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Top 10 Unusual or Unique Flags

Jamie Frater . . . Comments

Flags have been used since before we began recording history, to symbolize movements, peoples and even individuals. Every country in the world has a flag – some weird, some beautiful and some incredibly boring (Libya’s flag for instance – plain green and nothing else). This list looks at ten flags, or types of flags, that are unique in one or another aspect from other flags.




Flags originated in China and India and spread around the world. Because they are so ancient it is not possible to pinpoint the very first, so we are doing the next best thing by including the Dannebrog – the world’s oldest state flag still in use. Dating back to the 13th century – allegedly June 15, 1219, the Dannebrog is the state flag of Denmark and is the inspiration behind the design of many other scandinavian country’s flags. Prior to its adoption the flag most commonly in use in the region was the Viking raven banner which was triangular in shape and carried the image of a Raven. Austria also lays claim to having the oldest flag though their flag most likely appeared around 1230.



Semaphore Lima Xl

Language doesn’t just come in the form of speech and movement. Semaphore Flags are a system for conveying information at a distance by means of visual signals with hand-held flags, rods, disks, paddles, or occasionally bare or gloved hands. Information is encoded by the position of the flags; it is read when the flag is in a fixed position. Semaphores were adopted and widely used (with hand-held flags replacing the mechanical arms of shutter semaphores) in the maritime world in the early 1800s. Semaphore signals were used, for example, at the Battle of Trafalgar. This was the period in which the modern naval semaphore system was invented. This system uses hand-held flags. It is still used during underway replenishment at sea and is acceptable for emergency communication in daylight or, using lighted wands instead of flags, at night.



490Px-Flag Of Nepal.Svg

The flag of Nepal is the only national flag in the world that is not rectangular. The flag is a simplified combination of two single pennants. Its crimson red is the color of the rhododendron, the country’s national flower. Red is also the sign of victory in war. The blue border is the color of peace. Until 1962, the flag’s emblems, the sun and the crescent moon, had human faces. They were removed to modernize the flag. The faces remained on the sun and the moon on the Royal Standard until the abolition of the monarchy in 2008. The flag was adopted, with the formation of a new constitutional government, on December 16, 1962. The individual pennants had been used for the preceding two centuries and the double pennant since the 19th century.


White Flag

800Px-F1 White Flag.Svg

The white flag is an internationally recognized protective sign of truce or ceasefire, and request for negotiation. It is also used to symbolize surrender, since it is often the weaker military party which requests negotiation. A white flag signifies to all that an approaching negotiator is unarmed, with an intent to surrender or a desire to communicate. Persons carrying or waving a white flag are not to be fired upon, nor are they allowed to open fire. The use of the flag to surrender is included in the Geneva Conventions.


Black Flag

750Px-Black Flag.Svg

The black flag, and the color black in general, have been associated with anarchy since the 1880s. Many anarchist collectives contain the word “black” in their names. There have been a number of anarchist periodicals titled Black Flag. The uniform blackness of this flag is representative of the negation of all oppressive structures, in deliberate contrast to the colorful flags typical of most nation-states. Additionally, as a white flag is the universal symbol for surrender to superior force, the black flag is a symbol of defiance, an opposition to surrender.


Transgender Flag

800Px-Transgender Pride Flag.Svg

We are all familiar with the rainbow flag of the gay pride movement, but less well known is the transgender flag. It was created in 2000, and first flown at a pride Parade in Phoenix, Arizona, that year. The flag designer most aptly sums up its meaning, so I will let her speak: “The light blue is the traditional color for baby boys, pink is for girls, and the white in the middle is for those who are transitioning, those who feel they have a neutral gender or no gender, and those who are intersexed. The pattern is such that no matter which way you fly it, it will always be correct. This symbolizes us trying to find correctness in our own lives.”


Jolly Roger

750Px-Flag Of Edward England.Svg

The Jolly Roger is the name given to any of various flags flown to identify a ship’s crew as pirates. The flag most usually identified as the Jolly Roger today is the skull and crossbones, a flag consisting of a human skull above two long bones, set in an x-mark arrangement on a black field. This design was used by several pirates, including Captains Edward England and John Taylor. Some Jolly Roger flags also include an hourglass, another common symbol representing mortality and death in 17th and 18th Century Europe. Despite its prominence in popular culture, plain black flags were often employed by most pirates in the 17th-18th century.


West African Flag

525Px-Flag Of The Benin Empire.Svg

This unusual flag is commonly (and wrongly) attributed to the Benin Empire. It is one of four currently held at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich near London. There is some uncertainty about the exact origin of the flag, and whether it came from Benin itself or was used by the forces of its Itsekiri allies. The name ‘Kennedy’ on the paper label attached to the flag seems to indicate it was brought back by Admiral F.W. Kennedy from the 1897 expedition against Benin, and so is of Benin origin. The flag, however, is extremely similar to three other West African flags the Museum holds, which originated not in Benin itself but with the neighboring Itsekiri people.


Martian Flag

800Px-Flag Of Mars.Svg

The flag of Mars is a tricolor used to represent the planet of Mars. While not official in any legal sense, it has been approved by, and is used by, the Mars Society and The Planetary Society. The flag is designed to portray the “future history” of Mars. The red bar, which lies closest to the mast, symbolizes Mars as it is today. The green and blue symbolize stages in the possible terraforming of Mars, should humanity ever have the will and the ability to undertake such a task, the ethics of terraforming remaining a matter of debate.


Nazi Flag

800Px-Flag Of Nazi Germany (1933-1945).Svg

The Nazi flag is probably the most controversial flag in man’s history. It is even banned in a number of countries today. The flag was designed by Hitler himself, who thought it was necessary to use the same colors as Imperial Germany, because, in his opinion, they were “revered colors expressive of our homage to the glorious past and which once brought so much honor to the German nation.” The most important requirement was that “the new flag… should prove effective as a large poster” because “in hundreds of thousands of cases a really striking emblem may be the first cause of awakening interest in a movement.”

Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. Text is derived from Wikipedia.

Jamie Frater

Jamie is the owner and chief-editor of Listverse. He spends his time working on the site, doing research for new lists, and collecting oddities. He is fascinated with all things historic, creepy, and bizarre.

