Fiji to Kyrgyzstan

 

Fiji

Flag of Fiji

Good Colour SchemeBirdComplicatedDullCrestFoliage

I like the Union Jack in the corner, because I like the Union Jack and I know it annoys the French, since when they try to put their flag in the corner it looks rather silly. Sadly, it then it all goes downhill from there. The crest is unnecessarily complicated and mind-numbingly prosaic (we have trees! And bananas! And… err… The Cat In The Hat!). I mean, seriously, who puts bananas on their flag? Madness.

And a dove. A dove?! An eagle perhaps, a frigate bird, a cormorant… anything but a pigeon. I hate pigeons. And I don’t think you get them in Fiji anyway. And I don’t like light blue on flags. And it looks like the ensign of a snooty yacht club that they won’t let me into on account of my jeans. Sorry Fiji.

Score: 4/10

Finland

Flag of Finland

Good Colour SchemeTwo Tone

Respectable effort here from the Scandy Five, good colours, simple, effective. But… is it just me, or is the cross a little too fat?

Score: 7/10

France

Flag of France

Good Colour SchemeTricolourDull

France, your flag bores me more than somebody who lists everything they drank last night. Good colours though 😉

Score: 3/10

Gabon

Flag of Gabon

Bad Colour SchemeTricolourDull

Another yucky tricolour. I guess if you squint it could be the sea, a beach and a forest. Although I have to say, Gabon is not particularly renowned for its beaches.

Score: 3/10

Gambia

Flag of The Gambia

Good Colour Scheme

Great little number from the former British colony, good colours, NOT a tricolor! and a nice simple allusion to the fact that The Gambia is founded on a river. Me likey.

Score: 7/10

Georgia

Flag of Georgia

Good Colour SchemeStrikingTwo Tone

Oh come on, it’s just the English flag with just some extra crosses on it. Although I guess Georgia has more of a claim to the flag of St. George than us Englishers, being called Georgia an’ all. Plus Georgia is a good thousand miles nearer to where the dragon-slayer was actually born – in Turkey. Go on Georgia, I’ll let you have this one.

Score: 8/10

Germany

Flag of Germany

Good Colour SchemeTricolour

Although the colours are acceptable, I’m going to mark Germany down because a) it’s a Tricolor and b) about ten years ago I was playing Trivial Pursuit against my dad he wouldn’t accept my answer “Black, Red and Yellow” to the question of the colours on the German flag. The correct answer was, of course, “Black Red and GOLD” and my dad wouldn’t let me have it. Still irks me to this day.

Score: 2/10

Ghana

Flag of Ghana

Good Colour SchemeStriking

I know it’s very similar to many other African flags, but I have to say the colours, the single black star… it’s a good job, Ghana. I like it. Although I still think you should’ve kept the name ‘The Gold Coast’ though. You know, for tourism.

Score: 7/10

Greece

Flag of Greece

Two Tone

It’s not an amazing flag by any stretch of the imagination, but this is a fine two-tone offering, and the use of blue and white is very evocative of whitewashed buildings lining the foreshore of the Ionian Sea. Mmm… I can almost taste the olive oil…

Score: 6/10

Grenada

Flag of Grenada

Good Colour SchemeToo Many StarsWTF?

I tend to think there is a little too much going on here. Six little stars, one big star, in a circle, at the meeting of four triangles who are in turned framed by a red rectangle. But… that’s a decent palette they’ve got going on, the framing device is rather unique and well, I quite like it. Although I have taken off one point for the weird little flame symbol on the left. What on Earth is that?

Score: 6/10

Guatemala

Flag of Guatemala

BirdPlagiarismDullTextCrestComplicatedFoliage

Oh yawn. Is it just me or is the blue-white-blue Latin American thing getting a bit tedious now? The symbol in the middle loses points for weaponry (two rifles, two cutlasses), foliage and far too much writing (as far as I’m concerned any writing on a flag is too much writing). It gets three points for the bird and then loses two for making it a cartoon bird with far too many colours involved in the rendering.

Score: 1/10

Guinea

Flag of Guinea

TricolourPlagiarismDull

A can’t take marks off for the colours, because (I guess) they’re right for Africa, but I can (and will!) take marks off for being a boring old tricolour and because the Guinea police stole all my money when I arrived in Conakry. I’m nothing if not petty.

