit.
If fun with flags was a real thing,
I’d watch it.
So, I have a special place in my heart for them.
Flags of course are the symbols of nations,
displays to the world about what they are.
Colors aren’t just willy-nilly.
There’s always a history or influence
to why that design is there.
When you look at enough of the world’s flags,
you begin to wonder,
why do some of these look so similar?
This video will explore that
the patterns that exist in what factors
led to the flags we recognize today.
First, let’s start off in Europe,
where many flags were simply inspired by their neighbors.
The Scandinavian countries all share the creatively named Nordic Cross.
Why is this? Denmark.
Denmark’s flag dates back to the Crusades and has been flown ever since.
This flag design was adapted by other Scandinavian nations
and seen as a symbol of their heritage.
Why do so many European nations have the tricolour design?
Because of France.
The French tricolour was birthed from the French Revolution
with its ideals of freedom and common unity
before the whole guillotine thing.
But out of it,
the tricolour became a symbol other countries appeal to,
as Europeans colonized much of the world.
The influence of the tricolour grew as well,
even remaining in designs of nations who had become independent.
The tricolor flag design became a staple of the West,
so much so when Russia aimed to westernized,
Peter the Great modeled the new flag of Russia off the Dutch.
Peter aimed to make Russia into a westernized European state
and wanted a flag to show the change.
We see recurring flags and multiple nations with similar roots.
Most predominantly, Great Britain
whose legacy still reigns today.
23 countries bear the Union Jack.
This became an issue for New Zealand
who always gets confused with Australia.
In fact, this is an even New Zealand’s flag.
This is why New Zealand wants to change theirs.
As we know, America shares much of its culture with his home country – Great Britain.
The American flag is red, white and blue
Because the Union Jack is.
Of course, this wasn’t an intentional reason.
But considering how red, white and blue
were already a familiar color scheme,
it isn’t surprising it made its way onto the new nation’s flag.
The very first American flag,
even before the famous Betsy Ross flag,
was the Continental colors
which bore a Union Jack instead of the Stars.
Talking more about the United States
which is home to many state flags,
fifty, in fact, huh hmm yeah.
It’s not surprising some base their own flags off of the Stars and Stripes,
like Texas and Ohio.
However, the US has split culturally as well,
most notably in the south,
where some flags still pay homage to their Confederate past.
Move even further south in the Latin America,
洪都拉斯 危地马拉 萨尔瓦多 尼加拉瓜
Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, and Nicaragua
all share a suspiciously similar design
as well as Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela with each other.
Why is this?
All these countries once were united under a single nation,
which then inspired the designs of successor states.
What was once the Federal Republic of Central America split into 4 nations
and Gran Colombia which existed in the 1820s dissolved into 3.
The Federal Republic of Central America’s flag
was inspired by the Argentinian flag,
who shared an independence movement with their neighbor Uruguay.
During this revolt came the son of May symbol, which is shared by both countries.
Skipping across the pond into Africa,
Why do so many African flags have the color scheme
of gold, red and green or black, red and green?
Because these are the colors of the Pan-African movement
when the nations gained independence during the 20th century,
the identity of United Africa was celebrated
and that went into many flag designs.
But where did the colors come from?
Ethiopia was admired by fellow African countries
as it never fell to colonial rule.
Except for during World War Two,
their flag colors were then adapted by newly founded nations
as a color spread, it became identified with Rastafarianism as well as the Black Panther movement.
In fact, many nations share common colors and designs for their heritage.
Pan-Slavic colors are shown throughout Eastern Europe
as well as Panerai on colors in Central Asia.
Most notable of the Pan-Arab colors seen in Iraq,
埃及 叙利亚 也门 和众多别的国家
Egypt, Syria, Yemen in many other countries.
Also prevalent on Middle Flags is the Crescent, a symbol for Islam.
is mostly used by Turkey countries or areas formerly controlled by the Ottomans.
The Ottomans use the Crescent for centuries on their banners
and we can see their influence
still on the flags of their former lands today.
Flags are representations of who we are
in our identity as a nation or as multiple nations.
If you notice the patterns and study the history,
it can become pretty easy to recognize
where in the world a flag is from.
Flags can be so similar
because people can be so similar.
With a common history or struggle,
some event in the past could unite them.
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If you have not done so,
this is Cody from Geography Hub.