Stories Behind the Flags

Stories Behind the Flags
Stories Behind the Flags

Each country’s flag have their own story.  Here are few of them.

USA: The 50 stars on the flag are for the 50 US states and the 13 stripes are for the 13 colonies that formed the original United States.

Australia: The five small stars are the Southern Cross, the brightest constellation visible from Australia. The seven-pointed star is the Federation Star. This has one point for each of the six states, and a seventh for Australia’s other territories.

Canada: The red represents the red cross of England’s patron saint and the white comes from the French royal emblem, reflecting the country’s English and French heritage. In the center is a leaf of Canada’s national tree, the maple.

China:  When the Communist Party seized control of China in 1949, a competition took place to design a new flag. In the winning design, the red symbolizes the revolution, the large star represents the Communist Party, and the small stars are the Chinese people.

Denmark: According to legend, the Danish flag (the “Dannebrog”) fell from the sky during a battle with the Estonian army in 1219, helping the Danes to victory. Vexillologists, however, believe the flag was derived from the battle banners of crusaders (Christian warriors).

Germany: The black, red, and gold on the German flag can be traced back to the uniform of soldiers in the early 1800s. The soldiers wore black coats with red braid and gold buttons.

Greece: Some say the nine stripes on the Greek flag represent the muses (goddesses of art) in Greek mythology. The color blue may represent the sea.

India: The saffron (orange) color on the Indian flag stands for spirituality, white for peace, green for fertility, and the wheel for change.

Ireland: There is no official story to the meaning of the colors on the Irish flag, but many believe the green stripe symbolizes the Catholics of Ireland and the orange stripe the Protestants who fought for William of Orange in the 1600s. The flag may have been an attempt to reconcile these two sides.

Italy: The green in the flag is said to represent the land; the white is the Alps; and the red is blood spilled in Italy’s wars.

Japan: The big red circle in the middle represents the rising Sun. This is to symbolize the emperors of Japan who were regarded as descendants of the Sun goddess Amaterasu.

Norway: Norway became an independent nation in 1814. The cross comes from the flags of Sweden and Denmark with which it had been united. The red, white, and blue were inspired by the colors of the French Revolution, and symbolized liberty.

Rwanda: Rwanda introduced a new flag in 2002. The green symbolizes hopes of prosperity; yellow stands for economic development; blue is for peace; and the Sun represents light and enlightenment.

Sweden: The cross of the Swedish flag may just be a variation on the Danish flag, but according to one legend, 12th-century Swedish king Eric the Holy saw a yellow cross in the blue sky and made this the design for his flag.

Spain: The four shields in the center of the Spanish flag commemorate the four ancient kingdoms of Spain—Castile (the castle), Léon (the lion), Aragon (stripes), and Navarre (chains).

Switzerland: The white cross on the red base of the squareshaped Swiss flag represents Christianity. The Red Cross humanitarian organization reversed the colors to create the Red Cross flag in honor of its Swiss founder, Henri Dunant.

United Kingdom: The UK flag dates from 1606, three years after Scotland and England were united as a single kingdom. The flag combines the red and white cross of England’s patron saint, George, and the blue and white cross of Scotland’s patron saint, Andrew.

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