A national flag is a flag that represents and symbolizes a country. The national flag is flown by the government of a country, but can also be flown by citizens of the country. A national flag is designed with specific meanings for its symbols; the colours of the national flag may be worn by the people of a nation to show their patriotism, or related paraphernalia that show the symbols or colours of the flag may be used for those purposes. The design of a national flag may be altered after the occurrence of important historical events; the burning or destruction of a national flag is a symbolic act. Flags originate as military standards, used as field signs; the practice of flying flags indicating the country of origin outside of the context of warfare became common with the maritime flag, introduced during the age of sail, in the early 17th century. The origins of the Union Jack flag date back to 1603, when James VI of Scotland inherited the English and Irish thrones, thereby uniting the crowns of England and Ireland in a personal union.
On 12 April 1606, a new flag to represent this regal union between England and Scotland was specified in a royal decree, according to which the flag of England, the flag of Scotland, would be joined together, forming the flag of Great Britain and first Union Flag. With the emergence of nationalist sentiment from the late 18th century national flags began to be displayed in civilian contexts as well. Notable early examples include the US flag, first adopted as a naval ensign in 1777 but began to be displayed as a generic symbol of the United States after the American Revolution, the French Tricolore, which became a symbol of the Republic in the 1790s. Most countries of Europe adopted a national flag in the course of the 19th and early 20th centuries based on older war flags; the specifications of the flag of Denmark were codified based on a 14th-century design. The flag of Switzerland was introduced in 1889 based on medieval war flags; the Netherlands introduced two national flags in 1813. The Ottoman flag was adopted in 1844.
Other non-European powers followed the trend in the late 19th century, the flag of Japan being introduced in 1870, that of Qing China in 1890. In the 19th century, most countries of South America introduced a flag as they became independent The national flag is but not always, mentioned or described in a country's constitution, but its detailed description may be delegated to a flag law passed by the legislative, or secondary legislation or in monarchies a decree. Thus, the national flag is mentioned in the Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany of 1949 "the federal flag is black-red-gold", but its proportions were regulated in a document passed by the government in the following year; the Flag of the United States is not defined in the constitution but rather in a separate Flag Resolution passed in 1777. Minor design changes of national flags are passed on a legislative or executive level, while substantial changes have constitutional character; the design of the flag of Serbia omitting the communist star of the flag of Yugoslavia was a decision made in the 1992 Serbian constitutional referendum, but the adoption of a coat of arms within the flag was based on a government "recommendation" in 2003, adopted legislatively in 2009 and again subject to a minor design change in 2010.
The Flag of the United States underwent numerous changes because the number of stars represents the number of states, proactively defined in a Flag Act of 1818 to the effect that "on the admission of every new state into the Union, one star be added to the union of the flag". A change in national flag is due to a change of regime following a civil war or revolution. In such cases, the military origins of the national flag and its connection to political ideology remains visible. In such cases national flags acquire the status of a political symbol; the flag of Germany, for instance, was a tricolour of black-white-red under the German Empire, inherited from the North German Confederation. The Weimar Republic that followed adopted a black-red-gold tricolour. Nazi Germany went back to black-white-red in 1933, black-red-gold was reinstituted by the two successor states, West Germany and East Germany following World War II; the flag of Libya introduced with the creation of the Kingdom of Libya in 1951 was abandoned in 1969 with the coup d'état led by Muammar Gaddafi.
