Flag of Cambodia

Good Colour SchemeComplicated

While not being a fan of red and blue touching each other, I have to say that the Cambodian flag seems to get away with it… the sandwich of blue gives the impression of watching the sun set over the Angkor Watt. Shame then that they chose to represent said temple using a dull-as-hell architectural blueprint that wouldn’t look out of place on a Euro. Shame.

Score: 5/10


Flag of Cameroon


Interchangeable with a stack of other flags, this effort from Cameroon is so conformist it makes me want to cut my hair, put on a shirt and tie and get a proper job.

Score: 3/10


Flag of Canada

Good Colour SchemeStrikingIconicTwo Tone

One of most striking symbols of all the world’s flags, the Canadian standard takes a the simple image of a leaf and makes it their own. Only consisting of two colours, this is possibly the finest example of a bold, simple design that is both easy on the eye and instantly recognisable. Great stuff.

Score: 9/10

Cape Verde

Flag of Cape Verde

Too Many StarsPlagiarism

It would take a lot to get me to say something nice about Cape Verde, and I don’t feel like starting today. The circle of stars is a total rip off of the flag of Europe and the central band looks like somebody’s gone nuts with the stripy toothpaste. The fact that nothing is centred is somewhat irksome and it looks a bit like the logo of a bus company circa 1982. At least the colours aren’t stinging my eyeballs.

Score: 2/10

Central African Republic

Flag of Central African Republic

Bad Colour SchemeWTF?Eyesore

What on Earth is that red vertical band doing in the middle? This flag would be bad enough if it wasn’t there, but with it is it simply irredeemable. All I can think of is the long thin piece that would allow me to score a Tetris. It’s so jarring that it makes me want to climb up the flagpole with a pot of Tipp-Ex and a pocket full of felt-tip pens. A fundamental fail of a flag.

Score: 0/10


Flag of Chad


I can’t help but feel that not much effort went into the design of this Andorra’s-without-the-crest flag, in fact it rather looks like the Chadians pissed on the French flag and then hoisted it up a flagpole. Which, given the French’s torrid record in Africa, might well be the case…

Score: 2/10


Flag of Chile


A bit dull and looks disturbingly similar to the flag of Texas, but I guess it does the job.

Score: 4/10


Flag of China

Good Colour SchemeTwo ToneToo Many Stars

It could never be described as the most exciting of flags, but this little effort from big ol’ China is easy on the eye and is more atheistically pleasing than other starry starry flags out there.

Score: 6/10


Flag of Colombia

Bad Colour SchemeEyesore

A beautiful country but an ugly goddamn flag. What’s with the unequal bands? It makes me feel uneasy, an unease not tempered in any way by the misdemeanour of red touching blue and the crime of blue touching yellow… Colombia, yer jus’ too damn yella!!

Score: 2/10


Flag of Comoros

Bad Colour SchemeMoonToo Many StarsWTF?

The use of all the primary colours is a little, erm, gay pride (which is by no means a problem, but still: funny for a deeply conservative muslim country) and the four stars representing the four Comoros islands (only three of which are actually part of Comoros) smacks a little of wishful thinking.

Score: 4/10


Flag of Congo

Good Colour Scheme

I hate Congo (with good reason — they threw me in jail for a week) but I have to admit that they at least do something mildly interesting with the Pan-African colours here: at least it’s not another tedious horizontal/vertical tricolour. But while there isn’t much to hate in this flag, there isn’t much to love either…

Score: 4/10

Costa Rica

Flag of Costa Rica

TextCrestComplicatedToo Many Stars

Okay, I guess without the crest this one would be a trifle dull, but even though the crest tries to make a good impression – like an accountant at a house party – by being slightly off-centre, its incredibly complex design (faintly reminiscent of the Dragnet cop shield) is completely unintelligible unless you’re actually holding the damn thing in your hands. As flags are supposed to be flown on FLAG POLES high up in the air, this is just utter madness. And not content with telling us which country the flag is from (a cardinal sin in my little book of Vexillology), the words ‘Central America’ is written across the top, just in case you don’t know where Costa Rica is… you know, in case you mixed it up with Puerto Rico or something. Overkill…?

