A research on world countries'' flags and signs

15 January 2011

Farshid Khodayari, researcher of Iran''s history and culture, said: "Iran''s flag is composed of signs and colors each of which carry certain historical cultural meaning. There are many sources for understanding these signs and symbols; one of them is Nosratollah Bakhtvartash''s "The History of Iran''s Flag".

IBNA: Sunday evening (9 January 2011) Farshid Khodayari lectured on of live world signs and symbols as they are found in old texts.

He said: "Each nation''s flag is a symbol of their ideals and beliefs, and so does Iran''s flag embody signs and colors of particular significance for Iranians. Among the best sources for the study are Nosratollah Bakhtvartash''s "The History of Iran''s Flag" and "Iranian Banner" by Peyman Matin. "

Khodayari added: "In almost all countries the flag is valuable and there are meuseums in South Africa and Argentina mainly for flags. Some countries have national symbols instead of sacred flags. There are different sorts of flags: jagged, blocks, Greek cross, Scandinavian cross, crisscrosses, etc."
Flags are made in standard forms, yet the flag used for the parade are different from those used on cars. They come in different sizes for different occasions. They are usually rectangular, but the flags of Belgium, Switzerland, Vatican, Denmark, and France are square. The colors of current French flags are the same with those used in the Great Revolution.

Flag colors tell the history of nation

He continued: "Libya''s flag is an exception, it is all in green with no sign or slogan and that is a sign of their agricultural revolution. The most colorful flag belongs to South Africa for their paying respect for all races. The Philippine''s flag is exclusive: during war, the color red goes on top and blue comes down, while is peace time they are replaced with each other."

"The Italian flag is expected to have a historical one, whereas the flag is the one Napoleon used when invading to Italy. Therefore, Italian flag is an import although the Italians regard it a sign of their unity and autonomy."

Khodayari remarked: "The color orange used in Holland''s flag is a national sign. But quite interestingly people of Holland have replaced it with red in their flag as they make lots of sea travels and the color orange is not visible in the blue ocean."
"Sometimes bloody battles were made over flags, as in the case of Denmark. One evening in the 12th century, the king of Denmark while he was involved in war, claimed that he has seen a white cross in the sky. Then people picked it up as their flag''s symbol. Finland''s flag is in blue because of its numerous lakes. The flag of Sweden also has a story. Once, the king of Sweden saw a yellow cross while praying and that became the national sign on the flag.

"The story of Austria''s flag is also interesting. Having fought in a 12th-century battle, all clothes of Duke Leopold V were sodden with his blood except for a belt he wore on his coat. From then on that belt appeared on Austria''s flag."
He continued: "Thai flag carried the image of an elephant. One day a villager keeps the flag upside down in the king''s presence. This angers him and he decides to design a flawless flag that would look alike from all directions.

Mythic and Religious symbols on flags

According to this researcher, the flags of New Zealand and Australia carry a number of stars that are only visible on the Southern hemisphere. The Mexican flag is taken from Aztec mythic symbols and shows an eagle hunting a snake. The flag of Afghanistan carries a very old sign. It is the only flag with the image of an altar. There is a wheat cluster on it that stands for felicity.

The only flag with the image of a building belongs to Cambodia with the sign of an ancient temple. Cypress flag is the only one with the land map''s print as a sign of unity of the Greek and the Turks, and quite interestingly the people of cypress do not acknowledge it.

According to him, about 10 countries have printed the crescent and stars on their flags as a sign of surrender to Islam. Another interesting flag is Denmark''s whose sign changes according with the gender of the ruler.

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