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  • Stephen

    Lol at White Flag.

    • you'rewrong

      I can guarantee that everyone, for a nanosecond, thought, "But where's the flag?… Oh."

      • spiderbait

        I actually dragged the picture to the side just to make sure there actually WAS a picture.

  • Jack

    I love the Nepalese flag

    • suraj

      ya me too

      • Random

        me three

  • Poopy McKgee

    poopy poop poop (:

  • California has a pretty lame flag, its got a grizzly bear on it and there hasnt been any grizzlies in CA for a long ass time. i wonder if California will get a new flag when it eventually breaks off from the continental US and goes down to kick it with hawaii hahaha

    • jherrera

      Do you know that California's flag was supposed to have a "Pear" on it? Somewhere along the way, the message to put a pear on the flag was mis-interpreted, and a "Bear" was placed on it! But that's another list!

      • neurosisinc

        Not sure if you're joking, that was snopes pulling your leg! & Mr. Ed was actually a zebra!

        • LOL WUT

          Pesky typoes, They’re the reason Joan of Arc was almost burned at the snake.

    • Spaz

      Maybe California should change to a white flag since they have surrendered to Mexico and the illegals.

  • Roman

    Fly the white flag of war!

  • number 8 isn't the only non-rectangular flag, Switzerland's is a square

    • magoopaintrock

      Technically, squares are rectangles because they have four right angles.

      • MrRocketSkates

        Be quiet

    • Nick

      A square is a rectangle.

      • shroom

        a square has four equal sides a rectangle doesn't

        • Geronimo

          any quadrilateral with 4 right angles is a rectangle…the equality of side doesn't matter… a square is a rectangle bro…..

        • ianz09

          Definition of a rectangle: A closed quadrilateral with two sets of parallel lines and 4 corners that measure 90 degrees. A square meets all of these, therefore it is a rectangle. One of the few things I retained from highschool.

          • TheAshok

            They taught me all wrong in my school! Good that I never attended the classes. ;)

          • Vera Lynn

            Every square is a rectangle, but not every rectangle is a square.

          • dumbderriere

            Every square is a rectangle, every rectangle is square, but not everyrectangle is a square

          • oliveralbq

            every nerd is a square, but not every square is a nerd

          • Jay

            And every square is sometimes nude, but not every nude is a square. In fact, some parts resemble a parallelpiped.

          • Jay

            You mean 4 corners that measure 360 degrees in total? That's a rectangle. If each corner measures 90 degrees, that's a square. If the four angles measure 90 degrees in total, that's geometry from the Dark Dimension and I want nothing to do with it.

          • ianz09

            I meant four corners that measure 90 degrees apiece haha. But rectangles that aren't squares must still have 90 degree angles. If the don't, they are a parallelogram, which isn't necessarily a rectangle. Every square is a rectangle, and every rectangle is a parallelogram, but it doesn't work like that backwa- *head explodes*

          • Jay

            ianz? ianz? Darn, another life senselessly lost to trapezoids. Or rhomboids. Whatever.

          • ianz09

            I can be resuscitated… But the only way that is possible id for brock to never comment… ever again.

          • Jay

            Ahhh, if he wouldn't do it for us… Darn. Another senseless life lost.

      • Jay

        Are you sure? I thought it was a polygon…

    • being over zealous are we? I already knew this, but it is widely assumed that a square is not a rectangle. How else would I rephrase the statement?

      • Euclid

        Wow… you learn this in kindergarten guys. At least here. A square is a type of rectangle, like a dog is a type of mammal. Saying Switzerland’s flag isn’t rectangular is like saying a bird isn’t an animal because it has feathers. A square is just a special type of rectangle.

  • cqsteve

    Every so often here in Australia, the arguement about changing our flag comes up. Because of the Union Jack on our flag symbolising our traditional ties with Britian, many people feel it is no longer reflective with modern Australia. Many good points for and against the change are made, but it always seems to be raised when the federal government is having a crisis of some type and needs to divert attention away from their stuff-ups. The republican debate is also treated in this manner.

    • you'rewrong

      I support that. I'm Argentinean, so anything that damages the United Kingdom of F—— A-Holes is cool with me.
      p.s. this one time, someone thought I was Australian because of my accent. I'm from S. California. and I think Australian is the coolest English accent

      • Englisher

        Still reeling from the failed attempt to capture the Falklands? Thought as much…

    • oliveralbq

      @cqsteve: "Many good points for and against the change are made, but it always seems to be raised when the federal government is having a crisis of some type and needs to divert attention away from their stuff-ups."

      the same thing happens here in the american south over the conferderate flag. south carolina and alabama flew the confederate flag over their state capitols, and people are constantly throwing a fit over its presence. the state of georgia changed its flag in 2001 because it had the conf. flag in it. here in mississippi, the confederate flag occupies the same space that the stars occupy on the u.s.a. flag.

      these fits people throw…..they come just as you described. whenever they need to divert attention from something else. i'm not going to voice my opinion on keeping the flag (vs.) changing the flag — i just always think the timing is a little weird.

      • cqsteve

        Yeah it happens far too often to be a mere coincidence! "Democratically" elected governments obviously think the voters are idiots and throw up issues to cloud the real problems. Tyrants know people are essentially smart which is why they don't bother to baffle them with bullshit, they just use force.

  • Armadillotron

    Before Hitler came along, the Swastica was a symbol of PEACE. Also, it`s a symbol of Hinduism. And when pointed in the opposite direction, it`s a symbol of Buddhism. In South Korea, it`s shown on cafes. Sadly Jews and the political correct brigade, want it banned. Ridiculous.

    • Mikael L

      Where did you get that from? I’m Jewish and I don’t want it banned…

      • Armadillotron

        Er yes, Swastika`s or anything else to do with Hitler or Nazis in Germany is BANNED and you risk being thrown in prison. A man who made Gnomes giving Nazi-salutes, was thrown in prison and a husband and wife in America who called their son Adolf Hitler Campbell in America, the parents were given a few months and poor Adolf was taken into care! Which is unreal. Why can`t you name you son Adolf Hitler?

        • Techstyles

          Em – coz it's bad parenting and supports fascism maybe ?

