Thanks to The Big Bang Theory’s “Fun With Flags” feature, we have seen a noticeable increase in our articles about flags. In recognition of this interest in vexillology, we present you with a few flags that may make you scratch your head and wonder.
Isle of Man
Sicily was a trendsetter, at least as far as the Isle of Man is concerned. Its three-legged flag was adopted in 1932
North Caucasian Emirate
The North Caucasian Emirate existed only from September 1919 to March 1920. Belying its short lifespan, the country’s flag struck a decidedly optimistic outlook with its design that (presumably unintentionally) resembles a smiley face.
If you don’t know what is depicted on the flag of MÃ¥sÃ¸y, Norway, you might pass it off as a poorly drawn bird head, a cartoonish hitchhiker’s hand, or a barely lit torch on a windy day. What earns its place on this list of strange flags is the fact that the image in question is a Hakapik. The Hakapik has two purposes: crushing a seal’s skull with the blunt end and dragging the carcass away with the hook.
Surely this design must be an ancient one, steeped in history and tradition, right? Sadly, it was adopted in 1984.
The state of Antwerp, Belgium, takes the cake in terms of bad design. Admittedly, this writer is colorblind, but even so, the flag looks like a punk rocker threw up on it.
The flag of Nepal gets kudos for its willingness to defy conformity. It is the only national flag in the world that is not rectangular. The flag combines two single pennants.
Central African Republic
The flag of the Central African Republic was designed by its first president, Barthélemy Boganda, in 1957. The four horizontal stripes are supposed to signify the four territories of French Equatorial Africa, and the red vertical stripe symbolizes the shedding of blood. Something about the design, however, makes us think that it was designed by a committee and that one of the committee members refused to get with the program.
Zheleznogorsk, Russia was established in 1950 for the explicit purpose of making weapons-grade plutonium. The city’s existence was so secret that it would not show up on any official maps until 1992. The purpose of the community is captured in its flag, which shows a Russian bear ripping apart an atom.