It was used again by National Transitional Council and by anti-Gaddafi forces during the Libyan Civil War in 2011 and adopted by the Libyan interim Constitutional Declaration. There are three distinct types of national flag for use on land, three for use at sea, though many countries use identical designs for several of these types of flag. On land, there is a distinction between civil flags, state flags, war or military flags. Civil flags may be flown by anyone regardless of whether they are linked to government, whereas state flags are those used by government agencies. War flags are used by military organizations such as Armies, Marine Corp
A flag is a piece of fabric with a distinctive design and colours. It is used for decoration; the term flag is used to refer to the graphic design employed, flags have evolved into a general tool for rudimentary signalling and identification in environments where communication is challenging. The study of flags is known as "vexillology" from the Latin vexillum, meaning "flag" or "banner". National flags are patriotic symbols with varied interpretations that include strong military associations because of their original and ongoing use for that purpose. Flags are used in messaging, advertising, or for decorative purposes; some military units are called "flags" after their use of flags. A flag is equivalent to a brigade in Arab countries. In Spain, a flag is a battalion-equivalent in the Spanish Legion. In antiquity, field signs or standards were used in warfare that can be categorised as vexilloid or'flag-like'; this is considered originated in Assyria. Examples include the Sassanid battle standard Derafsh Kaviani, the standards of the Roman legions such as the eagle of Augustus Caesar's Xth legion, or the dragon standard of the Sarmatians.
Flag as recognized today, made of a piece of cloth representing a particular entity, is considered invented in the Indian subcontinent or Chinese Zhou dynasty. Chinese flags depicted animals decorated in certain colors. A royal flag is considered being used as well, required to be treated with a similar level of respect attributed to the ruler. Indian flags were triangular shaped and decorated with attachments such as yak's tail and the state umbrella; these usages spread to Southeast Asia as well, considered transmitted to Europe through the Muslim world where plainly colored flags were being used due to Islamic prescriptions. In Europe, during the High Middle Ages, flags came to be used as a heraldic device in battle, allowing more to identify a knight than only from the heraldic device painted on the shield. During the high medieval period, during the Late Middle Ages, city states and communes such as those of the Old Swiss Confederacy began to use flags as field signs. Regimental flags for individual units became commonplace during the Early Modern period.
During the peak of the age of sail, beginning in the early 17th century, it was customary for ships to carry flags designating their nationality. Flags became the preferred means of communications at sea, resulting in various systems of flag signals. Use of flags outside of military or naval context begins only with the rise of nationalist sentiment by the end of the 18th century. One of the most popular uses of a flag is to symbolise a country; some national flags have been inspirational to other nations, countries, or subnational entities in the design of their own flags. Some prominent examples include: The flag of Denmark, the Dannebrog, is attested in 1478, is the oldest national flag still in use, it inspired the cross design of the other Nordic countries: Norway, Finland and regional Scandinavian flags for the Faroe Islands, Åland and Bornholm, as well as flags for the non-Scandinavian Shetland and Orkney. The flag of the Netherlands is the oldest tricolour, its three colours of red and blue go back to Charlemagne's time, the 9th century.
The coastal region of what today is the Netherlands was known for its cloth in these colours. Maps from the early 16th century put flags in these colours next to this region, like Texeira's map of 1520. A century before that, during the 15th century, the three colours were mentioned as the coastal signals for this area, with the three bands straight or diagonal, single or doubled; as state flag it first appeared around 1572 as the Prince's Flag in orange–white–blue. Soon the more famous red–white–blue began appearing, becoming the prevalent version from around 1630. Orange made a comeback during the civil war of the late 18th century, signifying the orangist or pro-stadtholder party. During World War II the pro-Nazi NSB used it. Any symbolism has been added to the three colours, although the orange comes from the House of Orange-Nassau; this use of orange comes from Nassau, which today uses orange-blue, not from Orange, which today uses red-blue. However, the usual way to show the link with the House of Orange-Nassau is the orange pennant above the red-white-blue.