        • Moonbeam

          They weren't taken away because of the names. There was evidence of abuse in the family. Apparently the windows were nailed shut, the children were strapped to chairs for long periods of time, the mother slipped a neighbor a note asking for help because the father threatened to kill her. The father, who can't read, has a restraining order out against him from a previous wife and would somehow abuse the children with a vacuum held on their faces.

      • As far as I know fascism isn’t illegal. You can’t go around taking peoples kids off them just because you don’t agree with their political views ya know!

    • magoopaintrock

      Well obviously symbols can change meaning over time, so deal with it.

    • JustPeisma

      Actually, the Swastica itself is not banned. The Hakenkreuz is a swastica, that is tilted to the side to make it seem more dynamic and powerful. The "real" Swastica, however, stands on one of its feet and may be displayed in public.

    • I was always told that the swastika was an ancient Scandinavian symbol for good luck. I'm not sure if my version or your version of the meaning is right, though…

      • TheAshok

        Swastika is a religious symbol for Hindus and it is believed that this symbol (along with the AUM letter) brings peace and prosperity. Swastika symbol has been here since ages….it is one of the oldest symbols known to mankind. Indus Vally civilization is one of the best examples where we can find Swastika.

    • you'rewrong

      Not only that, before Hitler came along, the Roman salute (hand outstretched to the flag) was the national salute to the American flag. Goddamn Nazis ruin everything.

    • The Mick

      you will find that the swastika appears throughout ancient history in Greece, Syria, Egypt. It's not exclusive to Hinduism or Buddhism, especially in the regard of being a symbol of religion.
      It was used as a decorative strip usually painted along walls or pottery and may have had a spiritual significance as a symbol that could ward off evil spirits.

  • Jael

    The Japanese flag should have been included in an "honourable mention" section fr one reason: it resembles a popular Japanese side dish of rice with an umeboshi (pickled plum) on top. Japanese people often refer to their flag as the "umeboshi flag", and last I checked, they were the only nation to have a flag resemble a native dish.

    Other than that, great list!

    • kraff

      The Japanese Flag resembles the rising sun, see wikipedia:
      "[The] flag is officially called Nissh?ki (????, "sun-mark flag") in Japanese, but is more commonly known as Hinomaru (????, "sun disc")."

    • Jay

      If State flags are included, Ohio has the Buckeye.

    • violatorofsanity

      note the use of the word "resembes", you actually had to look it up on wikipedia? lmao

  • tanman

    the naxi flag is such a powerfull symbol. it is still in use today as a sybol of racism and hate.
    but it really did rally all of germany back in ww2

  • mck

    Aren't all flags unique? Why is the title like that?

    • mck

      Why is Nazi flag unusual? I think the list should have been named something else.

    • Mikael L

      Unusual OR unique. Romania and Chad have identical flags.

      • JVWha

        I wonder whose was first, though? I also still have problems differentiating the French flag from the Russian one :-)

        • fendabenda

          The Russian flag has horizontal stripes, the French "Tricolore" has vertical ones. Unless I got them confused. :/

        • The flag of Romania was adopted almost 100 years before the Chad flag was adopted. The basic design of the Romanian flag is the same as that of Chad, Andorra, and Moldova.

        • The Mick

          i have problems telling these flags apart too. especially when i am very drunk and dont know if i'm still standing or i have fallen over…

          • Jay

            If you don't know, you've fallen over.

  • Geronimo1618

    Cool pics for the White and Black flags, must have been very difficult to find them? hyuk hyuk :P

  • hermy304

    The welsh flag is cool with a red dragon,white and green background.

  • Cormac

    The Swiss flag isn’t rectangular either. Apart from that it’s a great list. :)

    • mck

      You need to go back to school. You might wan't to ask Joran Docker if he likes to join you.

    • ozwald

      Although a square technically is a rectangle but it does make the Swiss flag unique because it is the ONLY flag which is square.

      • Jay

        The only one except for the others. Which makes it SORT OF unique. It's like "Unique-Lite."

  • Mikael L

    With regards to item 8: the Vatican and Swiss flags aren’t rectangular and hence your opening line is incorrect.

    • mck

      "In Euclidean plane geometry, a rectangle is any quadrilateral with four right angles."

      I'm pretty sure the JF is using Euclidean plane geometry. :P

      • magoopaintrock

        In Euclidean plane geometry, is it even possible for a polygon to have four right angles and not be a quadrilateral? I don't think so.

        • mck

          Let me try to draw:
          __ __
          | |__| |

          I could drar an octagon with all right angles… just that some of them are exterior to it :P

          • mck

            My drawing got distorted. The second line segment in the top row should be little toward right. I guess you got the idea.

          • magoopaintrock

            Well I understand "four right angles" to mean exactly four, not a minimum of four. But now we're getting into semantics.

          • mck

            ha ha, I missed the four part. I agree with you, this has gone too far.

          • magoopaintrock

            I have one more thing to add. One could conceivably argue that even though all squares are rectangles, all squares are also, at the same time, non-rectangles. Follow me: All squares are just a certain kind of rectangle, so there really would never be a practical reason for someone to call a square "a rectangle" (they instead would just call it by its most specific category: "a square"). By the same light, anything refered to as just "a rectangle" carries the strong implication of being a non-square rectangle. This tendency to always choose the most specific categorization would, in a sense, almost be enough make the two terms mutually exclusive.

          • Jay

            Sort of like beans and lima beans. They're not the same thing at all. If you ate lima beans, you'd SAY you ate lima beans. So if you don't say they were Lima beans, we assume they were pinto. Or navy. Or whatever. You following this?

    • Arsnl

      @magoo:”the most specific categorization would, in a sense, almost be enough make the two terms mutually exclusive.”
      What the hell are you talking about? They’re all freakin curves. And you say you’re a mathematician. Geesh.

  • Arsnl

    A funny bonus would be romanian/chad that share the same national flag.
    It was a funny list. A little bit of history would have been nice.
    Ps: to all you wanna be geometrists out there. A square is a rectangle. Loads of geniuses and critics here.

    • mck

      "The flag is coincidentally very similar to the civil flag of Andorra and the state flag of Chad. The similarity with Chad’s flag, which differs only in having a darker shade of blue (indigo rather than cobalt), has caused international discussion."

