The 25 Coolest Flags You Have Never Seen
We all have our favorite flags. They are usually national flags, perhaps related to our ethnicity. The Union Jack, the Mexican Flag, the German flag, etc. Truly these are all beautiful flags, but I have compiled a list of rarer flags I have encountered over the years that are truly unique, appealing, and well designed. I wanted to share these flags with those who have probably never come across them. If you like any of these 25 different flags, they are all available for purchase at flag t-shirts by flagofarms.com, the largest retailer of flag merchandise (t-shirt, mugs, hats, etc.) in the world.
#1 Anglo Indian Flag
A unique design representing those of Anglo Indian descent, this flag is a takes the traditional layout of the Union Jack (itself a mash up of the crosses of St. George, St. Andrew, and St. Patrick, for England, Scotland, and Ireland, respectively) and recolors it with the colors from the flag of India: saffron, white, and green. The Ashoka Chakra is depicted in the center of the flag, representing the wheel of the law of dharma.
#2 Pearson Pennant
This “almost was” flag of Canada, known as the Pearson Pennant, was proposed by Prime Minister Lester Pearson, leader of the minority Liberal government, during the Canada’s Great Flag Debate of 1964. After learning that the Egyptian government’s objection to the use of Canadian peacekeeping troops during the Suez Crisis of 1956 was due to the fact that the then national flag of Canada was a British Red Ensign which was too similar to that of the United Kingdom, Pearson decided there needed to be a flag that was distinctly and unmistakably Canadian. Former prime minster John Diefenbaker led the crusade against Pearson’s Pennant, which was mostly popular in French Quebec, was successful, as on the current maple leaf flag of Canada that we all have come to know was adopted on February 15, 1965.
#3 Whiskey Rebellion Flag
This classic flag of early America has its origins in the Whiskey Rebellion, an insurrection of farmers on the western frontier of the then United States that took place primarily in Pennsylvania from1791 to 1794. The revolt was sparked by an excise tax placed on whiskey in attempt to fund the national debt, an effort championed by then treasury secretary Alexander Hamilton. Small farmers, who felt that the tax unfairly targeted them relative to the larger distillers located east of the Appalachian Mountains, are believed that have carried this dark blue banner containing depictions of 13 stars and an eagle holding a red and white banner in its beak.
#4 New Persia Flag
This New Persia flag, uses the traditional Pan-Iranian colors of red, green, and white, and was discovered as being released into the public domain on Wikipedia in June of 2009. It is believed to have been created during the worldwide Iranian protests of the disputed victory of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in an election held the same month. Although the designer wished to remain anonymous due to fear of repercussions from the ruling regime, the description states that the design represents an alternative to the “ruling theocratic political structure, and the previous official Iranian flag, which is still associated with the monarchical rule of Rezā Shāh Pahlavi”. It features the word “liberty” 17 times, as this number is “significant in Persian history from Zoroastrian tradition to the science of Persian polymath chemist Abu Musa Jābir ibn Hayyān al azdi”.
#5 German Resistance Flag
This is known as the German Resistance flag. Using the traditional Scandinavian Cross or Nordic Cross design (itself an homage to Christianity), this red, black, and yellow flag was one of two variants of Josef Wirmer’s 1944 “Resistance” design, which was created by his brother Ernst Wirmer. Wirmer was a famous resistance fighter against the Nazi regime during the Second World War.
#6 Washington’s Cruiser’s Flag
While many of us may now be familiar with the Gadsen flag due to the recent rise of the Tea Party as a new force in American politics, the Washington’s Crusier’s flag is another important historical flag from the American Revolution. Also known as the “Appeal to Heaven Flag” or “Pine Tree Flag”, its origins lay in 1775 when George Washington commissioned a squadron of six cruisers to be used for the new colonial navy. The flag features a green pine tree, a symbol of New England prior to the revolution, and the phrase “An Appeal to God”, which was taken from John Locke’s seminal work Two Treatises of Government and speaks of the legitimacy of rebellion, as well as the need for Providence in the fight against the then largest Empire in the world.
#7 Brazil Flag
This is the flag of Brazil? Well it sort of was for a few days back in 1889. Flown between November 15th and November 19th of that year, it was designed by Ruy Barbosa and modeled after the flag of the United States. However, it was vetoed in favor of the current Brazilian flag, as it was too similar to the flag of the existing Brazilian state of Goiás.
#8 Ratification Banner
The Ratification Banner, also known as the Suffragette’s Flag, was created by Alice Paul and the National Woman’s Party after the state of Tennessee ratified the Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America, which gave women the right to vote. This is reflecting by the two sets of nineteen stars that run along the center band of the flag.
