Flags are the most prominent symbols in our world. It’s a symbol that unites and identifies with people from all over the world. The colours, patterns and symbols all denote key aspects of a country’s aspirations. While some colours and symbols are identified with ease, there are some countries whose flags have strange symbols evoking curiosity.For instance, what is the purpose of an AK 47 rifle, a sword, a machete, or a trident on a national flag? Read on and be amazed!
Bizarre symbols found on various flags across countries, and their true meanings
- Empire of Benin: The erstwhile, pre-colonial empire of Benin (not to be confused with modern-day Benin) had this weird flag. No one knows for sure what this violent graphic symbolizes!
2. Mozambique: The AK 47 gun in the red triangle depicts the state’s vigilance and commitment to defense, while the open book symbolizes importance to education, and the hoe represents the agriculture of Mozambique.
3. Wales: The flag of Wales features the Red Dragon of Cadwaladr, the king of Gwynedd, along with the Tudor colours of green and white. It became the official flag of Wales in 1959. 4. Bhutan: The creature in the flag is the Bhutanese mythological dragon ‘Druk’, holding the mythical jewel, ‘Norbu’. The colour Yellow indicates the country’s civilian traditions, while orange depicts Buddhist spiritualism.
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5. Angola: The symbol on Angola’s flag looks very similar to the Communist Soviet Union’s flag. The only difference is the addition of a machete, which symbolizes the armed struggle and the peasantry, while the cog wheel represents the industries of Angola.
6. Gibraltar: The flag contains a three-tower castle which represents the once glorious Kingdom of Castile, while the golden key signifies the importance of Gibraltar as an entrance into the Mediterranean.
7. Barbados: The trident on Barbados’ flag indicates the three principles of democracy. The idea of the symbol is derived from Britannia, a mythical female patron of Roman Britain.
8. Virgin Islands: The flag of Virgin Islands is a simplified version of the US’ coat of arms. The arrows denote the three major islands while the alphabets of V and I are the initials of the region.
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9. Isle of Man: This self-governing British Crown dependency has a unique symbol, known as Triskelion – three armoured legs with golden ornaments joint together. The symbol was widely prevalent during the ancient empires of the Mycenaeans and the Lycians.
10. Nepal: The flag of Nepal is the world’s only non-quadrilateral national flag. The design incorporates two symbols of the crescent moon and the sun.
11. Uganda: The country’s flag has a grey crowned crane in the center. The colours of black, yellow and red signify the African people, Africa’s sunshine and African brotherhood respectively. The raised leg of the crane indicates the forward march of Uganda.
12. Turkmenistan: The elements of the national flag of Turkmenistan include the crescent moon, a symbol of Islam, five stars representing the five provinces of the country, and a red stripe containing five detailed carpet designs, indicating the five original tribes of the country.
13. Kyrgyzstan: The red flag with a shining sun and a ball which is crisscrossed with two sets of three lines, is actually a representation of the traditional Kyrgyz portable dwellings called Yurt. The 40 sun rays denote the 40 Kyrgyz tribes that unified the country against the Mongols.
14. Cyprus: The country’s flag has a map of the island in orange and two olive branches against a white background. The olive branches indicate peace while the orange represents the large deposits of copper ore.
15. Cambodia: The country’s flag includes the world-famous Angkor Wat as its main symbol. Cambodia’s Angkor Wat is the largest religious monument in the world and is also the country’s best known cultural symbol.