    • Mikael L

      Another possible bonus could be Liechtenstein’s and Haiti’s flags being identical before the 1936 Olympics… there’s a great story behind it.

  • ..,,L,,..

    Russian neonazi/neosoviet flags:

  • Stefan

    the white flag's image didnt load!

    oh wait…

    • Jay


    • ozwald

      I see the humor in it. Somebody should have put a border around it. Its not difficult. You only need to know a little CSS. :p

    • ianz09

      Yeah I thought JFrater decided not to even bother showing an image because it wouldn't show up. But, there is an actual image there if you right click

  • Billy

    And in case you comment:

    "Every square is a rectangle but not every rectange is a square"

    still making it unique.

    • mck

      You got my point this time.
      But unfortunately, Vatican City also has a square flag.

  • mck

    Ofcourse, Swiss flag is a square. And some thing that not so obvious to many people here is that square is a rectangle too!!!

  • Adolph

    Love #1

    • The Mick

      lol Adolph. Making a come-back tour anytime soon??


  • Dan

    Sorry to dissapoint you, but a square is by definition a rectangle with sides a and b both being the same lenght. So mathematically speaking, the swiss flag IS a rectangle – its sides just happen to have funny lenghts. :P

  • magoopaintrock

    I agree with Mck. The swiss flag is EXTREMELY RECTANGULAR. Although I would disagree with Dan that the lengths of a square's sides are funny. Whatever that means, Dan. The only criteria for a square is that the lengths of the sides are equal. I guess equal is funny to some people.

  • Shirokuma

    More history behind #3 would be interesting, cause the accompanying text isn't really significant… in fact, it doesn't explain anything :)
    Also I wonder how many more mathematicians will try to comment here as sarcastical as possible.

    • magoopaintrock

      If your goal is to use real words, then you might want to try "sarcastically." But what do I know, I'm just a mathematician.

      • Jay

        RIght, Magoo. I'm the word guy. I'll handle this!

        You might want to try "sarcastically."

  • bsballbuster

    Ah br0ck, it is good to see you did not get caught up in the whole "riveting" square / rectangle debate and, once again, weighed in on the tough issues. Really br0ck? "Fag flag"? You really have no clue, do you? I am not totally convinced you are this idiotic. Time for some truth! You are really a university professor and you use this venue to spout idiocy to get away from the daily drudgery of philosophical debate!

  • bsballbuster

    Chances are this will make me unpopular with the math "enthusiasts", but good-gravy, we get it and lets drop the whole square / rectangle debate! How many of you spent a portion of your highschool years stuffed into your own lockers for being spaghetti armed geeks?

    • Matt

      i never did. i got heavily into math and sciences later in my life. after high school. math is beautiful. you owe every bit of your modern comforts to engineering and sciences, not to politicians, or athletes or Pope or whoever you hold dear including your very favorite pop idols from Hollywood. politics is almost useless and hindrance in the way of good economics, second to only religion. the standard of life skyrocketed after Industrial Revolution. my respect goes out to all the scientists who made it possible regardless of their physic. in this grand scheme of things Joe the Jock from your high school amounts to zilch.

    • moar

      man, if it wasnt for a geek squad from DARPA there wouldnt be any Internet. chances are you are using Windows with GUI interface. responsible for that is the geekiest of the nerds Bill Gates. you probably are saving up for IPhone by cutting grass and working part time at a car-wash. how about your fave toons Ratatouille and Toy Story? hope you know these are another spaghetti hand/pencil neck nerdling Steve Jobs` courtesy .

    • Jay

      Our OWN lockers? Yeah, that would have been better…

  • Adolf hitler

    i love #1..and it is not a square!

    • The Mick

      lol Adolph. Making a come-back tour anytime soon?? or just choosing to stay 'underground'??


  • Eggtart

    Are we forgetting the South African flag (most colours) and the Libya flag (only one colour)? The South African flag should've at least made it, given its uniqueness

  • If a rectangle is a square then a circle is a two dimentional sphere

    • Yes, a circle is a sphere displayed in a two-dimensional space.
      And a square is a type of rectangle. What's your point?

      • Jay

        Spaces can be two-dimensional only in theory. It's like saying a two-dimensional square is a cube. A two-dimensional cube is NOT a square. I'm not sure what it is, but I know it's not a square.

        • It's the net of a cube. AKA that funky cross shaped thing made from squares.

  • And did the Martians have any say in the design of their flag, be it square or rectangular

    • Jay

      To answer both your posts: A triangle is a side-challenged square, and Yes.

    • ianz09

      Next, we're gonna start taxing them without representation. Has history taught us nothing?!


    vat d hell.. Indian flag not derr..vat d hell, no safron, vite, green! Ve r goin 2 host d comon vealth games dis year nd we poo on d wash basins an on d bed! Vat d hell

    • Tron

      Ahhhh shaddup man..we have already faced enough shame without you making idiotic comments about the CWG..

    • ianz09

      You didn't even imply the correct accent. YOU FAIL AT RACISM.

  • 7raul7

    The most ' beautiful ' flag, in my humble opinion, is the flag of Pakistan. Of course everyone has their own choice, but for me … it defines symbolic beauty & perfection.

    • Tron

      That's because it is similar to the Islamic flag yeaah.

    • Arsnl

      If the country’s not atleast the flag should be, right?

  • mck

    Very interesting gallery of flags –

  • Mr.martian

    Greetingz ertlingz..We do not like the FLAG.. We dont use crapz like you do and we come in peace..

    • Jay

      And offer the gift of spelling?

  • tinomalias

    check Macedonian and Cyprus’ flags. They got the countrys outline on them.. Pretty cool

  • tinomalias

    indianbhai ??

  • tinomalias

    Eggtart : sorry about that one. And yeah i was thnkin about Kosovo.thanks

  • morningclaire

    quibbling semantics….

  • David

    Martians have their own flag? Which Martians are we talking about? The War of The Worlds kind, the Mars Attacks! or the Smash Martians?

    • Jay

      Martian Brady. Cute kid until that football hit her in the nose.

  • oouchan

    My all time favorite is the Jolly Roger! I need to fly that one outside my house. :)
    I had no idea that Mars nor transgendered peopled had their own flags. That's neat to know. Might add the Mars one to the Jolly Roger.
    Cool list!

