Facts About the Flags of the World

While every country has its own flag, these symbols of patriotism sure do bring up a lot of inquiries. From why certain symbols are chosen to what the colors of the flags mean, we’ll examine some interesting facts about the flags of the world.

Flags are national symbols. Every country decided on a specific flag as their national symbol. Before flags, certain groups of people used decorated spears and decorated staff which showed their cultural symbols. Later people used ribbons, leather, or silk decorations on the spears to differentiate their group from another group. Flags flown in the 18th century told others that this particular land belongs to them and that they rule over the people and land.

All cultures use certain symbols with are meaningful to them. Some symbols are even universal, as they have the same meaning all over the world. Here are the symbols that are most used in flags:

Japan 5' x 8' Nylon Flag

Sun: The circle of the sun symbolizes unity and energy. Japan is referred to be the “land of the rising sun” and uses the sun (simplified as a circle) in its national flag (pictured). Another country that uses this powerful symbol is Argentina.

Tunisia 5' x 8' Nylon Flag
Moon: The moon is usually displayed in crescent shape to distinguish it from the symbol of the sun. In combination with a star, the moon represents divinity. Tunisia’s flag (pictured) has three powerful symbols in its national flag; the red crescent moon and one-star rest in a white circle representing the sun. Turkey and Singapore also use the moon as a symbol on their flag.

American Flag 5ft X 8ft Nylon By Valley Forge
Stars: Constellations of stars often represent energy, especially when depicting the night sky or star constellation. The American flag (pictured) is affectionately known as “Stars and Stripes”. Other countries using the stars as a symbol are Australia, New Zealand, and Brazil.

England 5' x 8' Nylon FlagCross: In ancient times, the cross only symbolized the different points of the compass. However, in the 4th century, the cross was also taken as the symbol of faith. Countries that use the cross symbol include England’s St. George Cross (pictured), Sweden, Norway, and Switzerland.

Bahamas 5' x 8' Nylon FlagTriangle: The three points of a triangle represent the Trinity (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) in Christianity. The triangle often also symbolizes strength and power. Countries that use a triangle as a symbol are: Bahamas (pictured), Eritrea, Sudan, American Samoa, and others.

Switzerland 5' x 8' Nylon Flag
Square: The four even lengths of the square symbolize balance and equal opposites. The Swiss flag is the only square flag in the world.

White is the color most used in flags (at 17.7%), while red is second and in third place is yellow. Let’s go over what each color means.

White stands for peace and innocence. This is also the color of purity. It symbolizes light and perfection. In many countries, white is also associated with death (wave the white flag for surrender).

Red stands for love and emotion. It is the color of life, blood, and passion. It is also associated with power and danger. In China, the color red is associated with good luck.

Yellow stands for happiness and energy. It often symbolizes the sunshine. In China, yellow is considered to be the imperial color.

Blue stands for tranquility and calmness. It often symbolizes the water and the sky. The color is often associated with trust and loyalty, as well as with wisdom and harmony.

Green stands for freshness and fertility and is a symbol of nature and new growth. It also is associated with stability and safety.

Orange stands for joy, creativity, enthusiasm and even revolutionary ideas. As a combination of red and yellow, it is usually associated with strength, passion and activity.

Black stands for darkness and mystery. It is also associated with power and strength.

Dominica 5' x 8' Nylon FlagPurple stands for passion and wealth. The combination of red and blue is associated with luxury and elegance, but also with power and independence. Only a few countries use purple or violet in their flags: Nicaragua, the Second Republic of Spain, and Dominica (pictured).

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Boxing Day

Boxing Day is observed annually on December 26th in the United Kingdom and other European countries, as well as in former British colonies including Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. It became an official holiday during the reign of Queen Victoria (1837-1901), though some historians trace its origins back much further to medieval times. Today, it is mostly an extension of the Christmas holiday, that includes sporting events (read on to see if boxing is one of those sporting events) and shopping (sort of a sporting event).

While no one really knows where the name “Boxing Day” originated, many historians believe the name is derived from the church practice of opening alms boxes the day after Christmas and distributing money to the poor. Historically, British employers followed the church’s lead by giving workers and servants gifts or cash on December 26.

Others believe the “box” refers to the boxes of gifts that employers gave to their servants on the day after Christmas. In wealthy households, servants were often required to work on Christmas Day, but was given December 26th off in order to celebrate the holiday on their own.

Today, Boxing Day is the time for getting together with those you weren’t able to on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, to visit, eat leftovers, drink, and watch sports.
Football (the non-American version) and horse racing are popular sporting events that take place on Boxing Day. Fox hunting was also a sporting event for the patricians. However in 2004, it became illegal to hunt foxes with a pack of dogs. Hunters will still gather, dressed brilliantly in red hunting coats, but now they follow artificially laid trails. In other countries, Boxing Day is celebrated with…wait for it…prize-fighting events. These include former British colonies in Africa and the Caribbean.

Boxing Day has become known as a big day for shopping. Stores offer steep discounts, and people spend hours waiting in line for these huge deals. It’s basically Black Friday Part II (And as a side note; Britain and Canada both recognize Black Friday on the same day as the US, despite celebrating Thanksgiving in either a different month or not at all).

Ireland refers to December 26th as “St. Stephen’s Day”, named after the Saint recognized as the first martyr in Christian theology. Ireland also refers to this day as Wren Day, a nod to an old tradition in which poor children would stone a wren (to represent what happened to St. Stephen) and then go around town knocking on doors asking for money. While this tradition continues, a fake wren is now used, and the money collected is for charity.