Score: 2/10

Cote D’Ivoire

Flag of Cote d'Ivoire


First they tell us we can’t call them “The Ivory Coast” and then they nick the Irish flag, turn it back to front and try to fob it off as the living symbol of their neck of the woods. Cote D’Ivoire can suck ma balls.

Score: 1/10


Flag of Croatia


Obviously upset that the flag of The Netherlands was already taken, the Croats thought they could get away with plonking a shield in the middle and making out that it’s a brave new world. Well it’s not and they can’t. All the shield does is make things needlessly complex and makes me think of Monty Python and the Holy Grail. However, I will give it an extra point for being the only world flag that doubles as a mini chess board.

Score: 4/10


Flag of Cuba

Good Colour SchemeStriking

A surprisingly USA-looking effort from King Castro’s Island, but aesthetically pleasing, vibrant and bold – a bit like Cuba, really. Good job ya nasty little tyrant.

Score: 8/10


Flag of Cyprus


I like that it’s a simple flag and the colour scheme isn’t offensive, and I’m not against having the map of your country on your flag so long as it’s a shape that is readily recognisable. It’s just that I’m not entirely convinced that Cyprus falls into that category.

Also, this is only the flag of Southern Cyprus (this is the flag of Northern Cyprus) so if we’re being anal (I’m sitting here reviewing FLAGS for heaven’s sake!) then it’s not an accurate depiction of the territory it claims to represent. Time for a new one?

Score: 2/10

Czech Republic

Flag of The Czech Republic


It’s not terrible, but it’s hardly going to set the world of fire is it?

Score: 4/10

Democratic Republic of Congo

Flag of The Democratic Republic of Congo

Bad Colour Scheme

Here’s another flag that changes every five minutes. The use of blue and yellow is never going to have me flinging out accolades like sweets from a parade, and there’s nothing particularly exciting going on here. I mean it’s not dreadful… it’s just not very good.

Score: 3/10


Flag of Denmark

Good Colour SchemeStrikingTwo ToneIconic

Bold, striking, simple, good colours… Carlsberg don’t make flags, but if they did…

Score: 9/10


Flag of Djibouti

Bad Colour SchemeDull

Bad Colours Dull You would think that since nobody’s ever heard of Djibouti, they’d make more of an effort with their flag, but nooooooooo.

Score: 2/10


Flag of Dominica

Good Colour SchemeBirdToo Many Stars

The three-coloured cross set against the green background is pretty cool and the red circle solves the problem of what happens when the crosses meet. The multi-coloured parrot makes the flag a little too complex for my liking, but then again, I do like parrots and this is the Caribbean, so I’m happy to give this baby a big thumbs up.

Score: 8/10

Dominican Republic

Flag of The Dominican Republic


One of the maddest flags in the world, the Dominicans are so proud of their flag that they have not two, not four, but SIX pictures of the flag on the flag. Overkill? Maybe, but when you realise that these six flags stand in front of a shield of the flag that things start getting a little nutty. I personally don’t mind the four main coloured rectangles alternating their colours, but I know it upsets other flag fanatics so it gets few extra points for doing so.

Score: 5/10

East Timor

Flag of East Timor

Good Colour SchemeStriking

A bold design, great colours, only one star. You can tell that the good people of Timor-Leste totally deserve their independence from boring old Indonesia (who totally nicked their flag from Monaco, the naughty badgers).

Score: 9/10


Flag of Ecuador

BirdBad Colour SchemePlagiarismCrestComplicatedTextFoliageEyesoreSun

There are so many things wrong with this flag, I don’t know where to start. It’s a flag with pictures of the flag on the flag, the only reason for the crest in the middle is to differentiate it from the flag of Colombia, so it loses points for plagiarism – and if you’re going to plagiarise a flag, does it really have to be that one?  Furthermore, the landscape in the centre of the crest dispenses with symbolism in favour of an actual cartoon of the countryside on a sunny day. Awful.

Score: 1/10


Flag of Egypt

Good Colour SchemeStrikingBirdText

A couple of marks knocked off for the writing, but the great choice of colours, the lack of crescent moonage (yeah! Go your own way Egypt!) and the nicely stylized monochrome eagle motif makes me happy.