  • Justin

    Well now that we know that a rectangle is a rectangle, and a square is a square….. What’s a triangle?

    • shroom

      a shape with three angles

      • Polygons are not defined by the number of angles, but by the number of sides. Subdivision of polygons may be defined by the types of angles, however.

    • Jay

      Brad, Angela and Jennifer.

  • joe

    Please get off the internet

    • you'rewrong

      More like "Please get off of the face of the Earth."

  • black flag? classic. period. even though they went through 3 lead singers in 5 years, when henry rollins joined em in ’81, they became so polarising that they can,t be left out of any good debate on flags. and their album covers were square-tangles, so they fit into the comment section as well.

    • Arsnl

      Were their albums also black? Could they get it any more black?

    • Jay

      And their records were round-tangles! See how it all fits together!

  • Sieg Heil

    You should have included the flag of south africa 1928-1994 a flag that has flags inside it

  • Daniel

    Also, the albanian flag could be on here. Go check it up on google images.

    • Qungollungo

      What's unusual about the Albanian one? So many countries have some kind of a bird in their flags?! My guess is that you are a "genuine" Serbian, meaning, by default would pick on everything 'made in&by Albanians'.

  • gu kha

    wow .. my country's flag (Nepal) in the list. and double wow for my first comment as well. i've been a fan of listverse for nearly two years now. i love it…keep up the great work. Namaste ya'll.

    • TheAshok

      Nepalese are cool. Nice to have neighbors like you! I wanna visit Kathmandu sometime….may be for my honeymoon. My gal fren loves Kathmandu.

    • adam

      ya i too love Nepal flag and Nepali too!

  • Top Kill

    Great list. The nazi flag is the best design ever.

  • walster

    worst. list. ever.

    • Flora

      kiss. my. ass.

    • betterthantheoriginalwally

      Boy do you suck walster. A. lot.

  • Justin

    I think many have mentioned this already, but Nepal is NOT the only place with a non-rectangular national flag. Switzerland and The Vatican both have square flags.

    I'd have also written a comment under the Nazi flag about the fact that Hitler adapted the Hindu Swastika, simply to educate the ignorant folk roaming this website.

    Cool list idea. Just wish it was executed better…

    • Arsnl

      Just if you were wondering, i was one of the guys that voted you down

    • Squares are rectangles. A rectangle is defined as any quadrilateral with 4 right angles. A square is defined as a rectangle with 4 congruent sides.

    • ianz09

      We've been over this a lot, but it is worth mentioning, squares ARE rectangles.

    • GTT

      Wow Justin, just a note from us "ignorant folk roaming this website"… Please read the comments that have been posted before you so you dont look like such a tool when you jizz the same dribble that´s been remarked on over and over (and over)…

      • ianz09

        Call me immature, I lol'd when you snuck "jizz the same dribble" in there

  • Jay

    I think many people will be surprised to find that the white flag isn't really white. It's a picture of a white cow in a snowstorm.

    • fendabenda

      No, can't you see it's a picture of The White Death, the sniper Simo Häyhä?

    • cgo26

      A white Martian cow

  • General Tits Von Chodehoffen

    Nice concept, kind of anti-climactic list…


    I love flags cuz ve can scratch our arse with the pole. I kno only van flag and dats the safron,(sa fed)vite,hara(green)


    I like only two flags,, all RECTANGULAR flags and NEPAL flag..

    • Jay

      You don't like the square ones?

  • mrjimmyos


  • betterthantheoriginalwally

    Liking the Nazi flag does not equal anti-semitism. But yes it does represent Hitler. He designed it. Back to junior high Dan.

    • Armin Tamzarian

      You can say what you want about the Nazi's, but they did have style. Their flags, their uniforms, their political rally's, their architecture, everything was made to impress. Too bad they gave those things such a social stigma with their political views and later actions. And I'm not cheering for the Nazi's or their ideas, but for their sense of style.

      • fendabenda

        Their uniforms were designed by Hugo Boss, who went on to become a successful designer after the war. The Nazi stigma didn't stick to him, for some reason. Besides, the Swastika wasn't invented by Nazis. It's an ancient religious symbol, check this out:… The swastika is also the symbol of some traditional schools of karate, like Shitô-ryu. Manji-uke (Swastika shaped block) is used in kata like Jion, Jutte, Ji-in, etc. OK, I'm getting too technical here, sorry. :)

  • mordechaimordechai

    Mozambique Flag is pretty cool also.
    It features a Kalashnikov crossed with a hoe.
    Meaning: "I will shoot you and then bury your dead body in my garden"

    • Top Kill


  • Saunders

    Black flags are also hung on buildings(apartments,schools,public buildings…)if someone who lives/works… there died.

  • Mikhail

    What everyone has been saying (and forgive me if this has been said, I got tired of reading the comments) is that while yes a square is indeed a rectangle, it’s a different “shape” of a rectangle? Meaning, it’s not the conventional, international “rectangle.” I agree that “square” flags are different than “rectangular” flags, albeit the shape is geometrically the same? Holy fuck, i hope that made sense…

    • Don't worry, it didn't.

    • violatorofsanity

      As far as I am aware – a square has 4 equally spaced corners – making it a square and not a rectangle

      • Jay

        Four 90-degree angles make a rectangle. A square is a special example of this. So a square is a rectangle but a rectangle is not always a square. And sometimes it's a square circle as in wrestling. That's when you can use pi <i/> to find the circumcision. And of course a square pi <i/> is a cobbler. You can buy one with a three-dollar bill.

        • Jay

          I need practice with italics, <i/> I see.

        • oculus18


  • Maggot

    I gave you benefit of the doubt a few lists back when a racist comment attributed to your nic may or may not have been forged. But now it’s confirmed – you are a douche. And a clueless one at that. Homosexuality is not an all-inclusive trait of transgendered individuals. Sexual preference and gender identity are two completely separate things.

  • Chineapplepunk

    I like the flag on St Ivel spread, lol. Reminds me of the good old days! :')

  • ianz09

    But they won't publish MY lists.

    Try writing good ones then. It helps

    • Ha! I'm not too worried about the quality of my lists, mate.

