Flag of Afghanistan


The first of a few flags to have a picture of the flag on the actual flag itself, which is sheer lunacy. The crest in the centre is way too complicated, but at least (unlike its Latin American counterparts) it’s one colour. There’s some MC Esher weirdness going in that there archway… makes me wonder if David Bowie is hiding behind the left pillar dressed as the Goblin King.

Score: 3/10


Flag of Albania

Good Colour SchemeStrikingTwo ToneMythologyBird

An excellent flag: bold, striking, simple and symmetrical. You’d be able to spot this a mile away on a boat in a storm through a telescope. The double-headed displayed eagle has a nice hint of ruthless baby-eating malevolence about it.

Score: 9/10 


Flag of Algeria

Good Colour SchemeMoon

A good clear flag, uncomplicated and blessed with a decent colour scheme, but gets a few marks knocked off for nicking Turkey’s crescent moon motif.

Score: 5/10


Flag of Andorra

Bad Colour SchemeTricolourCrestComplicatedAnimalsText

This is one of those flags where nearly everything goes wrong.  First up, blue and yellow are two colours that should (preferably) never touch on a flag. The “we’re not Chad!” crest is hopelessly complex: it looks like something off Alan Partridge’s blazer and it’s got COWS on it. Cows? Cows are the least cool animal on the bloody planet, next to chickens. Awful.

Score: 1/10


Flag of Angola

Good Colour SchemePlagiarismWeapon

A decent colour scheme ruined by the nasty great big machete in the centre. This riff on the USSR’s hammer and sickle may seem cute at first, but when you consider the implications of a machete appearing on an African flag in the light of the Rwandan massacre of 1994, it soon becomes rather intimidating and, well, a bit sick.

Score: 3/10

Antigua & Barbuda

Flag of Antigua


The sun setting beneath the waves beyond a white beach framed by a valley of red. I guess it’s clear and original, but it’s just so damn ugly: it looks like a logo for a defunct travel agent from Croydon. In the 70s.

Score: 2/10


Flag of Argentina

Good Colour SchemeSun

A fresh but otherwise boring flag enlivened by the jolly sun logo in the centre. This is the only blue-and-white Latin American flag that doesn’t get marked down for plagiarism as, yes folks, it’s the original.  And quite possibly best.

Score: 6/10


Flag of Armenia

Bad Colour SchemeTricolourEyesore

An excellent example of what happens when you let people who are both boring and colour-blind design your flag: you end up with a horizontal tricolour and a colour scheme that only Borat could love. Yuck.

Score: 2/10


Flag of Australia

Good Colour SchemePlagiarismToo Many StarsDull

Gets three points for having a cool-assed Union Flag in the corner. The rest of the flag gets zero for featuring too many stars and looking EXACTLY like the flag of New Zealand.  For more rag on da Aussie flag, see Here, I Made You A Flag.

Score: 3/10


Flag of Austria

Good Colour SchemeTwo ToneDull

I’ll give it one point for not having a crest and one for not being a tricolour. But that’s about it I’m afraid.

Score: 2/10


Flag of Azerbaijan

Bad Colour SchemeTricolourMoon

Did I say that blue and yellow should never touch? Well neither should blue and red.  I also find you guilty of copying the Turkish crescent moon. Send him down! (The Flagpole)

Score: 2/10


Flag of Bahamas

Bad Colour Scheme

Yeah okay… it may commit the sin of touching yellow and blue, BUT it is an beach destination and the black triangle makes it work (as well as making me think of pirates, which is never a bad thing).

Score 6/10


Flag of Bahrain

Good Colour SchemeStrikingTwo TonePlagiarism

It may be a rip-off of the flag of Qatar, but the serrated edge looks awesome, there’s no crescent moon (yippee!) and you sure as hell ain’t going to mistake it for the flag of France. Good stuff.

Score 8/10


Flag of Bangladesh

Bad Colour SchemeTwo TonePlagiarism

The flag of Japan’s evil twin: an awful green and red combo and the circle is off-centre. Yuck.

Score: 1/10


Flag of Barbados

Bad Colour Scheme

Like the flag of the Bahamas, the yellow and blue may not make me happy, but again it’s a beach destination so I’ll let it off.  Furthermore, the trident logo is pretty cool and a little bit piratey… what’s not to like?

Score: 6/10


Flag of Belarus

Bad Colour SchemeComplicatedDull

The colours are crappy and the Tetris-esque design near the hoist looks like somebody’s left the Lego out.

Score: 3/10


Flag of Belgium

Good Colour SchemeTricolour

The weird shape aside, I don’t think anybody was expecting the flag of Belgium to set the world on fire, but at least they picked a half-decent colour scheme.

Score: 4/10


Flag of Belize


Just bloody awful in every way. This isn’t a flag, it’s a ceramic plate bearing the logo of a gay working man’s club. Semi-naked cartoon men? White trousers? Why don’t you just put Gilbert and George on your flag and be done with it? Can you imagine painting this monstrosity on somebody’s face for a major sporting event? Jeez…

Score: 0/10


Flag of Benin


I guess once a ton of other countries had already used the Pan-African colours, there wasn’t much left to do in terms of a traditional tricolour, so instead of making something groovy, Benin submitted this pile of poo instead. Looks like a very dull game of Qix.

Score: 2/10


Flag of Bhutan

Good Colour SchemeStrikingMythology

I have a soft spot for dragons, mmkay? Nice Buddish colours and a funky dragon skating up the Himalayas on bowling balls!! What’s not to love?

