Interesting facts about flags

1. The oldest flag in the world

Flags first appeared in China and India and later spread around the world. Due to the fact that the flags appeared so long ago, it is impossible to identify which flag was the first. However, it has been proven that the Dannebrog is the oldest flag in the world that is still in use today.

Back in the 13th century, presumably from June 15, 1219, Dannebrog is the national flag of Denmark and serves as the inspiration for the designs of the flags of other Scandinavian countries. Prior to its official adoption, the flag was mainly used in the Viking region and featured triangular edges. Austria also claims to be the oldest flag in the world, although their flag appears to date back to 1230.

2. Semaphore flags

Language is not just speech and movement. Semaphore flags are a system for transmitting information at a distance using visual signals through hand flags, rods, discs, and sometimes simply with bare or gloved hands. The information is encoded by the position of the flag and is read when the flag is in a fixed position.

Semaphores have been adopted and widely used in the maritime world since the early 1800s (hand flags have been replaced by so-called "mechanical arms"). Semaphore signals, for example, were used in the Battle of Trafalgar. This was the period when the modern naval semaphore system was invented, which used hand flags. It is still used for emergency communications in the daytime, and at night, lighted sticks are used instead of flags.

3. Non-rectangular flag

The flag of Nepal is the only non-rectangular flag in the world. The flag is a simplified combination of two separate pennants. Its crimson color is the color of the rhododendron, the country's national flower. Red is also a sign of victory in a war, blue border is the color of peace. Until 1962, the flag emblems (sun and crescent) had human faces.

In order to modernize the flag, it was decided to remove the faces. The faces remained on the royal standard until the end of the monarchy in 2008. The flag was adopted with the formation of a new constitutional government on December 16, 1962. Single pennants were used in the previous two centuries, while double pennants began to be used in the 19th century.

4. White flag

The white flag is an internationally recognized protective sign of a truce, or ceasefire and a request for negotiation. It is also used to signal surrender, so often the weaker military side comes up with this flag and requests negotiations.

The white flag indicates that the approaching negotiator is unarmed, in his intentions either to surrender, or a desire to start a dialogue. Persons holding a white flag cannot open fire and cannot be shot at. The use of the flag is included in the Geneva Convention.

5. Black flag

The black flag and the color black itself have been associated with anarchy since the 1880s. Many anarchist collectives have the word black in their names. There were a number of recurring anarchist organizations called the Black Flag.

The uniform blackness of the flag signifies the denial of all repressive structures, as opposed to the colorful flags common to most nation states. In addition, while the white flag is a universal symbol of surrender to a superior force, then the black flag is a symbol of defiance.

6. Trans-flag

We are all familiar with the rainbow flag of the gay movement, however, the transgender flag is less well known in public circles. It was created in 2000, when the first parade of this minority took place in the American city of Phoenix (Arizona).

The flag designer very clearly explained why the flag is like this: “Blue is traditionally masculine, pink is feminine, white in the middle symbolizes those in between who feel that they have a neutral gender. The bottom line is that no matter which path you choose, it will always be the right one. This speaks to our efforts to find justice in our own lives. "

7. Jolly Roger Flag

Jolly Roger is the name given to any flag to identify the crew of a pirate ship. Today the most recognizable Jolly Roger is the human skull perched above two crossed tubular bones. This whole composition is depicted on a black background. This flag design has been used by many famous pirates.

Some Jolly Roger flags depicted an hourglass, which in 17th and 18th centuries in Europe was a symbol of death.

8. Flag of West Africa

This unusual flag is usually (and mistakenly) attributed to the Benin Empire. It is one of four flags currently in the Greenwich National Maritime Museum near London. There is some uncertainty as to the exact origin of the flag, whether it came directly from Benin or was used by neighboring peoples.

The name "Kennedy", written on a paper label and attached to the flag, seems to indicate that it was brought back to Admiral F. Kennedy in 1897 after the expedition against Benin, which may indicate that the flag has Benin origin. However, the flag is very similar to the other three West African flags stored in the museum, which did not originate in Benin, but among neighboring peoples.

9. Flag of Mars

The flag of Mars is a tricolor representing the planet. Although it has no legal effect, the flag has been approved by the Martian community and the planetary community. The flag is intended to represent the "future history" of Mars.

The red stripe, which is closest to the mast, symbolizes Mars today. Green and blue indicate the stages of the possible terraforming of Mars, that someday humanity will be able to fulfill this task, however, the ethics of terraforming the planet is still a subject of debate.

10. Nazi flag

The Nazi flag is probably the most controversial flag in human history. It is even now banned in a number of countries. The flag was designed by Hitler himself, who believed that it was necessary to use the colors of imperial Germany, because in his opinion, "the use of these colors is our tribute and respect to the glorious past that brought so much honor to the German nation."

"The most important requirement for a new flag is that it must prove its effectiveness, because there are hundreds of thousands of cases where a really worthwhile emblem can be the root cause of the awakening interest in the movement."