      • ianz09

        Can't wait too see 'em…

        • Hope you enjoi the blog at – There's a couple 70's music lists there. If you like them or not is irrelevant (I hope you do sincerely) , but I merely make the point that if you're trying to be a snarky goofball, it's misplaced here.

          • ianz09

            Snarky goofball? Why whatever do you mean, sir?


    hahahahaha..white flag..hahahahaha..

  • jojomccid

    Wish you added the flag from the Philippines. It's the only flag in the world that has a meaning if not placed properly. The blue flag turns up if the country is at peace and red flag up if the country is at war.

    • oliveralbq

      storm signal flags.
      thats actually what theyre called — referred to as hurricane flags.

      it's not quite accurate to say placed properly but there is some physical change.

      solid red pennant means there is a small watercraft warning.
      add another solid red pennant (triangle flag) and you have a gale warning

      those are replaced as conditions get worse.
      one red flag with a black box inside, and you have a storm/whole gale warning.
      add an identical dual box flag, and you have hurricane warning.

      so it's not so much rearranging the flag to upside down or side to side, but
      (a) — you wouldnt know if they did — as the square ones are….yanno….squares.
      (b) — not the position, like i said, but rather the quantity.

      which kinda counts.

      the government (u.s.coast guard especially) does not use these anymore, however damn near every small craft harbour, marina, pier (etc) down here on the mississippi gulf coast (and probably alabama and louisiana as well) has them and uses them.

      • Jay

        Weather flags used to be orange and much larger than the American flag. They flew one over Fort McHenry. That was necessary so you could see the weather flag at all times, even from a ship at sea. The American flag was taken down to protect it whenever there was trouble. So Francis Scott Key didn't actually see the American flag when he was watching the attack on Fort McHenry. From far at sea, he saw the weather flag. But he didn't know what he was seeing and took it as his inspiration for the "Star-Spangled Banner."

        And did you know that some weather flags weren't rectangles? They were square.

      • polizisten

        Storm signal flags? I think jojomccid was referring to our actual country flag (Philippines). The blue side is at the top if we are at peace and the red side is up if we are at war.

  • bassbait


  • alisha

    These weren't all especially 'unique' … especially in the case of #1. The circumstances for which it was used were definitely unique, but not the flag itself

  • Top Kill

    I think the design is cool. The nazis had style (swagger).

  • Top Kill

    They are also the reason Top Kill failed to stop the BP Oil Spill. They are monsters.

  • kenny

    number 9 is how the peace sign came about. atleast im pretty sure it did

    • Snoofie522

      You're right. The peace symbol is actually a combination of the semaphore signals for "N" and "D" (standing, in this case, for Nuclear Disarmament.) The semaphore signal for N is formed by a person holding two flags in an upside-down "V", and the symbol for D is formed by a person holding one flag pointing up, and the other pointing down. If you place those two symbols on top of each other, you get the centre of the peace symbol.

  • thisguy

    # 3 is wrong.

    • oliveralbq

      in the write up for #3, there are 12 facts, 3 inferences, and 1 picture.

      i know they are not all wrong, so can you be more specific?

  • Snoofie522

    Great list (and a good laugh over the white flag!) Since the transgendered flag was included, though, I wonder how many people would be aware that there is also a bisexual pride flag.

  • kasaa

    how about tibet's flag, or Mexico an eagle chilling on a cactus while snacking on a snake is pretty weird if you ask me

    • ianz09

      Do you know the story behind that? Apparently, the Aztecs were nomadic for quite awhile. The legend goes that when they stumbled upon an eagle consuming a snake on a cactus, they were to stop and build their civilization at that spot. They built the capital city of Tenochtitlan there, and later it evolved into Mexico City after the conquistadors had their way. Still strange, but also pretty cool once you know the backstory. Gotta love Spanish class

  • Doobie

    I love the french flag…#7

  • TheAshok

    No chequered flag used in F1 racing denoting the end of race? That's pretty unique!

    • The Mick

      agreed Ashok. It is universaly recognized as the end of a race. The first person to have the flag waved in front of them was acknowledged as the victor. This flag should've made the list (given that the list was not exclusive to 'Flags of countries').

  • Chris

    What about the Aerican Empire flag?

  • undaunted warrior 1

    Enjoyed thanks.

  • Jay

    Maybe your lists don't get used because they aren't controversial enough. Have you done one on "10 Reasons Muslims Hate American Atheist Movies That Win Oscars?" Or, if you're not tooo busy rescuing gorillas, try writing something on arm-wrestling orphans.

  • Jay

    I still think the Ohio State flag is most interesting. It's a circle within a circle on and the flag itself is triangular. When Obama posed in front of an Ohio flag, one conservative stated the circle was an "O" for Obama and he had created his own flag! Hehehe.

  • violatorofsanity
  • oliveralbq

    i do think the white flag is cool.
    but why is there a ghost on it?

    • oliveralbq

      and the flag of isle of man.

      and didnt the mozambique flag have an ak-47 on it, at some point?

  • you'rewrong

    I agree, and I hate how the author doesn't even bother to explain the biggest question about the flag: why the hell is one guy cutting off another's head? I don't care "whether it came from Benin itself or was used by the forces of its Itsekiri allies." I care about why decapitation was a national treasure

  • oliveralbq

    sardinian flag
    with all those lopped off heads.

  • spiderbait

    It's a shame that Hitler had to use that flag. I think it's rather cool.

  • xaa

    if being empathic towards those who have nothing is having a polluted mind, then my mind is polluted as fuck

  • I wonder if were gonna use flags forever? What did people use before flags to identify themselves as a nation?

    • Maggot

      We marked our territory with urine.

      • Jay

        RIght, Mpster. And territory was very valuable. That's where we get the phrase, "Urine the money…"

  • QuikeMo

    I really enjoyed this list. I must admit I had an orgasm while reading it. Please, more lists like this, pleaseee ooohhhh mmmmyyyyy goodddd, here comes another oooorrrrggaassmmm…..

    • Machito


      This is the most exciting list ever, I agree!!

  • plum13sec

    the transgender flag is purple not pink

    • Snoofie522

      I think you're thinking of the bisexual pride flag, which is purple, pink and blue. The transgender pride flag IS white, pink and light blue.