Score: 9/10


Flag of Bolivia


The colour scheme is more African than Latin American and there’s an eagle (and a llama) hidden in there somewhere, but, come on guys, what’s with the SIX flags of the flag on the flag? Then again, I’d expect somewhere as mad as Bolivia to have some kind of crazy pennant so I don’t really know what I’m complaining about.

Score: 4/10

Bosnia and Herzegovina

 Flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina

WTF?Bad Colour SchemeEyesoreToo Many Stars

Oh. My. God. There’s bad, there’s awful, there’s Hitler, there’s Russell Brand and then there’s the flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina. A colour scheme that makes the 80s seem tasteful, stars on a downward escalator to nowhere and a bizarre upside down right-angled yellow triangle of doom slapped in the centre like a difficult middle child that won’t eat its greens. It was probably designed by the same morons who did the tragic 2012 London Olympic logo. Fail in every conceivable way.

Score: 0/10


Flag of Botswana

Good Colour Scheme

One of Africa’s most successful flags hails from Africa’s most successful country. This flag is just lovely, lovely and lovely. Well calculated, blissfully understated and perfectly fimbriated. I feel relaxed just looking at it – bring on the rain! Good on ya, Botswana!

Score: 8/10


Flag of Brazil

StrikingIconicBad Colour SchemeToo Many StarsText

By rights I should hate this flag. The colours are meh, The stars all seem to have fallen to towards the bottom of the blue cricket ball, the Southern Cross makes an unnecessary cameo, there are words in the middle telling people what to do (also rendering the flag irreversible – take that wind!) and the yellow diamond makes the whole ensemble look like the stylised eye of a lizard with a drinking problem. But, you know what??  It’s utterly unique and it kinda works… I don’t know how or why, it just does.

Score: 7/10


Flag of Brunei

Good Colour SchemeCrestText

The disembodied arms are a little sinister, but generally speaking this is a bright, pleasant little flag and the central crest (which of course it loses points for) is at least rather straight forward.

Score: 7/10


Flag of Bulgaria


I really don’t know what to say about this flag, it makes me fall asleep just thinking about it. Having white on top isn’t such a great idea and the bit where the green touches the red is a little jarring.

Score 2/10

Burkina Faso

Flag of Burkina Faso


Well it gets no points for originality, and while the flag of the Artist Formerly Known as Upper Volta is not offensive in any way, it’s about as memorable as the name ‘Paul’.

Score: 4/10


Flag of Burma

Bad Colour SchemePlagiarism

The military junta of Burma changes its flag design more often than they change their underwear. This is the latest incarnation: the central star is waaaaay too big, the colour palette is more Africa than Asia, the green and the red are pretty jarring and overall the whole thing is a bit of a mess. Yuck.

Score: 2/10


Flag of Burundi

Good Colour SchemeToo Many Stars

I’ve got a bit of a soft spot for saltires, and this particular one scores because it does a great job of drawing your attention to the centre.  Burundi being the centre of Africa, surrounded by green grass and red rock, this flag makes perfect sense.  It may have two too many stars in the middle, but otherwise it’s simple flag that tells a simple story.  Lovely.

Score: 6/10

Find Papa Smurf’s hat!!

Smurf Hat!As strange as it may sound, the designers of the flags of the world must have got together at some point and decided to cleverly incorporate Papa Smurf’s Hat into the designs of five of the world’s 193 flags (presumably as some kind of Geo-Vexillological Easter Egg Hunt).  Your challenge is to find them all!  The first one is hidden somewhere on this very page.  Good luck!!


Cambodia to Ethiopia >>

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Mr Lock

    You should be more informed about the moon/star on the flags. If you don’t already know it is the symbol for Islam(muslims) and its the equivelant of having a cross on a flag. Surely they didn’t copy religion as it has no borders. Many Islamic countries have the same Moon and star. Just to mention a couple:

    Algeria, Azerbaijan, Bosniaks, Malaysia, Mauritania, Pakistan, First Saudi State, TURKEY, Tunisia, Comoros, Cyrenaica, and Hyderabad.

    Even though the Ottoman Empire first used this in their flag, the symbol its self is universal and they cannot take credit for the idea. In comparason it is like putting the David Star on a Jewish country’s flag or a Cross on a Christians flag.

  2. Ian Larsen

    Is that a smurf hat opposite the axe on Bolivia?

  3. Gavino

    Being Austrian I have to say a few words on the Austrian flag. First of all, there is a version of it with a crest ( ). Second, while the design itself is kinda boring and a little too similar to general signs that say “pay attention!” or “not allowed” (like the signs that warn you not to go the wrong way on a one way street), it has a veeeery long history. The red-white-red was used in the Austrian coat of arms since the middle ages ( ), and it was always present in the coat of arms of the Austrian emperors to represent their Austrian territories. I like national symbols that make sense culturally and historically, and I couldn’t think of anything that would fit better in that sense than the red-white-red.
    The Austrian national anthem on the other hand is culturally and historically (and aesthetically) completely worthless. You’ve never heard of the Austrian anthem?? Neither has anybody else, unless they watch skiing.
    I also have to say that I DO kinda like the design on the Belarus flag, for exactly the same reason. While it is a bit too complex to go on a flag, it looks like a traditional knitting pattern, and does in a way yell “Belarus!” (or at least “Kinda northern European!”)

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