Flags make a couple of brief appearances in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
One is in this scene that draws upon the Nuremberg rally imagery from Lene Riefenstahl’s infamous Nazi propaganda film, 1935’s Triumph of the Will:
The flag in the background belongs to the First Order, featuring its emblem of 16 bars radially arranged within a circle, within a hexagon.
Kristian Goddard has also been struck by the allusion to Nuremberg. Hitler was fascinated by flags, and put them to effective use in designing the monsterous Third Reich.
The other scene takes place at entrance to the castle of Maz Kanata, which is festooned with banners in various states of decay. These created a flurry of excitement amongst Star Wars fans, particularly because two of them feature symbols associated with Boba Fett (last seen being devoured by the Sarlacc in Return of the Jedi). Indeed, some saw this as evidence that Boba Fett would miraculously appear in The Force Awakens — e.g. see Chris Burns’ 10/20/2015 posting on Slash Gear, Is Boba Fett in Star Wars The Force Awakens — which, to their disappointment, he did not.
Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it), The Force Awakens in Fett-less. Even worse, however, is what these flags turn out to reference: podracer emblems from that Jar Jar-laden disaster, The Phantom Menace. Stop reading now if you would like to ignore this discovery, by user Calithlin of TheCantina.com.
Here is Calithlin’s key to the image above:
• 1 Unknown
• 2 ABC Aldar Beedo
• 3 ABCD Ark Roose
• 4 AB Unknown
• 5 AB Anakin Skywalker (or Watto)
• 6 ABC Unknown (may be another Mandalorian symbol)
• 7 Ziro the Hutt (tattoo on his belly)
• 8 Sebulba
• 9 Unknown
• 10 Unknown (may be another Mandalorian symbol, looks like Sabine‘s helmet in Star Wars: Rebels)
• 11 Boba Fett Wheat
• 12 Mythosaur Skull (Boba Fett, Mandalorians)
• 13 Unknown (looks similar to Tatooine flag)
• 14 Ohnaka Gang
• 15 Sebulba
• 16 Teemto Pagalies
It is perhaps happier just to let these flags be, and to take them only as another way in which Lupita Nyong’o’s character is a highlight of this latest Star Wars film: Maz Kanata is, among other things, a flag geek!
Postscript: Another flag in the Maz Kanata castle scene has been identified by Twitterer @SailorWookiee.