  • teddylingus

    "The flag of Nepal is the only national flag in the world that is not rectangular"

    The Swiss flag is also not rectangular, it's a square

    • goofballreferee

      geometry Fail

    • Jay

      Deja vu. I could swear somebody already said that…

  • polizisten

    Where’s the Philippine flag? It is the only flag that could be inverted to indicate whether the Philippines is at war or at peace mode. (Red side up for war and blue side up for peace.)

  • ian

    It would be better if we still had ravens on our flags, instead of boring crosses.

  • 10loladahl

    I'm thinking about joining the Mars Society.

  • Canadianguy

    Food for you thoughts: The skull and cross bones of the Jolly Roger were supposedly a reference to an old Templar burial tradition.

  • Sly

    A square is NOT a rectangle. Bout the Nepal flag, it think it would be more factual to call it the the only non-QUADRILATERAL national flag in the world.

    • Brent

      As has been stated many times in the comments for this post, a square is a type of rectangle, much like a rectangle is a type of quadrilateral. While all rectangles are quadrilaterals, not all quadrilaterals are rectangles. Similarly, all squares are rectangles, but not all rectangles are squares. Think of it like this: squares are a subset of the larger set of rectangles, and both are subsets of the larger set of quadrilaterals. I assure you this is correct. I have a degree in mathematics, and I consulted an old geometry text just to make sure. I encourage you to consult a geometry textbook if you still insist that a square is not a rectangle.

    • Mrs. Antichrist

      How on earth can people manage to get through school without learning that a square IS a type of rectangle?

  • i HATE that the nazis ruined a such a beautiful and perfect symbol with their douchebaggery

  • GTT

    Big snore on the comments today unfortunately… Why is it people seem to think they need to be "oh so witty" by point out tiny errors in semantics? OK, so Switzerland and the Vatican have sqare flags instead of commonly understood rectangles… Whoopy effing doo. Can you just accept that Nepal has the most original shape and move on?

    I do like the Phillipine flag some people mentioned, that would be a good addition. Kinda reminds me of the episode of the Big Bang Theory where Sheldon/Leonard have an apartment flag on the fridge representing trouble or peace depending on the direction… Always thought it was just Sheldon being his own brand of weird but I guess he was inspired abroad. :)

  • Bobby

    Jordan is correct. Vatican city also has a square flag.

  • gailalfar

    South Africa's flag is a combination of the Afrikaner's Apartheid Flag and the Original South African Flag. When apartheid ended, the 2 groups could not decide on a new flag, so they temporarily used the flag we see today. People from both sides began to adore the flag, so it flies today.
    A similar concept is being developed for when Israeli apartheid ends and Palestinians are freed. A combination flag is being studied, but the actual flag is much easier to develop than an actual end to apartheid, no shock.

    • stylefashionista

      I don't think there is an apartheid in Israel, or at least it can't be called one. An apartheid is a policy or system of segregation or discrimination on grounds of race. There is no racial tension here, it's merely territorial.

  • stylefashionista

    I love Nepal's flag! It's so unique.

  • Jay

    My favorite flag is the one that combines all shapes in one. It's a circorectorhombatrapegon. It's called a freak flag.

    Keep it flying, guys.

  • sangpenjelajahmalam


  • theexplorersnight


  • dennis51

    Flag of Paraguay should be listed here. It has two different faces, i believe unique among the nations.

  • DDDD

    a couple of wikifuckinpedia links:

    Isle of Man flag looks like it should be the official flag of robotics football(soccer):

    proposals for the Official Earth Flag (scroll down):

  • DannyB

    The Nazi flag is really a buddhist symbol ruined by hitler.. a shame it made top spot. But where is the Sicilian flag? By far the most unique flag out there…

    • Jay

      Is it square or rectangular?

    • oliveralbq

      @cqsteve: "Many good points for and against the change are made, but it always seems to be raised when the federal government is having a crisis of some type and needs to divert attention away from their stuff-ups."

      the same thing happens here in the american south over the conferderate flag. south carolina and alabama flew the confederate flag over their state capitols, and people are constantly throwing a fit over its presence. the state of georgia changed its flag in 2001 because it had the conf. flag in it. here in mississippi, the confederate flag occupies the same space that the stars occupy on the u.s.a. flag.

      these fits people throw…..they come just as you described. whenever they need to divert attention from something else. i'm not going to voice my opinion on keeping the flag (vs.) changing the flag — i just always think the timing is a little weird.

  • Horst

    The Nazi flag was not designed by Hitler himself. The symbol, as mentioned above, was widely in use before the dawn of the Nazi Party in early 1920. Another prominent party member, the dentist Friedrich Krohn, came up with the idea to use the svastika as symbol of the party and designed the first Nazi-Flag. He then used it to decorate the podium at the founding congress of the NS local group in Starnberg (Bavaria), his hometown, on May 20th, 1920. Hitler only reversed the orientation of the svastika later that year. The dictator even mentions Krohn in his infamous book "Mein Kampf" as the original designer of the flag.
    Anyway, I don't understand, why the Nazi Flag is so fascinating to many people. It is not even remarkably pretty. I find the Danish flag and, most of all, entry #3 fascinating.

  • George

    Great and interesting list. I have a additional information to add. The very Greek word Semaphore is derrived from the composite word Sema (signal) and Fero (i carry) which is the ancient way to signal between great distances. Just a friendly add-on. oh and my friend Manos thinks i?m a lame know it all…


    california sux.

  • maximus

    suprised the welsh flag wasn't mentioned.. it has a large red dragon in the middle, much cooler than any of these (except the jolly roger, can't beat that)

  • maximus

    ahh ok ive read the list i can see why there wasn't room for it (being welsh i brisked through the images and WHAT NO WALES WTFUUUUUUU…) then started typing haha

  • Jay

    I live in Portland, Oregon, where we have a street of small shops that are ALL gay-friendly. It's a beautiful street with all those dozens of rainbow flags flapping gay-ly in the wind. A few years ago one of the book shop had a party for the release of the latest Star Trek novel, the first one to feature a major openly-gay character (guess things haven't changed so much in 500 years in the Star Trek universe. Hehehe.) So I have a copy signed by the authors. It's a very well-written book.