Score: 1/10

Guinea-Bissau

Flag of Guinea-Bissau

Plagiarism

I love the way Guinea-Bissau goes out of its way to differentiate itself from Guinea-Conakry by choosing exactly the same colour scheme as its similarly-monikered neighbour. But at least the police didn’t steal any money off me when I was there (unlike mean old Guinea!) and I like the black star and the fact that it’s in super widescreen. It’s never going to set the world alight, but it’s in no way offensive.

Score: 4/10

Guyana

Flag of Guyana

Good Colour SchemeStriking

Ahh, the Golden Arrowhead: the more I look at it, the more a I love its crazy 60s retro vibe. Good colours, bold design, a good time had by all.

Score: 9/10

Haiti

Flag of Haiti

Bad Colour SchemeWTF?EyesoreCrestComplicatedFoliageWeaponary

This has got to be a joke. Seriously, Haiti, this is your flag? Pink and blue? Damn it would make my eyes hurt even if it didn’t have that stupid square patch stuck in the middle with Pritt-Stick. And what the hell is going on in that patch? Six more Haitian flags, a couple of cannons, a drum, a couple of bugles, a couple of axes, a couple of anchors, some pennents, some rifles (perhaps) with fixed bayonets, a Phrygian cap, a scroll with writing on it AND a pair of brass monkeys?! BRASS MONKEYS?!!! Epic Fail.

Score: 0/10

Honduras

Flag of Honduras

Two ToneDullPlagiarism

If El Salvador, Nicaragua and Honduras wish to be regarded as three separate nations then fellas, it’s time to get new flags, because you all seem to have stolen Argentina’s. Although Honduras gets a few points for resisting the temptation of putting a bloody crest in the middle of the damn thing.

Score: 3/10

Hungary

Flag of Hungary

TricolourDull

Oh come on! That’s just the flag of Italy rotated 90 degrees! Rubbish!! Put some effort in, Hungary. Whatever would Attila say?

Score: 1/10

Iceland

Flag of Iceland

Good Colour SchemeStriking

Another fine outing for the Scandy Five, I particularly like the colour scheme on this one, reminds me of a certain flag that’s very likely to win this competition…

Score: 9/10

India

Flag of India

Good Colour Scheme

A surprisingly pedestrian effort here from Mother India (I would expect something MUCH LOUDER!). But the colours are very apt (especially the saffron) and the stylised cotton spinning wheel sets it out from the rest of the tricolour crowd. By law, the Indian flag must be made of khadi, a type of hand-spun cotton or silk made popular by Ghandi. True Story!!

Score: 6/10

Indonesia

Flag of Indonesia

PlagiarismPlagiarismPlagiarismDullDullDull

If you REALLY must copy another country’s flag outright, you could at the very least not copy one as tragically dull as Monaco’s. In short: Worst. Flag. Ever.

Score: -1/10

Iran

Flag of Iran

Good Colour Scheme

I love the stylised calligraphy along the green and red edges on this one (if you’re going to incorporate writing into your flag, this is a wonderful way of going about it) and the Onion/Tulip/Poppy/BIGRAT thing in the middle is enigmatic and cool. Plus I have a soft spot for Iran. Not its moronic leaders, mind.

Score: 8/10

Iraq

Flag of Iraq

Good Colour SchemeTextPlagiarismReligion

Good colour scheme (although slightly ripped off of Egypt and Syria methinks) ruined by large writing scrawled all over it like some silly protest banner. Down with this sort of thing! Careful Now.

Score: 2/10

Ireland

Flag of Ireland

Good Colour SchemeTricolour

Ireland probably gets the highest mark I’m prepared to give any straight tricolour, because this one actually means something: the green of Ireland on the left, the orange of the Orange Order on the right and white for peace in between. Can’t argue with that.

Score: 7/10

Israel

Flag of Israel

StrikingTwo ToneReligion

I like the fact it’s two-tone and not too busy, but the Star of David in the centre is probably not particularly conducive towards peace in the Middle East. I mean it’s not like loads of Arabic countries scrawl religious messages across their flags. Oh, hang on…

Score: 5/10

Italy

Flag of Italy

Tricolour

Yawn! I give it one more point than the flag of France… for not being the flag of France.

