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Facts About Flags

In 2007, the American military gave Afghan children soccer balls depicting the flags of different countries. The only problem was that one of the flags depicted was that of Saudi Arabia. The Saudi Arabian flag contains the sacred text of the Muslim decoration of faith, and Afghans found it quite offensive for that to appear on an item that was designed to be kicked. Demonstrations ensued until the American military apologized. (source)

An AK-47 is depicted on the flag of Mozambique. (source)

Battle flag of the Army of Northern Virginia
The battle-flag of the Army of Northern Virginia. This flag was never an official Confederate flag.

During the First Battle of Bull Run, there was some confusion because the flag of the Confederacy (with seven stars and three stripes) was quite similar to that of the Union. The Confederacy eventually adopted a new flag, but that one was easily confused with a flag of surrender. Just before the collapse of the Confederacy, they finally adopted a flag that could not easily be confused with any other. While the Confederacy had three flags, the one that people think of today as being the "Confederate Flag", depicted at right, was never the official Confederate flag; it was the battle flag of the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia. This flag was considered as the flag of the Confederacy, but rejected because, being symmetrical, it could not be flown upside-down as a signal of distress.

View more facts about: American Civil War

The only national flag that is not rectangular is that of Nepal. The flag consists of two triangular pennants on top of one another. These two pennants originally flew separately before they were joined into the current shape. (source)

The flag of Libya that was used until recently was designed by Libyan dictator Muammar el-Qadhafi. It is simply a plain green rectangle. Until the recent overthrow of Qadhafi, it was the only national flag that was just one solid colour without any design. (source)

The Danish flag is the oldest unchanged national flag, dating to the thirteenth century. According to legend, around 1218 King Valdemar II of Denmark, saw a vision of a red banner bearing a white cross during a battle in what is now Estonia, and he adopted it as the standard of the Danes. (source)

The Apollo 16 spacecraft were named after stars. The command module was "Caspar," and the lunar module was "Orion." The Apollo 16 mission carried 25 small (4 × 6 inches) United States flags as well as one state flag for each of the 50 U.S. states. (source)

The legacy of flying American flags to space started in 1961 with the flight of the first American astronaut, Alan Shepard. Students from Cocoa Beach Elementary School in Florida purchased a flag from a local department store. The flag was rolled up and placed between cables behind Shepard's head inside his Freedom 7 Mercury spacecraft. (source)

View more facts about: Exploration

The flag of the United Kingdom, known as the Union Jack, contains three emblems of three countries that are the crosses of three patron saints. There is the red cross of St. George, patron saint of England, on a white ground, the white diagonal cross, or saltire, of St. Andrew, patron saint of Scotland, on a blue ground, and the red diagonal cross of St. Patrick, patron saint of Ireland, on a while ground. (source)

The U.S. state of Texas was under five different flags in the nineteenth century. At the start of the century it was under Spanish rule as a part of Mexico. Mexico achieved independence in 1821. From 1836 to 1845 Texas was an independent state under its own flag. From 1845 to 1860 Texas was part of the United States; in 1861 it briefly reverted back to its own flag before joining the Confederate States of America during the American Civil War, after which it rejoined the United States.

View more facts about: American Civil War | United States
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