Introducing the Flag Geek. Each month he will amaze you with his knowledge of all things flag related. This month things get colourful…
Somewhere over the rainbow, way up high……is the most colourful flag in the world. But what is it?
Some countries go for a minimalistic approach in their national flag design – a Scandinavian chic if you like. In fact the Scandinavian region all adopt a simple Nordic Cross in different variants. All very recognisable flags but only achieving kaleidoscopic status on mass.
Fun Fact: The Scandinavians are proud flag flyers and none more so than the Finns who have no less than 14 flag days per year!
The overall winner for simplistic national flag has to be The Sultinate of Muscat. Where? Well we all know the capital of Oman as Muscat (ahem) and this 18th Century territory were evidently short on graphic designers, dye sublimation experts and seamstresses so went for red. Just red. The newer Oman flag however, whilst more inventive and striking still does not take the prize for the most colourful.
Fun Fact: Harrison Flagpoles have supplied many Oman national flags which fly high through the region atop some of our glassfibre and aluminium flagpoles.
Flags are often a symbol of pride, even if not a national flag. And few more so than the “Rainbow Flag” raised to represent the LBGT community. With it’s 7 colours it is a wonderful representation of sexual diversity.
Fun Fact: Whilst this flag can be digitally printed to a high quality, if large quantities are required it can be screen printed cost effectively making it even more vibrant.
There are fair few countries who can boldly boast the use of 5 colours in their flags. Aesthetically few can compete with The Central African Republic which combines the French tricolour and Pan-African historical influences to create a tecnicolour delight. Despite the red symbolising the blood shed in the battles for independence this flag must warm the hearts of nationalists in CAR on a breezy day.
Fun Fact: Barthélemy Boganda, the nation’s first Prime Minister designed this flag in 1958.
So whilst the majority of nations have 5 colours or less there are a few who use an even wider palette. One example of a country using 7 colours is Croatia. This flag has such a colourful history (see what I did there?) that is deserves a blog post all of it’s own but in short the current flag is famous for the checkered shield representing the country and the small crests represent the provinces of Dubrovnik, Dalmatia, Istria and Slavonia.
Some claims to the most colourful flag are also somewhat controversial. For example Saint-Pierre and Miquelon’s official flag is the French Tricolour but as a self governing overseas territory they have adopted their own unofficial flag which is based on their coat of arms. The yellow ship is said to represent Jacques Cartier who arrived in 1536.
Fun Fact: Most of the islanders hail from the regions depicted top to bottom: Basque, Bretons & Normans.
Okay so let me put you out of your misery. The country with the most colourful flag in the world is Belize with 12 colours – many of which make up the coat of arms that provide this relatively young flag (1981) with it’s complexity.
The Belize flag, like many others is steeped in political history and the prominent colours represent the political parties.
So here are 12 facts about Belize that you might or might not know. 1 for each colour in their most colourful of flags:-
1.It is illegal to purposely damage your own property in Belize
2.Belize is the only Central American country with English as its main language (It used to be called British Honduras)
3.Swimming is considered bad luck in Belize – but only on Good Friday obviously
4.Daylight saving time is not observed in Belize meaning nobody turns up embarrassingly early at work or has to remember that Spring/Fall thing
5.You can’t get a Big Mac, Zinger or Whopper in Belize
6.The price of fuel is around double of UK prices so most people ride motorcycles or stand where they are as hitchhiking is practically impossible (see number 7)
7.Belize natives greet by locking thumbs. It is not known how they conduct thumb wars
8.Belize has over 900 Mayan sites (those guys who predicted the end of the world)
9.Guatemala, Belize’s next door neighbour refers to Belize as its “Department Number 23”
10.The National creature of Belize is the tapir. Also known as the mountain cow by its friends
11.Belize is home to over 500 types of orchid which is nearly as many as my mum has in her conservatory
12.Researching 12 interesting facts about Belize is much harder than flag geekery
The Flag Geek’s actual identity is unknown. Some say they have felt a presence whilst looking up at the large Union flag outside Harrison Flagpoles HQ. Others think is just made up to add an element of mystery at the end of a blog. Perhaps we’ll never know. But if you would like The Flag Geek to delve into something flag or flagpole related on your behalf then simply email email@example.com and they might be able to enlighten you…….
By Hansjorn, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2424536
By Ryan Lackey from San Francisco, CA, US (oman-flagUploaded by Smooth_O) [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
By Ludovic Bertron from New York City, Usa – https://www.flickr.com/photos/23912576@N05/2942525739, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=14831997
Afrika Force (www.flickr.com/photos/afrikaforce/5243371583/), Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic
Ross Dunn via Flickr (https://flic.kr/p/29azMQa)