Flags are a universal symbol of pride, patriotism, and unity. They can be seen in nearly every country all over the world. Flags have different meanings to different places, but they're always representative of something - usually an idea or a group of people. In this blog post, we will go through some interesting flags that represent various ideas and groups!
The Union Jack
The Union Jack is the official flag of the United Kingdom and it's made up of three individual flags: St. George's Cross, representing England; St Andrew’s Saltire for Scotland, and Saint Patrick’s Saltire for Ireland. Today, however, it's used as a national flag to represent all parts of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
The Union Jack has a very interesting history and it's one that we will briefly go over here! This flag was first used by King James I of England, who combined the Crosses of St. George and St. Andrew: red cross on white for England and blue diagonal saltire for Scotland (which also represents Saint Andrew, the patron saint of Scotland).
In 1801, Ireland joined Great Britain and a red saltire was added for Saint Patrick. In 1922 however, after Irish independence from the United Kingdom had been attained, this flag ceased to have official status in the country. You can find out more about it on the Ultimate Flags site. Today it is mainly used by sports teams from Northern Ireland who play against English or Scottish teams.
The Stars and Stripes
The flag of the United States is called the Stars and Stripes. There are thirteen red and white stripes in this flag, representing the original 13 colonies who declared their independence from Britain. The 50 stars on the blue rectangle signify each state in America today- one star for every state!
This beautiful collection of colors was designed by a 17-year-old named Robert G. Heft, who was given a B- in his American History class for designing our flag! His teacher changed her mind later on when she saw that he had designed the 50 stars for each state and gave him an A+.
Sun of May
This flag was first used during the revolution in 1812 and is now used as one of Argentina's two official flags.
The Sun of May has a white background with a radiant sun at its center, with eight rays that alternate between five straight and three wavy lines (representing light). The colors red and blue are also significant to this flag. The red stripes are the original flag of Argentina, which is worn by revolutionaries and patriots. Blue symbolizes liberty, perseverance, triumph, justice, and confidence- all traits that Argentine people have!
The Sun of May was also used during Juan Peron's rule in the 1940s as a propaganda tool to represent "the new democracy."
The White Flag
This is an official surrender request and signals the end of the war! The White Flag was first widely used in 1625 between France and Spain during their war against Italy. This flag has been changed many times throughout history to suit the needs of different armies, even Napoleon Bonaparte had a version with one large white section instead of three smaller ones.
Currently this flag represents peace and surrender – something that counts in any war! It is especially used by the military when they want to negotiate or ask for a truce during war (usually to collect their dead). As you can see, flags are very powerful symbols of countries all over the world.
South Korea Flag
The red wavy line in the middle of this flag represents progress and peace. The four black trigrams in each corner are symbols of Taoism representing heaven, water, fire, mountain – everything considered very important by Koreans today! These four symbols also represent balance – which is why they appear on South Korea's national emblem.
This flag is also very interesting because it was created by Korean scholar Bak Yeong-Hyo in 1882! He designed this flag to replace the previous one, which has been in use since 1876 and didn't have much design or symbolism behind it. In the end it was very similar to the Chinese one, so it was replaced with this version.
The flag is symbolic of each country or culture in its way. Here we have learned some history and origin of some flags. They are representative of the societies that they come from, and it would do us well to look into them further.