Wednesday, 16 January 2008

Pick a Flag, any Flag...

A lecturer at Otago University has completed a fascinating study into the world's flags, rating them from best to worst. By the methodology used by Josh Parsons, the small African country of Gambia came out on top (with 90%, an A+ grade).

Bottom of the class in his study was the Northern Mariana Islands, which is apparently located in the western Pacific Ocean (2%, an F Grade).

Parson notes the republic's flag "appears to have been constructed from clip art. Truly awful."

New Zealand gets a 55% and a C grade by his rankings. I don't mind our flag, but I can never be sure when I'm overseas whether I'm looking at the NZ one, or whether it's the Aussie one instead.

I remember a few years back, when I was with a couple of English and Canadian friends outside the Houses of Parliament in London, which has a ring of flags around the outside.
We decided to take photos underneath each of our country's flags...
I spent about 5 minutes going between the NZ and Australian ones, debating which was which.

Eventually I settled on one and stood under it ready for my photo, when my mate noticed that the country names were actually listed on little signs below each flag... Duh! (And yes, I was happily standing underneath the Aussie one! ;-)

Anyway, obviously our "down under" flags aren't the worst in the world... Here's a few of my highlights, mostly from the "D" Grade pile!...

Nothing says the Falkland Islands quite like a sheep, an island,
and a tall ship...

It looks like Guam used an ancient 80's computer to write their country name on the flag. (Josh Parsons gave it a few extra marks "because it would actually make quite a nice tea towel" ;-)

The AK-47 Assault Rifle welcomes visitors to the
Republic of Mozambique...
A competition was held in 2005 to design a new flag. A winning entry was selected, but for some reason the flag remains the same...

This is the official flag of Libya... Yep, Seriously!
It is apparently the only national flag in the world with a single colour and no design, insignia, or other details. (They probably spent too much time thinking of a name for the country... It's officially called the "Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya". Try saying that five times ;-)

Just in case you get lost when you're flying over European Union,
Cyprus have kindly put a map of their country on the flag...

This flag will be familiar to many people, since Eastern European journalist Borat put the country on the world map in his movie,
"Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit
Glorious Nation of

* Hat tips to David Farrar's Kiwiblog and Tyler Cowan at Marginal Revolution for their original posts which tracked down the study.

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