We all know who Neil Armstrong was. The first man to ever land on the moon. But do you know what exactly he did after landing there? Most of us tend to ignore that aspect or didn’t ever come across it. Neil Armstrong erected United States of America Flag on the moon, as shown in the picture below.
Similarly, do you know what Sir Edmund Hillary and the Sherpa Tenzing Norgay, the first men to have reached the top of the Mount Everest, did when they reached there? To add to your knowledge, they put up the British ‘Union Jack’ there. This is shown in the image below.
The reason why we are discussing these examples is to think more in depth about the topic of flags. Have you ever wondered why some flags are different than others? This, in terms of, color, design, and overall aesthetic appearance. And ever wondered what do these aspects mean? The questions are sensible and should be pondered upon to increase our general knowledge. First, we’ll discuss what exactly is a flag.
What is a flag?
By definition, a flag is a symbolistic thing present in various cultures across the world and every country has it. It is a piece of cloth with a particular pattern, color and design attached to a pole to represent a territory. These first appeared in China about 2000 years ago. It also appeared in Europe during the Roman Empire.
What are the different types of flags?
Though there are many types of flags, we will cover 7 of them.
- National Flag: It is the symbol of a country. For example, the Turkish flag has a crescent and a star.
- Rank Flag: generally used by the head of the state or seniors like navy to show where they’re headed.
- Ensign Flag: generally used on ships.
- Ceremonial Flag: used at military parades.
- Signal Flag: used to send signals to other people. Generally used in ships and in racing.
- School/Political Party Flag: used in schools and to represent political parties. These may differ from one another.
- States/Town Flag: some states and towns have their own flag. For example, 50 states of US have their own flag.
Why do countries have flags?
Flags symbolize marking your territory and it gives a sense of belonging to a particular nation, city or club. For example, a political party’s members would have the sense of belonging whenever they see a flag of their own party. Likewise, a country’s citizens would have a sense of belonging to its country’s flag.
This sense of belonging is characterized by sharing common beliefs, goals and rules. Earlier in the 18th century, flags were flown to show other people that they own that piece of land, or in other words, to show that it is their possession, and to proclaim sovereignty.
It’s no surprise that the first man on the moon and the first men to reach the Mount Everest marked their presence by using a flag of the nation that they belonged to.
Now, we will discuss some fun facts about flags for kids that you should definitely read up.
Fun facts about flags for kids
- The colors on the flag symbolize history of a country. For example, red color is associated with bad things like Morocco uses red to represent courage and bravery of its people, while Portugal’s red color represents the blood lost in battles for their country. On the other hand, green color represents richness in agriculture and nature.
- The rarest color to be used on a flag is purple. Since purple represents royalty and richness, and is difficult to get hold of, only two countries in the world have it on their flag. These include, Dominica and Nicaragua.
- Denmark has the oldest flag in the world. Over time, flags have changed, but the one that remained consistent was that of Denmark. First used in 1625, is still the same when it comes to its design and color.
- The only flag in the world that does not have 4 sides is that of Nepal. Nepal’s flag is neither a rectangle or a square, that’s right, it’s not quadrilateral. It consists of two triangular shapes referred to as pennant.
- Only two square shaped flags exist in the world. Mostly, flags have a rectangular shape. However, only two flags in the world have a rectangular shape. These include, Vatican City and Switzerland.
- Shapes on flags usually have a specific meaning. Not all flags have symbols and shapes, however some that do, entail a specific meaning. The symbols may include, a sun, crescent, moon, stars, squares, etc. For example, the star and moon crescent represent Islam, therefore many Islamic countries have them on their flags like that if Turkey, Malaysia, Pakistan etc.
- Belize’s flag has the most colors in the world as compared to other flags Flags consist of complex design and colors, and the colors in Belize’s flag are 12 after totaling which makes it the flag with most colors out of all other flags in the world.
- The newest flag in the world is that of South Sudan. Adopted on 9th July, 2010, South Sudan has the newest flag in the world made after the second civil war. It has several colors including blue, green, yellow, red, etc.
- The one who studies flags is called a vexillologist. There are many notable vexillologists, namely, Graham Bartram and Louis Muhlemann.
- There are only 3 flags in the world that differ from front and back sides. Saudi Arabia, Moldova, Paraguay, all have different fronts and backs. For example, Saudi Arabia has an Arabic writing on its front.
That brings an end to our article, we hope this information added to your knowledge and suited you well. There are many more facts about flags, however we have summarized the major ones for you in this article, so do not forget to find new ones and keep learning. Also, let us know if you find more in the comments below.