Flags are great aren’t they? A big silly floaty sheet on a stick that says “hello – we’re British, or Dutch, or Equatoguinean” to all and sundry. On my travels around the world I’ve come to know and love a good number of them. Flags are important: they give us something to rally around that isn’t based on ethnicity, religion or which football team you support. In fact, if you watch this short video of Eddie Izzard here, you’ll see that the very foundations of the British Empire were built on the devilishly cunning use of a flag…

So for your viewing pleasure I’ve brought together all 202 flags from the countries I visited on The Odyssey Expedition and passed judgement on them all.  Countries with striking, clear and chromatically pleasing flags will be applauded, countries with flags that are dull, complicated or have colour schemes that make your eyes sting will be given a silly hat and be told to sit in the corner. To make things nice and easy, I’ve drawn up with some icons to help us along:

The Good

Good Colour Scheme
Happens now and again

Draws your attention

Two Tone
Less is more

Top of the Flag Polls

I have a thing for dragons

The bird is the word










The Bad

If all else fails, add some bloody stars

Unfairly monopolised by the Ottomans and Dreamworks.

Either I’m jealous or they’re just showing off.

Anything more than a leaf is too fiddly for my liking.

Flags are symbolic, words are symbollocks
Wee beasties are for crests, not flags.










The Ugly

Bad Colour Scheme
Some colours make queer bedfellows

Three parallel hues of BORING.

The cardinal sin. Back to the drawing board.

Haven’t I seen you somewhere before?

Crests are for school blazers, not flags

Begone foul thing
Neither big nor clever
Overt Religion
A flag should unify a nation, not divide it.

If I can’t paint it on my face, it sucks















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Afghanistan to Burundi

Cambodia to Ethiopia

Fiji to Kyrgyzstan

Laos to Norway

Oman to Syria

Taiwan to Zimbabwe


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