Recently Changed Flags

Oct 16, 2017


> Play a flag quiz on recently changed flags

We often think of flags as enduring symbols of a country that are strongly linked to national identity. Some flags, such as that of Denmark and Austria, have been in use for over 700 years, but there are other countries that have recently changed their flag for various reasons. In some cases, the changes are minor, such as the ones the United States made when it added stars to represent newly admitted states in the late 1950s. Others are complete remakes that bear little or no relationship to the previous design. The following are examples of countries that have recently changed their flags.

Mauritania (2017)

As recently as 2017, Mauritania, a country in the northwest of Africa, made a modification to its flag. The previous design was green with a gold crescent moon and star, representing Islam. In 2017, the country added red stripes to the top and the bottom of the flag to represent the sacrifices the country had endured to defend its territory.

Myanmar (2010)

Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, adopted a new flag in 2010 after the country changed its official name. The new flag has three horizontal stripes that are yellow, green, and red, with a white five-pointed star in the middle. The new design is a big departure from the previous one, which was red with a blue square in the upper left corner.

Venezuela (2006)

The current flag of Venezuela is three horizontal bars of yellow, blue, and red. On the middle bar, there are eight white stars in a semi-circle formation. The previous flag, which had been in use since 1954, was nearly identical, except that there were seven stars instead of eight. The addition of the eighth star was to represent Guyana Province, which was one of the provinces of Venezuela at the time of its original independence.

Rwanda (2001)

In 2001, Rwanda adopted a new flag in the hopes of forging a new future. The previous flag, which was three vertical stripes with an R in the middle, had become associated with the 1994 genocide. The new flag is intended to represent confidence in the new future.

Macedonia (1995)

Macedonia was a part of Yugoslavia until 1991, when it became an independent country. The flag at the time of independence was red with a yellow Vergina Sun in the center, which is a symbol associated with the ancient Kingdom of Macedonia. Greece, however, objected to the use of the flag, and Macedonia agreed to change it to the current design in 1995.

South Africa (1994)

South African apartheid ended in 1994, bring in a new era of democracy. The old flag, which had been in use since 1928, symbolized European colonialization and was no longer deemed appropriate. The new flag was intended to be more reflective of the multi-ethnic democracy that South Africa wanted to become.