It is said that the Dutch Tricolour has inspired many flags but most notably those of Russia, New York City, South Africa. As the probable inspiration for the Russian flag, it is the source too for the Pan-Slavic colours red and blue, adopted by many Slavic states and peoples as their symbols; the national flag of France was designed in 1794. As a forerunner of revolution, France's tricolour flag style has been adopted by other nations. Examples: Italy, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Haiti and Mexico; the Union Flag of the United Kingdom is the most used. British colonies flew a flag bas
Flag of Venezuela
The current flag of Venezuela was introduced in 2006. The basic design includes a horizontal tricolor of yellow and red, dating to the original flag introduced in 1811, in the Venezuelan War of Independence with eight stars in the centre. Further modifications have involved including a set of stars, multiple changes to the placement and number of stars and inclusion of an optional coat of arms at the upper-left corner. Several opposition groups and Venezuelan exiles opposing the current government use the tricolor flag with seven stars adopted in 1954; the flag is the one designed by Francisco de Miranda for his unsuccessful 1806 expedition to liberate Venezuela and adopted by the National Congress of 1811. It consisted of three equal horizontal stripes of yellow and red. Miranda's flag is the inspiration for the flags of Colombia and Ecuador; this original design was first flown on March 12, 1806 at Jacmel, Haiti as Miranda's expedition prepared to make the final leg of its voyage to Venezuela.
The flag was first flown over Venezuelan soil at La Vela de Coro, on August 3. Until August 3, 2006, Flag Day was celebrated in Venezuela on March 12. Since 2006 it has been celebrated on August 3. Miranda gave at least two sources of inspiration for his flag. In a letter written to Count Semyon Vorontsov in 1792, Miranda stated that the colors were based on a theory of primary colors given to him by the German writer and philosopher Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Miranda described a late-night conversation he had with Goethe at a party in Weimar during the winter of 1785. Fascinated with Miranda's account of his exploits in the United States Revolutionary War and his travels throughout the Americas and Europe, Goethe told him that, "Your destiny is to create in your land a place where primary colors are not distorted.” He proceeded to clarify what he meant by this: "First he explained to me the way the iris transforms light into the three primary colors he proved to me why yellow is the most warm and closest to light.
It is not that the world is made of yellows and reds. A country starts out from a name and a flag, it becomes them, just as a man fulfils his destiny." After Miranda designed his flag based on this conversation, he recalled seeing a fresco by Lazzaro Tavarone in the Palazzo Belimbau in Genoa that depicted Christopher Columbus unfurling a similar-colored flag in Veragua during his fourth voyage. In his military diary, Miranda gave another source of inspiration: the yellow and red standard of the Burgers' Guard of Hamburg, which he saw during his travels in Germany; the idea of the flag is documented in his 1801 plan for an army to liberate Spanish America, which he submitted unsuccessfully to the British cabinet. In it Miranda requested the materials for "ten flags, whose colours shall be red and blue, in three zones."The symbolism traditionally ascribed to the colors are that the yellow band stands for the wealth of the land, the red for courage, the blue for the independence from Spain, or "golden" America separated from bloody Spain by the deep blue sea.
The official colors are listed below: According to the current interpretation, the colors signify: During the first half of the 19th century, seven stars were added to the flag to represent the seven signatories to the Venezuelan declaration of independence, being the provinces of Caracas, Cumaná, Barinas, Margarita, Mérida, Trujillo. Historical flags After the Guayana campaign, Simón Bolívar added an eighth star to the national flag in representation of the newly freed province. Bolívar issued the following decree: Simón Bolívar. Supreme Leader of the Republic and Captain-in-chief of the Armies of Venezuela and Nueva Granada. Since the number of provinces that compose the Republic of Venezuela has increased with the number of stars on that the Venezuelan national flag has one more star as a symbol of the province of Guayana, in this way, from now on there will be eight stars on the flag. Signed by me, stamped with the country's official stamp in the government palace in the city of Angostura, November 20, 1817.
Simón Bolívar. The Law of the National Flag, Coat of Arms and Anthem added the Coat of Arms to the flag on February 19, 1954; the coat of arms was not incorporated into the Civil or Maritime Flag, intended for non-governmental purposes, such as civilian use, merchant craft, international sports competition. In 2006 the President of Venezuela Hugo Chávez announced plans to add an eighth star to the flag of Venezuela to bring about a much belated fulfillment to Bolívar's 1817 decree; the eighth star represents the Guayana Province, one of the Provinces of Venezuela at the time of the declaration of independence. The Coat of Arms was changed to a white horse galloping left instead cantering to the right representing the political shift to the Left, a bow and arrow representing Venezuela’s indigenous people and a machete to represent the labor of workers. Although the new flag was approved by the Venezuelan government, opposition spokesperson Óscar Pérez stated that they would not use the new flag.
