Hidden Beauty in Flag Icons

The internet is awash in flag icons — tiny representations of flags, in dimensions of a few pixels per side. Here are some 11-by-16 examples in the public domain, from http://www.famfamfam.com:   Here’s what happens when you blow them up. (Technically, these were enlarged to 413-by-600 size with the resize/resample function of IrfanView, using the […]


The first principle of effective flag design is: Keep It Simple. Effective flags are meme-like, able to propagate themselves through human perception, memory, and action, and in this simple flags have an advantage. On the other hand, there are certainly many highly complex flags. As the simplicity principle suggests, these tend to be obscure, expensive, […]

Happy Mexican Flag Day!

February 24th is El Día de la Bandera de México, commemorating the day in 1821 on which the Plan of the Three Guarantees — religion, independence, and unity — was proclaimed by Generals Agustin de Iturbide and Vincente Guerrero, and the first three-color flag for an independent Mexico was created by José Magdaleno Ocampo. Flag Day has gotten a lot […]


Here’s another flagmeme from 2009 that has demonstrated some staying power:  Polandball. From Know Your Meme®: Polandball is a cartoon character drawn in the shape of a ball with the color schemes of the Polish flag (white & red). It was originally featured in the multi-pane comic series that became popular in /INT/ (international) board […]

Paul The Octopus

Here’s a cephalopodic flag meme from 2010. Paul the Octopus was a common octopus (Octopus vulgaris) that lived at the Aquarium Sea Life Centre in Oberhausen, Germany, best known for successfully predicting the outcomes of Germany’s 2010 World Cup matches. In a divination, Paul would “predict” which team would win a match by choosing to eat a […]

Dance Dance World Revolution

Here’s an internet flag meme from 2009. Dance Dance World Revolution is an avatar dance meme featuring anime characters dressed in the color schemes of different country flags. It began as a fan artist’s tribute to the anime series Hetalia: Axis Power on DeviantArt and spread to Youtube, where it reached an international status with […]

X Clan: Weapon X

Brooklyn-based Afrocentric group X Clan released Return from Mecca in 2007. The music video for the single Weapon X features two flags: the green, gold, and red flag Ethiopian flag, and the red, black, and green Pan-African flag. X Clan: Weapon X. Directed by Dale “Rage” Resteghini. Uploaded to YouTube August 24, 2006, has 320,000 […]

Flag Origami

A Japanese shop on Etsy, OrigamiLand Decorations, is selling a set of traditional folded cranes with designs adapted from the flags of 24 different countries: Japan, United States, Australia, Switzerland, Taiwan, Brasil, Argentina, Canada, Spain, China, France, Italy, United Kingdom, Thailand, Germany, Vietnam, India, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Malasia, Indonesia, Singapore, Philippines, and Russia. Displayed together, they […]