Tuesday, July 2, 2013


I know I've missed flag day, and it's not yet July 4th, but I wanted to talk about flags.

I am a HUGE  fan of the comedy series  Big Bang Theory...  or as I affectionately call it, BBT.

No -- WAIT!!  Don't wander off... this really IS about flags.  You see, over the years, I've learned a lot from BBT... I've learned about Schroedinger's cat, I've learned about quantum mechanics and string theory...  AND ... I've learned about flags.

Nope, BBT isn't intended to be educational...  it is most definitely a comedy...  but they keep throwing in these interesting little tidbits, and somehow they stick with me.  Recently, I was watching a re-run in which Sheldon (one of the main characters)  was doing an educational youtube series about flags. Trust me, if you knew Sheldon, you'd realize the 'funny-potential', and for those of you who are fellow BBT fans, I'm sure you're remembering the episode, and laughing even while you read on.

Comedy is not really my strong suit  (well, actually, I think it is, but that opinion is not shared by many)... but sharing bits of trivia certainly is.  So here's your trivia.

(insert drum roll)
 Lichtenstein and Haiti used to have the same flag, which looked like this...

Now, I'm not really sure how most countries go about having their flag designed, and I'm sure there are a lot of political things and such that go into designing a flag... but this design -- that two different countries decided was the flag to have -- I hate to be critical, but it's not much of a design.  Lichtenstein came up with their flag in 1921 (no, I don't know what they used before that.. but I can look it up for you, if you wish), and Haiti -- well, that's actually a bit more complicated.  Haiti has one flag used for civil purposes, and a slightly different flag used for national and military purposes.  Why?  Beats me. But the picture above is the civil version of the flag.  The national/military flag has the Haitian coat of arms in the middle.

In any event, at the 1936 Olympics, it was discovered that the two countries had the same flag  (gee, you'd think  that someone would be checking this stuff, wouldn't you?), so the following year, Lichtenstein added a crown in the upper left hand corner.

The official Lichtenstein flag is now

 and the national/military flag of Haiti is

Wow!!... amazing what a difference those very small modifications make.  All in all, I think these versions are actually more interesting.

Oh, speaking of interesting, I have two more things to share, before I get to the cup of tea waiting for me.
The flag of Andorra has two cows on it..... and the study of flags is called vexillology.  Again, courtesy of Big Bang Theory.

And now, to my tea.      


  1. It was much harder in 1936...no Google!

  2. I guess I better start watching BBT. You're the second reliable source that suggested it. I just don't turn my TV on much at all.

    Fun post, thanks!

  3. Flags have fascinated me since we studied them in grade school. I've forgotten much of what I learned then. One of my favorite tidbits that I've learned since: Botswana is the only country with a color in its flag representing rain.

    Nice post!

  4. Of course the Hawaii flag has the Union Jack on it, as should all US flags. Oh, hang on, should I say that on the 4th July.