As with most other national flags, the Venezuelan flag should be flown every day by the registered public institutions from 7 a.m. until 6 p.m. Private institutions and citizens should fly the flag on national holidays or on days determined by the National Executive. Institutions which should fly the flag by obligation are: The Fede
Flag of Colombia
The national flag of Colombia symbolizes Colombian independence from Spain, gained on July 20, 1810. It is a horizontal tricolor of yellow and red; the yellow stripe takes up the top half of the flag and the blue and red take up a quarter of the space each. The horizontal stripes of yellow and red tricolor have a ratio of 2:1:1. It—together with that of Ecuador derived from the flag of Gran Colombia—is different from most other tricolor flags, either vertical or horizontal, in having stripes which are not equal in size.. The official colors have not yet been established by law. However, it is recommended to use the following: According to the current interpretation, the colors signify: Although, the flag has other representatives such as blue for loyalty and vigilance, red for victory of battles for Colombian independence, yellow for sovereignty and justice. Francisco de Miranda was the person, a welder created the common yellow and red flag of Gran Colombia that Colombia and Venezuela, with slight variations, share today.
Miranda gave at least two sources of inspiration for his flag. In a letter written to Count Simon Romanovich Woronzoff and philosopher Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Miranda described a late-night conversation he had had with Goethe at a party in Weimar during the winter of 1785. Fascinated by Miranda's account of his exploits in the United States Revolutionary War and his travels throughout the Americas and Europe, Goethe told him that, "Your destiny is to create in your land a place where primary colors are not distorted.” He proceeded to clarify what he meant: After Miranda designed his flag based on this conversation, he recalled seeing a fresco by Lazzaro Tavarone in the Palazzo Belimbau in Genoa that depicted Christopher Columbus unfurling a similar-colored flag in Veragua during his fourth voyage. In his military diary, Miranda gave another possible source of inspiration: the yellow and red standard of the Burger Guard of Hamburg, which he saw during his travels in Germany. In the 1801 plan for an army to liberate Spanish America, which he submitted unsuccessfully to the British cabinet, Miranda requested the materials for "ten flags, whose colors shall be red and blue, in three zones."
However, the first flag was not raised until March 12, 1806, in Jacmel, during his ill-fated expedition to Venezuela. National flag Historical flags Military and civil flags Historical military and civil flags Construction sheets Flag of Gran Colombia List of Colombian flags Coat of arms of Colombia ¡Oh, Gloria inmarcesible! Colombia at Flags of the World Colombian flag history Colombian flag history
Timeline of national flags
This page contains a list of flags and/or modifications made on the flags of current sovereign nations
An ensign is the national flag flown on a vessel to indicate citizenry. The ensign is the largest flag flown at the stern of the ship while in port; the naval ensign, used on warships, may be different from the yacht ensign. Large versions of naval ensigns called; the ensign differs from the jack, flown from a jackstaff at the bow of a vessel. In its widest sense, an ensign is just other standard; the European military rank of ensign, once responsible for bearing a unit's standard derives from it. In contrast, the Arab rank of ensign, derives from the command of a unit or units with an ensign, not the carrier of such a unit's ensign, is a general officer. In Arab armies, "ensign" is a unit title equivalent to a Western brigade, as a rank is equivalent to a divisional commander. Ensigns, such as the ancient Roman ensigns in the Arch of Constantine, are not always flags. In nautical use, the ensign is flown on a boat to indicate its appartenance. While this includes its nationality, it may well indicate more information rather than being the national flag itself.
