Flags of the World
Detailed Information and Pictures!
Flags of the World
The purpose of this site is to provide flags of the world pictures. We've included information about the flag for each country, along with images. If you know the name of the country's flag that you're looking for, you can find it by clicking on the menu to the left. All world flag pictures and country flag images on this site are organized alphabetically.
The study of flags has a fancy name: vexillology. If you have ever wanted to know why there is a nutmeg on the flag of Grenada, why there are 50 stars on the American flag, or why the Nepalese flag has such a weird shape, you are interested in vexillology. Many times, school projects require students to study or learn about flags of different countries, and the study of flags is a great way to learn more about world cultures.
The world is full of countries: there are around 200 countries in the world as of this writing, each with their own unique national flag. The number of countries changes every now and then as world governments change, but every time a new country declares independence, there will no doubt be a national flag as a unifying symbol. Flags perform many duties at once; symbolizing a country's place in the world, their national heritage, their fight for independence, any many other features of a country's history and symbolism. Another great resource to look at world flags is available at the World Flag Database, with images and assorted information about the flags of the world.
What Is a Flag?
This may seem like a simple question with a simple answer, but just like the nations that flags represent, the definition and history of flags is complex.
A flag is any piece of fabric, wood, or metal with a unique design that represents a country on the world stage. All but one of the world's current flags are rectangular in shape, and they're used as symbols of a country's power, its presence, and even as decoration or as a device used to send signals in battle. The word flag can also be used as a verb, as in the phrase "flag down" - meaning to signal or wave to someone.
Flags have a long history. The world's first flags were simple military tools that armies used to send information across large battlefields in the times before radio or other long range communications. These days, it is rare for a flag to be used in battle as a signaling device. Today's flags are more like symbols or points of pride than military tools. One place where flags are still used for communication is at sea. Flags are used at sea to signal various things: the national heritage of a ship at sea, communication between passing ships, and as warning symbols for dangerous ocean conditions. The word used to describe communication via flags is semaphore, and while semaphore is not as popular now, in today's world of cell phones and radio communication, semaphore is still important in situations where other communication is impossible.
National flags are essentially patriotic symbols for national governments, and flags tend to have multiple interpretations, depending on who you ask. Many of today's world flags have to do with a country's military history, like the American flag's thirteen strips that represent the thirteen colonies that rebelled against British rule to form the United States of America. Flags are common in advertising, to identify a product as being produced in a specific country, or for general decoration. When world leaders speak to the global press, it is common to see some form of their flag displayed, both to identify their country of origin and as a point of pride.
Why Flags Matter
Flags are a huge part of a country's legacy. New world governments without flags are unheard of; it seems a new nation must come up with a flag to represent their status in the world. Flags are important symbols for a government to fly over their land or on vessels at sea. Flags have even been used in outer space, such as the famous planting of the American flag during the first lunar landing. Flags in some form have been used for at least three thousand years. The earliest known flag was flown in ancient Egypt, when wood and metal symbols were used to represent that country's heritage and values.
Our database of flags, much like the World Atlas list of flags, includes the flags for every country that currently has its own flag. We have images and information about flags from all corners of the globe. Included is information about the country itself, the design of the flag, the meanings behind the different aspects of the flag, the official adoption date of each flag, and anything else you could ever need to know about a national flag. Studying flags is the perfect in-road to the study of different world cultures, since flags represent not just the country as a whole but something about its history and legacy.
The study of flags is a crucial part of the study of the history of politics around the world. Students of history, government, and culture study flags to gain some insight into a country's past. Flags have been used over the years as military tools, signaling methods, and political and social symbols of a country's power and heritage. If you want to know more about a country, study its flag. Those colors, symbols, stripes, shapes, and other symbols have plenty to teach us about world heritage.