#9 Revolutionary War Battle Flag
Little known about this battle flag from the American Revolution, other than the revolutionary maxim it features “Resistance to Tyrants is Obedience to God”, a motto often attributed to Thomas Jefferson, and later used by the famous suffragette Susan B. Anthony.
#10 Tibet Flag
Although we may be more familiar with the current flag of Tibet as popularized on Free Tibet t-shirts, this was a previous version that was used between 1920 and 1925. Its main element is a snow lion, which according to the government-in-exile of Tibet, represents “the country’s victorious accomplishment of a unified spiritual and secular life”.
#11 Qing Dynasty Flag
This is the flag of the Qing Dynasty, or Manchu Dynasty, which was the last ruling dynasty of China. It was used from 1890 until 1912. It depicts a blue dragon, a traditional Chinese symbol, on a yellow field.
#12 St. Louis Flag
Well, if you are from St. Louis, you probably are familiar with this St. Louis flag. This beautiful flag was ranked as the 5th best designed flag out of all US civic flags in a 2001 survey conducted by NAVA (North American Vexillological Association). Often referred to as the “Three Rivers Flag” for its depiction of the meeting of the Mississippi, Missouri, and the Meramec Rivers, the red, white, blue, and yellow colors recall the flags of both France and Spain, nations who played a role in the city’s history, as well as the flag of the United States.
#13 Portland Flag
Not far behind the flag of St. Louis in NAVA’s survey was the flag of the city of Portland, Oregon. Ranked 7th, this green, white, blue, and yellow flag was designed in 1969 by Douglas Lynch.
#14 Maine Flag
This is the historical flag of Maine that was used from 1901 to 1909. It depicts a pine tree, a symbol of New England, on a buff-colored field. A single blue star, representative of the North star, is depicted in the canton.
#15 Nevada Flag
This is one of two previous versions of the flag of Nevada. This version, created by Governor John Sparks and Col. Harry Day, and used between 1905 and 1915 pays homage to the state’s mining industry by features both the colors and the words silver and gold prominently on the flag.
#16 North Star Flag
This proposed flag of Minnesota, known as the North Star Flag, was designed in 1989. Its simple design features a single white wavy line that divides the flag between fields of blue and green. A large gold star, representative of the North Star, prominent in the state’s skies, is located near the hoist.
#17 Kanaka Maoli Flag
Believed to be one of the original flags of the Kingdom of Hawaii, the Kanaka Maoli Flag features the colors red, green, and yellow, which are believed to be the colors of King Kamehameha III. Meaning “true people” in Hawaiian, Kanaka Maoli is celebrated by native Hawaiians.
#18 Holy Roman Empire Flag
Although never considered as national flag was we would understand it today, this was the Imperial Banner of the Holy Roman Empire and was used by the Holy Roman Emperors from around 1400 until 1806. The double headed eagle is an ancient symbol that was featured prominently in Byzantine heraldry.
#19 Byzantine Empire Flag
The Byzantine Empire flag is a quartered flag that features both the cross of St. George and the tetragrammic cross. It is an Imperial flag for the “Emperor of Constantipole”, as stated in the Castilian atlas Conocimiento de todos los reinos (ca. 1350).
#20 Nordic Celtic Flag
This eye-popping yet purely fictional flag, known as the Nordic Celtic flag, features the Irish colors of green, orange, and white in the traditional Scandinavian Cross of Nordic Cross pattern.
#21 Scottish Highlands Flag
This unofficial flag of the Scottish Highlands, a culturally distinguished area in Scotland, features the Scottish colors of blue and white, as well as green (perhaps for the areas forests?) in the traditional Scandinavian Cross or Nordic Cross pattern.
#22 Nguyen Dynasty Flag
Known as the Long tinh, meaning Dragon Spirit, this historical flag of the Nguyen Dynasty, the last ruling family of Vietnam, was used between 1802 and 1863. Its serrated edges give it a unique flavor among most flags we see today.
#23 Proposed Flag of Australia
This proposed flag of Australia features the same colors of the nation’s current flag: red, white, and blue. However, the Union Jack is abandoned and the flag is design in the style of Canadian Pale (a vexillological term for a triband flag where the central band account for half the length of the flag). A red Kangaroo, a symbol of Australia, is depicted in the center, a single star near the hoist, and the South Constellation in the fly.
#24 Proposed Flag of Finland
This unique design was a proposed flag of Finland. It features a field of alternating red and gold stripes, with the nation’s current coat of arms (a crowned lion rampant wielding a sword surrounded by nine roses) located in a red canton.
#25 Korea Flag
The Korea Flag, in use from, is somewhat similar to the current flag of South Korea, with the four trigrams being different and the red and blue taegeuk being more swirled. The earliest known depiction of the flag is from the U.S. Navy book Flags of Maritime Nations in July 1882.