This is common for commonwealth and European countries. Ensigns are at the stern flagstaff when in port, may be shifted to a gaff or mast amidships when the ship is under way, becoming known as a steaming ensign. Vexillologists distinguish three varieties of a national flag when used as an ensign: A civil ensign is worn by merchant and pleasure vessels. In some countries the yacht ensign, used on recreational boats or ships instead of merchant vessels, differs from the civil ensign. A state ensign or government ensign is worn by government vessels, such as coast guard ships. A naval ensign is used by a country's navy. Many countries do not distinguish among these uses, employ only one national flag and ensign in all cases. Other countries use different ensigns; such ensigns are regulated and indicate if the vessel is a warship, a merchant ship, a ship under contract to carry mail, or a yacht, for example. Several Commonwealth countries' national flags had their origin in the ensigns of their original colonising power, the United Kingdom.
Most notable of these national flags are those of Australia, New Zealand, several smaller island nations. It is very that the original design from which the flag of the United States developed was influenced by the British Red Ensign or the flag of the East India Company. With the creation of independent air forces and the growth in civil aviation in the first half of the 20th century, a range of distinguishing flags and ensigns were adopted; these may be divided into civil air ensigns. In heraldry, an ensign is the ornament or sign, such as the crown, coronet, or mitre, borne above the charge or arms. Distinguishing mark Maritime flag
Flag of the Falkland Islands
The current flag of the Falkland Islands was adopted on 25 January 1999 and consists of a defaced Blue Ensign, with the Union Flag in the canton and the Falkland Islands coat-of-arms in the fly. The Falkland Islands have been claimed and occupied by several nations throughout its history, who used their national flags on the islands, it wasn't until 1876 that the islands were given a flag of their own, which consisted of a Blue Ensign defaced with the seal of the islands - an image of HMS Hebe in Falkland Sound, overlooked by a bullock. A new coat-of-arms for the islands was introduced on 16 October 1925, consisting of the Desire and a sea lion in a shield surrounded by the motto of the islands, Desire the Right; this coat-of-arms replaced the image of the bullock and ship on the flag. On 29 September 1948 the flag was updated to include the new coat-of-arms superimposed upon a white disc; the flag was banned by the Argentine military junta from 2 April-14 June 1982, during their occupation of the islands, when it was replaced by the flag of Argentina.
In 1999 the size of the arms was increased and the white disc removed to create the current flag. The Falkland Islands Red Ensign was created by The Merchant Shipping Order 1998, No. 3147 of 1998, which came into force in 1999 and which contains a picture of the ensign containing the Falkland arms on a white disc. Red Ensign with the Falklands coat of arms superimposed is used as the islands' civil ensign; the plain red ensign was used by ships in the territorial waters around the Falklands. The Governor of the Falkland Islands uses a Union Flag defaced with the coat of arms, it was this flag, raised at Government House in Stanley by the Royal Marines at the end of the Falkland War, signifying the liberation of the islands. Since its approval, the Falklands flag has been used to represent the Falkland Islanders internationally. In 2011, in support of Argentina's claim to the islands, the members of Mercosur banned Falklands flagged vessels from entering their ports. Vessels flying the Falklands Civil Ensign are required to re-flag with the Red Ensign to enter Mercosur ports.
The flag was flown from several HM Government buildings in London, including 10 Downing Street and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in Whitehall, on 14 June 2012 to mark the 30th anniversary of the islands' liberation. For the majority of the Falkland Islands existence as a British territory, the appropriate civil ensign was the same as that of the United Kingdom, an undefaced red ensign; the first warrant issued for the use of a defaced red ensign was issued in 1998, to be effective on the 25th of January 1999. This warrant prescribed the coat of arms of the Falkland Islands within a white disc. However, a revision of territorial flags issued that year removed the white disc and enlarged the territorial emblems across the board. Coat of arms of the Falkland Islands List of Falkland Island flags List of flags of the United Kingdom