After a week’s intense project on country profiles and information compilation, I finally got some free time to write something. I decided to share some of the interesting findings about national flags that came across in my work:
- My flag is your flag! almost..
That means your flag is my flag as well. However, it doesn’t really mean that my people is your people. I guess it would be fine for the Netherlands and Luxmerbourg to sawp citizens equally, I doubt if Romania, Ireland, and Manaco would ever want to bring the people under the “same” flag to their countries from Chad, Ivory coast, and Indonesia, respectively.
- My flag is REALLY just my flag! totally…
As Romanians were still in deep sorrow about their loss in another Romanian flag in the Olympic gymnastics, others would hurry to proclaim the uniqueness of their national flags – that my flag is really JUST my flag! A Nepalese would proudly shout out loud into the sky: “Only Nepal has the double triangle flag in the world!”.
Qaddafi royalists would deride on the Nepalese irregular weird-shaped flag and think all green flag in the world represents Libya. Too bad Formula One did not adopt the green flag as the winning flag for the racers in the last lap, otherwise Gaddafi could claim that Libyan as well.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the planet, fellow countrymen of Paraguay couldn’t help snorting to exert their contempt with the amateur pennon or the green rectangular flag. They would flip over their national flag and show others how prestigious their flag is, so prestigious that it is designed differently for the observe and reverse side.
“What’s the use of prestige anyway?” The Liberation Front of Mozambique begs to differ. They kicked away all those “prestigious” white Portuguese “with love from Russia”. They would rather put those practical lovely AK-47 on their national flag in memory of these babes that helped them sweep away the colonists.
The Northern Alliance of Afghanistan would never agree with the former black rebels in Africa about how they should decorate the flag. After years of Taliban rule in Afghanistan with only Shahada on the blank flag, the new rulers of Afghanistan can’t wait to switch the flag back to their good old black-red-green stripes with the classic Afghan emblem – a mosque with its mihrab facing Mecca, which was first adopted by the Emirate of Afghanistan over a hundred years ago. Classicism is all what’s it about. They just couldn’t get enough of their good old fashion three-color-stripes on their flag, and therefore decided to add two more mini Afghanistan national flags in the emblem that was placed in the center of the flag to show their passion and admiration for the classic time.
Speaking of passion for classicism, there is nothing more passionate and respectable than putting the totem you have worshiped for thousands of years. That is the case for Bhutan, the only country who put a DARN dragon on its flag. You eagle, lion, tiger lame worshipers, there’s nothing more awesome than a darn dragon, not even if dinosaur were still alive! We Chinese would be the first one to exclaim up into the sky, “Alas, our dragon is now in the flag of that petty princedom of Bhutan. Not to mention the first modern national flag of China is nothing but a giant dragon!” Koreans would be the second one to sign, though secretly, “Alas, if only we didn’t listen to China in 1882, we would have got that giant dragon in our flag instead of this Yin-Yan scam…” Well, now it’s pointless; Bhutan got the pure awesomeness. The darn small tiny mountain state of Bhutan.
- My flag is no longer my flag! epic fail…
Some respect culture and tradition, some don’t. Some just likes to change their national flags once in a while to confuse everybody, if everybody cares at all. This certainly troubles the organization I worked for, who has to constantly keep an eye on those new changes all the time to avoid political controversies from displaying the old flags. In the past 5 years, there are six countries that have deliberately changed their flags to complicate my work. There are Republic of Malawi (2010), Republic of the Union of Myanmar (2010), Republic of Iraq (2008), Democratic Republic of Congo (2006, by the way, only dictators like to emphasize their countries being ‘democratic’), Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela (2006), and Kingdom of Lesotho (2006).