The Flag of Cuba

March 29, 2010

The flag of Cuba was officially adopted on May 20, 1902, when the United States granted the island, which it had seized control of during the Spanish-American War, its independence. The flag of Cuba’s origins however go back much further than 1902.

The flag of Cuba was designed in 1849 by a poet named Miguel Teurbe Tolón. Tolón’s design included three blue stripes, representing the three parts of the county that were divided from one another during the wars for independence, and two white stripes, which represented the purity of the patriotic cause. The design’s red triangle is meant to stand for the blood that was shed in order to free the nation, while the white star at its center is representative of the island’s independence.

This flag of Cuba was carried into battle by a Venezuelan military leader named Narciso López during his attempt to liberate Cuba. Although López was not victorious, it was indeed the first instance in the flag of Cuba was flown.

According the current government of Cuba (the Castro regime), the meaning behind the flag of Cuba is as follows: the blue strips represent the old divisions of the island; the white stripes represent the strength of the independent ideal; the red triangle symbolizes equality, fraternity and freedom, as well as the blood that was shed during the wars for independence.

Aside from this official flag of Cuba, Fidel Castro’s “26th of July Movement” also created a flag of Cuba which is equally divided into red and black portions, usually in the form of horizontal stripes. The flag often bears inscriptions as well. This flag of Cuba is often flown on public building on the island.


The Flag of Libya

March 25, 2010

There are 195 countries in the world today, each of which, presumably, has a unique national flag. Of all those flags, however, there is only one which is made up of one color and one color only, with no designs, insignias or other details whatsoever. The Flag of Libya consists of nothing more than a beautiful field of green. No eagles, coat of arms, rising suns or quarter moons. Just the simplicity that is the color green.

The color green is meant to signify the Libyan people’s devotion to Islam, the state religion. Green is also the national color of Libya and is symbolic of the “Green Revolution” of Muammar al-Gaddafi, Libya’s current leader. However, the flag of Libya was not always green. In fact, it once had a leafy palm tree at its center.

The history of the flag of Libya begins in the year 1918, when the short-lived Tripolitanian Republic in Western Libya had its own flag. The flag had a light-blue field and a green palm tree in its center. The palm tree also had a star on top of it, just like a Christmas tree. However, when the Tripolitanian Republic fell in 1923, this version of the flag of Libya was done away with.

Later, in 1951, when Libya gained its independence from Italy, the first flag of modern Libya was adopted. It featured a white crescent and star atop a field of red, black and green. This design was based on the Senussi flag, and is still used to this day abroad by the Libyan opposition movement.

After the 1969 Revolution, the official name of Libya was changed to Al-Jumhuriya al-Arabiya al-Libiya, or the Libyan Arab Republic. This new Republic abolished the previous flag of Libya and replaced it with the Arab Liberation Flag, which was first flown over Egypt after the Revolution of 1952. This particular flag was a tricolor with the colors red, white and black.

In 1972, Libya joined the Federation of Arab Republics and briefly adopted the flag of that organization. It featured a golden hawk holding a scroll with Arabic name of the Federation, Ittihad al-Jumhuriyat al-Arabiya, written upon it.

Finally, in 1977 Libya once again changed its name to Al-Jamahiriya al-Arabiya al-Libiya ash-Sha`biya al-Ishtirakiya, or the Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya. When this change took place, the all-green flag which continues to be flown today in Libya was also adopted.


The Serbian Flag

March 25, 2010

The Serbian flag, in one form or another, has been around for quite some time. The earliest known description of a Serbian flag dates from the year 1281. It comes from a list of treasures belonging to a Serbian king. The description says, “vexillum unum de zendato rubeo et blavo,” which apparently means, “a flag of fabric red and blue.” There is, however, no indication as to how the colors were patterned.

The earliest known drawing of a Serbian flag goes all the way back to the year 1339. The drawing appears on a map made by a famous Majorcan cartographer, Angelino Dulcert. According to the drawing, at that point in history, the Serbian flag featured a two-headed eagle against a yellow field.

During the time of the First Serbian Uprising, several other flags were made use of. One of these flag, featuring a cross and the colors red, white and blue, may be linked to the Serbian flag used today. Other Serbian flags flown during this time period consisted of such combinations of color as red and yellow, red, white and blue, and red and blue. The army taking part in the uprising also used light yellow flags with various symbols upon them, including a black, two-headed eagle.

Today’s Serbian flag is a tricolor made up of what are known as “Pan-Slavic” colors, which are red, blue and white. The colors are arranged in three horizontal bands of equal width. The modern Serbian State flag also features the coat of arms of Serbia, which consists of a double-headed eagle on red shield. The eagle’s wings and body are silver, while its tongues, beaks, legs and claws are golden.

The current Serbian flag was adopted as part of the new Constitution of Serbia on November 8, 2006. On that date, its usage, along with that of the coat of arms and the national anthem, became constitutionally sanctioned.


Celebrate Easter with Festive Flags!

March 18, 2010

By Kristi Ries

The tulips are beginning to shoot up, grass is getting greener, birds are chirping and the sunshine seems to be permeating the world these days. Yes, spring is almost upon us, and with that comes all of the great things we look forward to at this time of year: warmer weather, beautiful blossoms and the Easter holiday!

But it’s not quite here yet. Yes, the days are getting longer, and the college kids are already breaking out their flip-flops and tossing Frisbees. But this is a bit premature, my friends. It will still take a few weeks for the sun to work its magic on the area’s foliage. Forests are still mostly brown and though buds are showing, there’s no sign of leaves blooming anytime soon. It feels as though winter has taken a strong hold of the world and aside from a few early bees, there’s no end to it in sight.

Until then, you’ll have to usher in spring on your own. Luckily, there are a few quick and easy ways to brighten up your home. Hang an Easter windsock from your porch to add some pizzazz to your favorite outdoor hangout. Or post a festive garden flag with white Easter bunnies to liven things up. (After all, you’ll be picnicking and grilling out sooner than you think!) It’s a fun and affordable way to make you’re your home is decorated inside and out. And there’s nothing like a cheerful spring chick or Easter bunny to get grown-ups and kids alike in the spirit of spring!

Maybe you have little ones who’ll be searching for their own baskets come Easter Sunday, or perhaps the grandkids are heading to your house for the annual egg hunt.

Either way, these bright, colorful Easter flags will be a fun-filled addition to your yard or garden!