    It's Star Trek, the Next Generation series – Section 31. The title of the book is Rogue, and its by Andy Mangels and Michael A. Martin. Give it a read sometime.

  • JC

    What a lot of people don’t realize is that the Swastika originally faces the opposite direction..and was reversed for political and religious purposes…

  • Jay

    Pity the poor square. It lives no more. Once these proud shapes roamed these plains by the millions. But eventually they all rectangled themselves to death.

  • Fusiler283

    its not for gay people dipshit its for transsexuals.

    • Ismo

      And, as with squares and rectangles, every transsexual is a gay, but not every gay is transsexual.

  • Sardondi

    I know that Wikipedia seems to say that semaphore flags ("wig-wag") were used at Trafalgar in 1805, but I just don't believe that's the case. I know it comes as a shock to many here, particularly if they are under the age of 25, but Wikipedia is actually a pretty risky source of information. Now, it may be correct in this case but I'm under the impression that In the Napoleonic Wars the Royal Navy generally used the "flag hoist" method of signaling.

    That is, small flags which stood for certain words, letters or numbers, would be hung to a line in the proper sequence to make out whatever message was desired. Then the line was hoisted up among the sails. From there other ships officers could see the message flags through their spyglasses and, after translating the flags, could understand the message. Of course in those days virtually every literate sailor, and some illiterate, knew the flags by heart and didn't need to consult a chart to translate.

    But I just don't think wig wag was introduced that early. Indeed, Nelson's famous message to the fleet, "England expects every man to do his duty", was made by the hoist method. Here is Nelson's ship, the Victory, as it appears today with the signal flags in place:

  • Sardondi

    I know that Wikipedia seems to say that semaphore flags ("wig-wag") were used at Trafalgar in 1805, but I just don't believe that's the case. I know it comes as a shock to many here, particularly if they are under the age of 25, but Wikipedia is actually a pretty risky source of information. Now, it may be correct in this case but I'm under the impression that In the Napoleonic Wars the Royal Navy generally used the "flag hoist" method of signaling.

    Okay, one was not so bad, but two…

    The black flag was used internationally for centuries on the high seas to denote a ship which had an outbreak of plague. Similarly a yellow flag, called the "Yellow Jack" denoted yellow fever.

    The second most common use of a black flag was to signal "kill the prisoners" or "no quarter" in battle" See H.L. Mencken's quote: " Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit upon his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats."

    Now, what's this about black flags at anarchists play dates? Sorry, but in America that' MAY have been used for 10 years or so, and then only occasionally by about 14 post-emo kids who got pissed off when they finally got out of high school and found out nobody would just give them money without working for it. (In Europe, it's the several hundred thousand who are closet Nazis.) But the pissed off kids don't use plain black at their parties: I thought they put that stupid red "A" on everything. You know, it's the one they think protects them from going to jail when they burn stuff that doesn't belong to them. Wrong.

  • Anthony.k

    #6 bit racist?

  • ajshrestha

    HA. As soon as I saw the title I knew the Nepal flag would be on here, or heads would roll. Nah just kidding. Fuck ya my flags unique.
    Also, Fuck the nazis for fucking up the entire world's perception of the swastika. Dumb fucks couldnt pick something else. Goddammit.

  • john m

    there is a glaring omission of the african flag(s) with AK-47s on them.

  • factcritic

    nothing weird about them

  • Jay

    More like a list of flags than weird flags

  • anon

    Somehow I just knew the flag of Nazi Germany would be on this list. These sites never miss an opportunity to rag on Germany.

  • Estonian

    Flag of Denmark
    The legend states the origin of the flag to the Battle of Lyndanisse, also known as the Battle of Valdemar (Danish: “Volmerslaget”), near Lyndanisse (Tallinn) in Estonia, on June 15, 1219.
    It is believed that the name of the capital of Estonia, Tallinn, came into existence after the battle. It is derived from “Taani linn”, meaning “Danish town” in Estonian.
    An obvious place to look for documentation is in the Estonian city of Tallinn, the site of the legendary battle. In Tallinn, a coat-of-arms resembling the flag is found on several buildings and can be traced back to the middle of the 15th century where it appears in the coat-of-arms of the “Die Grosse Gilde”, a sort of merchant consortium which greatly influenced the city’s development. The symbol later became the coat-of-arms of the city. Efforts to trace it from Estonia back to Denmark have, however, been in vain.

  • randomguy

    What about the Philippine Flag? It’s the only flag that can be raised in reverse during war time.

  • Martian and Black flag are just LAME…..

  • Lovvvvvvve these lusts!

  • Andrew Simmons

    Nepalese Flag is really Unique: It should be in top position.. It’s it?

  • Captain Jack Sparrow

    Every nation’s flag is unique but technically Nepal’s flag is EXTRAORDINARY. BTW vatican city,switzerland,Monao, Belgium and San Marino all have square flags. Qatar & Bahrain, Italy & Ireland, Indonesia & Monaco,Romania & Chad are similar:)

  • Captain Jack Sparrow

    Every nation’s flag is unique but technically Nepal’s flag is EXTRAORDINARY as it has 5 sides unlike others(4 sides). BTW vatican city,switzerland,Monao, Belgium and San Marino all have square flags. Qatar & Bahrain, Italy & Ireland, Indonesia & Monaco,Romania & Chad are similar:)

  • michaelmastonie

    hi there steven here is the web address details, there there most competitive in the game ,just say mick mastonie recommened you

  • MorganGray

    The flag of the Vatican could have been included as it violates the “rules of heraldry”.
    By those guidelines, you are not supposed to put a color (black, red, green, blue, purple) on a color, or a metal (yellow [gold], white [silver]) on a metal.
    The Vatican did so on purpose to indicate that the church is not bound by the laws of man.

  • Bored

    There was alist of country names going on in the background from the tv. I read white flag heard the country italy. When I was at jolly roger there was englang. Here here to the coincidences.

  • Anjana

    Nepal flag is so unique! i dont think any other countries has the different shape flag as nepal !! :)

  • michaeldalsoon

    well paul i got it from a mate so i think this is the contact
    filling address ,ring them for advice , mention michael told you to ring

  • Dev Raj

    me too

  • typ33

    I though the White Flag didn’t loaded yet, but 5 sec later i notive, NVM… lol