What Is the Only Non-Rectangular Flag?

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November 18, 2021 at 2:06:52 PM PST November 18, 2021 at 2:06:52 PM PSTth, November 18, 2021 at 2:06:52 PM PST

What is the only non-rectangular flag in the whole world? The national flag of Nepal is what every flag aficionado points out as a fun fact. The flag state of Ohio joins the party too since this is the only non-rectangular state flag.

But why is it so and what is hidden behind these unusual shapes? Let us take a closer look at these two unique flags.

National Flag of Nepal

The flag of Nepal tells interesting stories. For instance, the current looks originate from 1962 and up until that point, the crescent moon and the sun on the flag had human faces! As much as it sounds entertaining, the flag abounds in serious symbols.

Firstly, the blue border represents the color of peace, which was much needed in Nepal’s turbulent history. The crimson red stands for the blood shed by brave Nepalese defending the country, but it is also the color of the national flower — the rhododendron.

Now, let’s answer what’s been on your mind since you’ve seen the flag: why the two triangles?

The two triangular shapes have double meaning — they stand for the Himalaya mountains, and for the two dominant religions of Nepal, Hinduism, and Buddhism. There’s also a third interpretation, too, which says the triangles represent an outline of a Nepalese pagoda.

As for the celestial bodies, they are very intriguing too.

In the upper segment is a white moon emitting eight rays, with a crescent attached below; in the bottom segment appears a white, stylized sun with 12 rays. These two symbols are associated with different dynasties but also express the hope that the country will be as eternal as the sun and moon. What is more, the moon stands for the “chilly” and “refreshing” weather of the Himalayas whereas the sun is associated with the southern part of the land.

Another interpretation is also about the duality of the Nepalese people, i.e., their calmness and fierceness.

The Ohio Burgee

One may not be able to name all the US state flags, but the state flag of Ohio is remarkable. The only non-rectangular state flag. Why is it shaped so?

It is probable that the flag creator, John Eisenmann, found his inspiration in the swallow-tailed shape of a guidon that the US cavalry so proudly carried. Or perhaps it was to depict the hills and valleys of Ohio. Another crucial factor may be that he wished for something original to stand out among a plethora of flags. Namely, the Ohio Burgee was first hoisted in 1901 at the Pan-American Exposition.

Until that very moment, the state of Ohio had no state flag whatsoever.

As for the symbols, the white “O” is rather striking as it stands for the state name. The red disk at the hoist is a seed of the official Ohio tree, the buckeye. Seventeen stars to remember forever that Ohio was the 17th state to join the Union. The thirteen stars that are located closer to the flagpole remind us of the original thirteen states. The stripes and the colors pay tribute to the national US flag, which also has quite a history[1] .

Finally, the Ohio state flag is called a “burgee’ because it very much reminds one of the flags commonly seen on yachts and other ships.