A flag isn’t just a flag; it’s a proclamation of the things most important to you! Whether you proudly fly the emblem of your nation or want to promote a business or special cause, flags get attention. Do you know the different types of flags?
Shapes of Flags
Chances are the first shape that comes to mind is the standard rectangle. This is the most common shape of the flag, after all. However, there are many more designs available to different groups, organizations, and even countries. In fact, the national flag of Nepal sets itself apart from others with a unique quadrilateral shape!
Another popular shape is that of the pennant, which many sports fans use to promote their favourite teams. Businesses often enjoy using long, vertical flags to catch the eye outside. These flags typically feature promotional text and branding to give the flag purpose and identity.
Did you know there is more than one type of national flag? Besides the large flags flown at government facilities, there are specific flag types that represent our national identity.
- Civil flags – Those flown by citizens on their own private property. Individuals and businesses alike fly these to show pride in their country, or to signify their country of origin.
- War/Military flags – Some countries have specific flags flown by the armed forces during both peace and war time. These flags help identify allies during war and help with troop organization among other uses.
Flags became important with seafaring cultures as a way to signal to other ships your nation of origin and purpose. Today, maritime flags are still a crucial tool for large vessels and even small recreational boats.
Flying your national flag, or ensign, alone in foreign waters is still seen as a hostile act by many countries. Some maritime flags are used to show port authorities what type of cargo you have on board, similar to the specialized plates some truck drivers use when hauling dangerous cargo.
These are used to show your alliance with a certain political party or movement. It’s common to see these types of flags flown during elections or at party headquarters. Some political flags include national emblems, while others use the symbols and colours of the party represented. Some jurisdictions have laws that dictate which symbols are allowed to be used on political flags.
Some charities, religions, and even corporate businesses have an official flag design. These types of flags help organizations gain recognition across the world. When used to raise awareness of public issues, such as cancer, it gives those affected a banner to show solidarity with one another. Used as a promotional tool for business, flags can mark the location of a new store or to promote services.
Flying team flags a fun way to express your support for your favourite athletes. Sports flags also help to distinguish different teams from each other during large events. Newly minted teams often design a flag to promote themselves. Likewise, older sports organizations will redesign their flags to appear more modern or signify a major change.