Hope this sheds a little light when you see “Boxing Day” on the December 26th block on your calendar.

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Celebrating Canada Day

Canada was officially born on July 1, 1867 when the Constitution Act joined three provinces into one country: Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and the Canada province, which then split into Ontario and Quebec. However, Canada was not completely independent of England until 1982. Canada celebrated Dominion Day, officially established in 1879, but it wasn’t observed by many Canadians because they considered themselves to be British citizens. Canadian patriotism and Dominion Day celebrations started to take off on the 100th anniversary of Canada’s birthday. And although quite a few Canadians already called the holiday Canada Day, the new name wasn’t formally adopted until October of 1982.

Canada Flag 3ft x 5ft Printed Polyester

Here are some fun facts about Canada:

The National Flag of Canada came into being in 1965 to replace the Union Jack. It is an 11 pointed red maple leaf on a white square.

Canada is the 2nd largest country in the world, right after Russia.

Canada was named through a misunderstanding. When Jaques Cartier, a French explorer, came to the new world, he met with local Natives who invited them to their ‘kanata’ (the word for ‘village’). The party mistakenly thought the name of the country was “Kanata” or Canada.

Alternative names proposed for Canada in 1867 were Borealia, Cabotia, Transatlantica, Victorialand, and Superior.

Canada has more lakes than the rest of the world’s lakes combined.

Canada is home to the longest street in the world. Yonge Street in Ontario starts at Lake Ontario, and runs north through Ontario to the Minnesota border, a distance of almost 2,000 kilometers (1242.74 miles).

There are more doughnut shops in Canada per capita than any other country.

Canadians consume more Kraft Macaroni & Cheese dinners than any other nation in the world.

The famous Canadian interjection “eh” is actually listed in the Canadian Oxford Dictionary as a valid word.

There’s an area in the Hudson Bay region that has less gravity than the rest of the planet.

United States Flag Store is here to answer all your questions. Feel free to give us a toll free call at 1-877-734-2458 or email us at support@onlinestores.com.

The Story Behind Celebrating Cinco de Mayo

Mexico 4ft x 6ft Nylon Flag with Pole Hem Only - Banner

Cinco de Mayo, which means May 5 in Spanish, is probably one of the most misunderstood holidays that Americans celebrate. In fact, Cinco de Mayo isn’t even a holiday, Mexican or American. May 5th isn’t even Mexico’s Independence Day. That is celebrated on September 16.

Cinco de Mayo commemorates the Mexican army’s unlikely victory over the French forces of Napoleon III on May 5, 1862, at the Battle of Puebla. Mexico had trouble paying back war debts to European countries, and France had come to Mexico to collect that debt.  The French army, under General Charles Latrille de Lorencez, led 6,000 French troops out to attack Puebla de Los Angeles, a small town in east-central Mexico. From his headquarters in the north, Mexican President Benito Juarez rounded up a motley force of 2,000 loyal men and sent them to Puebla.

The Battle of Puebla lasted from daybreak to early evening when the French finally retreated after losing nearly 500 soldiers.  Fewer than 100 Mexicans had been killed in the clash. Although not a major strategic win in the overall war against the French, the success at the Battle of Puebla on May 5th represented a great symbolic victory for the Mexican government and strengthened the resistance movement. In 1867 – thanks in part to military support and political pressure from the United States, which was finally in a position to aid its besieged neighbor after the end of the American Civil War – France finally withdrew.

Within Mexico, Cinco de Mayo is primarily observed in the state of Puebla, although other parts of the country also take part in the celebration.  Traditions include military parades, recreations of the Battle of Puebla and other festive events.  It is not a federal holiday, so offices, banks and stores remain open.

Today, Cinco de Mayo is more of an American celebration than a Mexican holiday.  A celebration that includes parties, mariachi music, Mexican folk dancing, Mexican food and probably a few margaritas.

United States Flag Store is here to answer all your questions.  Feel free to give us a toll free call at 1-877-734-2458 or email us at support@onlinestores.com.

Flag of Georgia

The flag of Georgia was adopted on January 25, 2004. The flag known as the “five-cross flag” because it features five St. George’s crosses: one cross stretches across the flag’s white background and one small cross appears in each quadrant of the flag.

The flag of Georgia is based on the single St. George’s cross flag, which pays tribute Saint George, a Christian soldier, priest, and martyr.  He is one of the most venerated saints in the Catholic, Anglican, Eastern, Orthodox, and Oriental Orthodox churches.  According to legend, St. George saved the King of Silene’s daughter from a plague-bearing dragon that the king’s daughter was sent to slay herself. Saint George tamed the dragon and brought the beast into the king’s village where Saint George told the townspeople that he would slay the dragon if everyone agreed to become baptized Christians.  The townspeople consented, Saint George slayed the dragon, and the king built a church on the site of the dragon’s death.

The single St. George’s cross flag is probably one of the oldest flags in the world, and was used in Georgia by King Vakhtang Gorgasali in the fifth century. In the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, the “five-cross flag” was used under the reign of Queen Tamar of Georgia and George V of Georgia, respectively. According to medieval tradition, the five crosses represent the five Holy Wounds of Christ.

After the medieval era, the “five-cross flag” was not used and many other versions of the Georgia flag were developed. In the twentieth century, the Democratic Republic of Georgia flew a red rectangular flag with two short horizontal stripes—one black and one white—in the upper left corner. This flag was used from 1918 until 1921 and from 1990 until 2004.

When Georgia was under Soviet rule and known as the Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic (1921-1990), the country used three different communist flags. Each flag was red and included either the Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic’s name or the hammer and sickle icon.