Score: 4/10

Jamaica

Flag of El Salvador

Good Colour SchemeStrikingIconic

One of my favourite flags in the world. Great colours, great design, simple, iconic, awesome. Now THAT’S the way to do it.

Score: 10/10

Japan

Flag of Japan

Good Colour SchemeTwo ToneIconic

The red circle on white background from Japan is incredibly simple, but it works exceptionally well: it’s elegant, well balanced, iconic and you can identify it hanging off the back of a ship from several miles away. Contrast it with Bangladesh who picked a horrible colour scheme and a circle that’s too big. And off-centre. Blurgh.

Incidentally, I’d give Japan’s War Flag 10/10: now that’s one sweet-assed flag.

Score: 8/10

Jordan

Flag of Jordan

Good Colour Scheme

A good solid effort here from the Jordanians. Nice palette, simple design (but not a tricolour!) and doesn’t suffer from big star syndrome (see Burma). Thumbs up.

Score: 7/10

Kazakhstan

Flag of Kazakhstan

Two ToneBirdBad Colour SchemeWTF?Sun

This one is so epically bonkers I don’t know where to begin. I can’t look at this thing without thinking of Borat. The pattern down the left is arcane, the sun is too big and off-centre, the eagle looks like a smiley clown face from a distance and the colour scheme is straight out of a 1970s children’s hospital drama. But it’s just so goddamn Kazakhstan! Half of me wants to give it 0/10 for looks but the other half wants to give it 10/10 for effort, so I decided to split the difference.

Score: 5/10

Kenya

Flag of Kenya

Good Colour SchemeStrikingWeaponary

Utterly superb job here from Kenya. Great colour scheme, great design and a wonderfully stylised shield symbol. I knocked a single point off for weaponry, but I want you to know that I felt incredibly guilty for doing so.

Score: 9/10

Kiribati

Flag of Kiribati

Good Colour SchemeStrikingBirdSun

Another wonderfully potty flag from a another wonderfully potty country (it’s pronounced ‘kiri-bass’ by the way) – very similar to the flag of Kazakhstan in many respects, except our frigate bird here is flying above the sun, not holding it up in the sky. I almost feel like this flag is trying to tell a story: a story of an island nation the width of Australia, a the only country on Earth to straddle four hemispheres, slowly sinking beneath the waves as a direct result of man-made global warming.

And one day soon, thanks to the selfishness of us Westerners, the I-Kiribati will have to make like the frigate bird and fly away…

Score: 7/10

Kosovo

Flag of Kosovo

Good Colour SchemeWTF?Too Many Stars

I’ve said before that I’m not necessarily against using a map of your country on a flag, so long as the shape of your country is instantly recognisable (good luck with that Tajikistan!), but with poor old Kosovo this is certainly not the case. I can see why a state of limited recognition such as Kosovo would do this in order to define their borders, and good luck to them. But I do see this as an interim flag, I’m pretty sure it will change as Kosovo becomes more established and confident.

Score: 3/10

Kuwait

Flag of Kuwait

Good Colour Scheme

The colours are alright I suppose but don’t like the feeling that the black triangle on the left has had it’s tip chopped off. Looks painful. Or maybe you’ve hit an empty corner in a 1980s text adventure game – but who would paint the ceiling green? Who indeed…

Score: 3/10

Kyrgyzstan

Flag of Kyrgyzstan

Good Colour SchemeStrikingTwo Tone

I seriously love this flag. It might well be a cricket ball hurtling towards the sun, but I don’t care: a simple, unique design and a great two-tone colour scheme to warm the cockles of your heart as you trek through the Pamir Ranges. Reminds me of Kyrgyzstan every time I look at it. Splendid.

Score: 9/10

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! One is hidden somewhere on this page. Good luck!!

 

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2 thoughts on “Fiji to Kyrgyzstan”

  1. The smurf hat is in Haiti.
    I thought you edited the hat into these flags, but I googled them and you didn’t.
    WEIRD.

  2. Great reading. Love your insight into these flags. And I know exactly what you mean about Kazakhstan’s….Looking forward to the next installment.

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