Turning inner space into outer space

September 1, 2014

Countries with almost nothing in common but their flags

Before there were icons and logos, there were flags. For centuries, people have been devising simple shapes and colours to symbolize complex ideas.

With hundreds of countries in the world, there are bound to be some oddly coincidental similarities among their flags. Here are some that I found.

There are many others that also have similarities, but this is because they share histories, ethnicities or religions. I haven’t included them.

Thailand and Costa Rica are on opposite sides of the world, yet their flags are the same — with reversed colours.

flag of Thailand flag of Costa Rica

The flag of Poland is the reverse of Indonesia and Monaco, which are identical. Singapore is also the same except that it has a moon and stars.

flag of Poland flag of Indonesia flag of Monaco flag of Singapore

The flags of Italy and Mexico are almost the same except Mexico has a decoration in the middle. Ireland is also close except that it ends with orange instead of red. Côte d’Ivoire is the reverse of Ireland.

flag of Italy flag of Mexico flag of Ireland flag of Côte d'voire

India and Niger have close to the same colours with a round object in the middle. Hungary is also close, but with a plain centre.

flag of India flag of Niger flag of Hungary

The flags of Romania and Chad are the same. Andorra is also the same except it has an emblem in the middle. Belgium is close — starting with black, instead of blue.

flag of Romania flag of Chad flag of Andorra flag of Belgium

Netherlands and Paraguay are close to the same, with the addition of an emblem for Paraguay.

flag of Netherlands flag of Paraguay

Ghana and Bolivia have the same colour combination but different embellishments.

flag of Ghana flag of Bolivia

Austria and Latvia are red with a horizontal white stripe in the middle. Lebanon is similar but also has a cedar in the middle.

flag of Austria flag of Latvia flag of Lebanon

Bangladesh, Japan, Laos, Palau and Greenland all have a big dot.

flag of Bangladesh flag of Japan flag of Laos flag of Palau flag of Greenland

Somalia, Vietnam and Morocco have a big star on a one-colour background.

flag of Somalia flag of Vietnam flag of Morocco

Three flags use maps of their territory: Cyprus, Kosovo and Antarctica.

flag of Cyprus flag of Kosovo flag of Antarctica

Bhutan and Wales both have dragons.

flag of Bhutan flag of Wales

Basque Country and the United Kingdom have crosses on top of each other.

flag of Basque Country flag of United Kingdom

Malaysia and the United States both have a blue canton and stripes.

flag of Malaysia flag of United States

And finally we have Nigeria in west Africa and Norfolk Island — a territory of Australia in the direction of New Zealand — with nothing in common except, you guessed it, their flags. That’s an evergreen that distinguishes the Norfolk Island flag.

flag of Nigeria flag of Norfolk Island

Credit: Flag icons from GoSquared.