Throughout history, several nations have woven design elements of the American flag into their own national flag designs. Playwright Oscar Wilde once said that "imitation is the most sincerest form of flattery.” The red, white and blue colors, the horizontal stripes, and the white stars on a blue field are design elements of our American flag - first adopted by our Continental Congress - that show up or influence official flags in countries around the world. As you review the following national flag designs, see if you agree that some of these international flags share attributes with the stars and stripes of "Old Glory," our revered U.S. flag.
With its red and white horizontal stripes and its upper left, blue corner featuring a single white star, the Liberian flag bears a definite similarity to the U.S. Flag. Those similarities are purposeful since the American Colonization Society helped to play a key role in the founding of Liberia. In fact, members of the Society bought land along the West African coast, in what would become the country of Liberia, for the sole purpose of providing a home for former American slaves who had gained their freedom in the States. The Liberia flag pictured here was first displayed on August 24, 1847, less than a month after Liberia became a sovereign nation on July 26, 1847. The Liberian flag’s 11 stripes represent the founding fathers who signed its Declaration of Independence. The flag’s single white star represents Liberia’s uniqueness in being the only Western-style nation throughout Africa.
Although anecdotal reports say the resemblance between the Malaysian flag and the American flag are coincidental, the form and structure of the two flags are notably similar. The Malaysian flag features 14 alternating red and white horizontal stripes as well as a rectangular blue field in its upper left corner. The stripes of the Malaysia flag symbolize the equality of the 13 member states that make up the country plus its federal government. Likewise, the 14 points of the flag’s gold star stand for the unity of Malaysia’s 13 states and its federal government. In addition, the flag’s gold crescent moon and its gold 14-point star represent the country’s official religion of Islam. The original Malaysia flag design was first flown on May 26, 1950. Since that time, only the number of points on the gold star have changed – from 11 to present-day 14, as Malaysia united with more neighboring Southeast Asian countries and updated its flag accordingly.
The flag of the West African country of Togo has a very similar look to that of nearby Liberia, as well as to the U.S. Flag. The Togo flag features five horizontal stripes which symbolize the country’s five administrative regions. The colors of the stripes alternate between green and yellow, with the green stripes representing the country’s reliance on agriculture as its primary economic driver and with the yellow stripes representing the manual labor of the citizens. Local lore says that the red square in the flag’s upper left corner symbolizes charity, fidelity and love. Likewise, the white five-pointed white star is said to symbolize purity. The green, red and yellow colors are derived from the Pan-African colors of Ethiopia. The Togo flag design was adopted on April 27, 1950, the same day that the country was recognized as a sovereign nation.
Although it lacks the prominent red color of the U.S. flag, the Uruguay flag pays homage to the American flag with its layout and design. The modern-day Uruguay national flag features nine horizontal stripes that alternate between blue and white. The stripes represent the nine original departments of the South American country of Uruguay. In its top left corner, the Uruguay flag features a bright yellow “Sun of May” rather than a single star or series of stars. The Sun of May is a significant cultural symbol that recalls a favorable omen that was received when the country was considering its independence from Spain. The Uruguay flag was adopted on December 16, 1828, the same day that Uruguay officially obtained its independence from Argentina and Brazil. Since then, only one key change has been made to the official flag. Although the original 1828-version of the Uruguay flag featured an alternating pattern of nine blue stripes and eight white stripes, on July 11, 1830, the total number of alternating stripes was reduced from 17 to nine.
Perhaps inspired by both the American flag and the state flag of Texas, the flag of the South American country of Chile was adopted on October 18, 1817. The square blue field in the flag’s top left corner symbolizes the Chilean sky. The single five-pointed star inside the blue square symbolizes the light that has been “a guide on the [country’s] path of progress.” The Chilean flag’s white stripe represents the snow that covers its Andes Mountains while its red stripe represents the blood of all those who sacrificed their lives on behalf of their country and its independence. A bit of Chile flag trivia: historians say that the red, white and blue colors of the Chilean flag mirror those of the sashes that Chile’s Araucanian Indians awarded to their warriors in the 15th Century.
As you think about the international flags that share design elements with the American flag, please keep in mind that Carrot-Top Industries offers more than 180 official international flags for purchase. As a complement to its international flags, Carrot-Top also offers a wide variety of U.S. flags, U.S. state flags and U.S. city flags. For help determining the best flag to meet your needs, please call 800-628-3524 to speak with a Customer Care Professional. You can also submit any questions about your flag order by email . We offer fast shipping on all of our in-stock products.