Score: 8/10

El Salvador

Flag of El Salvador


I thought the flag of Costa Rica was mental enough, but this one has the goddamn postal address on it: “The Republic of El Salvador In Central America”. Not only that, but it features the date of independence day, a lame-arsed three word motto on a scroll in the common vernacular (oh dear) AND five flags of the flag depicted on the flag.  Plus it is the same Argentina-ripped colour scheme (blue-white-blue) as Honduras, Nicaragua and Guatemala so sorry but it’s a big fail.

Score: 1/10


Flag of England

Good Colour SchemeTwo Tone

I’m a sucker for a nice straight-forward cross and this inversion of the Danish colours is a winner: recognisable from a mile away, this is a fine example of a classic, dependable flag that does exactly what it says on the tin.

Score: 8/10

Equatorial Guinea

Flag of Equatorial Guinea

CrestTextFoliageToo Many Stars

What could symbolise our nation more than the cartoon of a tree, eh? I mean, it’s not like any other country has any TREES, is it? If your going to deface your flag with a real-life object, the least you can do is try to stylise it (see: Flag of Lebanon). The colours aren’t bad, but they’re not great either and is it just me or does the blue triangle look a bit stunted?

Score: 3/10


Flag of Eritrea

Bad Colour SchemeFoliage

Not a fan of the red touching the blue and the overall design looks more like a pennant than a flag, but the motif is stylised and monotone, so its heart is in the right place.

Score: 5/10


Flag of Estonia

Good Colour SchemeTricolour

Well it’s not going to win any awards for originality, but at least the Estonian effort picks good colours for its horizontal tricolour.

Score: 5/10


Flag of Ethiopia

Good Colour SchemeStriking

The original and best use of the Pan-African colour palette and a whopping great magic pentagram in the centre of the flag gives me little to criticise and much to admire.

Score: 8/10

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 all five!  The second one is hidden somewhere on this page.  Good luck!!


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This Post Has 7 Comments

  1. lala

    i believe that i have the right to, due to my national pride, leave a comment on behalf of all the croats out there. 1st – the colors are red, white, and blue, just like on about 20 other flags, and the flag of the netherlands is different than most, because of a varied color intensity. so no, we did not rip them off. 2nd – the croatian flag is that color scheme because of its past with SFRY, the shield we plonked in the middle (and we can obviously get away with it) is the croatian coat of arms (made out of the coat of arms of croatian medieval countries and regions and the chess board in the middle (which has to do with one of croatian rulers)). 3rd – i agree on the coat of arms being complex to someone who sees it from afar and for the first time (we grew up around it and we learn about it so we get it, but hey, at least it`s “original” and recognisable). the flag of a country is not supposed to be easy or fun, it’s supposed to represent something. ours is big on independence and history (like most are).
    but, maybe i’m just a little biased here. then again, so are you.

  2. greg can you be so insensitive about Cyprus?

    “it claims not its real territory on the flag”….seriously are you out of your mind?

    no other country on this planet except for turkey recognizes the norther part..and they better never do.
    You never even mentioned northern cyprus in your 1sec for every nation video.
    so why the hell would you score a flag, which btw symbolizes peace and unity…so low
    and bring up the crappy “oh another ottoman- Northern cyprus flag?

  3. ooftumbah

    Are you going to update these in the future to finish the rest? it’s a really nice read.

    1. Mr Obvious

      Ummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm it sayys “Coming soon” ..
      sooo yeaaahh mr smarty pants.

  4. Alex

    El Salvador has a Phygrian cap in the middle of that crest.

  5. Meherzan

    I really love these, and I totally agree for most. I can’t wait to see the next lot, including my origin countries – India, and (one of your favs) Iran. Please, please do make them! Thanks, an Irani fan from Bombay, India.

  6. segacs

    Yay! You like our Canadian flag! *Weird sense of flag pride.*

    I tend to rate flags by how easily I remember them or how easily I confuse them with others. Lookalike or near-lookalike flags (Chad/Romania, Monaco/Indonesia, Ireland/Cote d’Ivoire, etc.) lose MAJOR points with me. So do all those three-band flags that just swap one colour around (Mali/Guinea, Hungary/Bulgaria).

    On the other hand, I like the distinctive ones that are instantly recognizable as a symbol of the country. For that reason, I’d score some of the ones you hated, like Cyprus or Central African Republic, higher.

    And Bangladesh still has my vote for world’s ugliest flag. Sorry, Bangladesh.

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