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The Ugliest Flag in the World?

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New Zealand academic causes turmoil in Brazil!
14 years ago, January 23rd 2008 No: 1 Msg: #25896  
B Posts: 5,195
On the front page of the Globo website (Brazil's biggest - and possibly worst newspaper) yesterday appeared the headlines.

A ‘pior bandeira do mundo’ é mesmo a nossa?



Roughly translated - "the worst flag in the world is ours?"

The comments on the entry got really heated - with counter assertions against "New Zealand's ugly rip-off Australian flag", and hackers wanting to shutdown the Otago universities website.

What caused this outrage? What news worthy event could possible be on the front page of such a huge newspaper on a day that the world threatened to slip in to economic meltdown?

A short paper from a Kiwi Philosopher at the University of Otago - prefixed with the words - this is not intended to cause offence - and filed under humour. Two points entirely missed by Globo.

The paper outlined a simple methodology open to interpretation for rating flags - assigning points for originality, colouring, layout and docking points for using words, detailed images, bad colours. Here is the "study"

I read it and - well - I broadly agree - it's a shame that Brazil's Flag came out worst - it's one of the most vibrant and appealing flags around in my opinion - but it lost points for two good reasons:

- It has writing across the middle
- It has lots of unnecessary stars

I think the Brazilian flag would look better without those two things - the irony for the uptight people responding to that post is that had it not had those two things - it would have got an A and no doubt Globo would have dropped that on it's front page instead.

The winning flag Gambia - and what a lovely flag it is!!


What flags really impress you? any thoughts on the situation outlined above?

The lesson to the academic - well - national pride is strongly linked with symbols such as flags - and national pride often brings out the worst of people.


Update: - the comments now have become much more realistic and jokey on the post and a bit of anger directed back at Globo - why? - a commenter translated bits of the article and made it clear that this was judging the flags aesthetics only - not Brazil! - shame on Globo for their terrible sensationalist article - but thanks for making me aware of the study 😉

The world's flags - all of them - are shown here - world's flags - to link to an image - you can embed your worst/best flag in the post.
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14 years ago, January 23rd 2008 No: 2 Msg: #25918  
Personally I prefer the Brazil flag to the Gambian flag. Reason being I prefer the colours chosen. The colours in the Gambian flag are not bright or eye catching enough for me. But most importantly the colors of the flag must look good on a soccer kit! And sadly Gambia's does not.

I think it is a bit harsh to mark it down because of writing and some stars. There are far more complicated flags out there. For example the flag of Bhutan (which i like but don't know why) has an increadibly complicated dragon in the middle as does the Welsh flag. Even the Stars and Stripes of the USA are very complicated compared to the Brazil flag!

Being English it comes as no suprise that I love the St George's Cross and Union Jack. But I do also like the French flag, the Swedish flag, the of south Korea, the Japanease flag and the flag of Niger.

Just to name a few. Reply to this

14 years ago, January 24th 2008 No: 3 Msg: #25954  
No it must be the Union Jack flag that is the worst, as so many people must hate it, hence the reason why a lot of people fly the Union Jack flag upside down. lol

Did you know it is a corp marshal offence for any service man to flag a union jack upside down. Reply to this

14 years ago, January 24th 2008 No: 4 Msg: #25981  
Oh how silly these sensationalist newspapers are, they have an awful lot to answer for!

But...if we are naming our favourite flags...

I have a huge map of the world on my bedroom wall and surrounding it are the world's flags...the one that never fails to make me feel instantly happy? The Former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia What a fantastic image!

I don't think there is a bad flag, perhaps just a few uninspiring ones! Reply to this

14 years ago, January 25th 2008 No: 5 Msg: #26011  
I've gotta say Libya has the least inspiring flag in the world, if not the worst.

Solid Green! Who comes up with that? Reply to this

14 years ago, February 2nd 2008 No: 6 Msg: #26544  
Unnecessary stars?? Each one represents a state of Brazil. Ok is not an original idea, the US use them for the same thing, but at least we don't have so many.

Having few stars like Australia and New Zealand could also be strange, is meant to represent the Brazilian sky. And as long as I know the sky is full of them and nobody thinks its ugly and mess with the view... hahaha.

I do agree that people in Brazil don't follow it very much but the line "Order and Progress" is quite inspiring. Ok, most of the times is misspelled or omitted in posters or prints.

One more thing, there is also the enigma of the single star above the white line. Their are many theories but nobody really knows why. I love the theory that is my state, the most beautiful and developed one... hahaha.

For a last point, the flag looks very cool on my Havaianas flip flop. (Although it doesn't have the stars and the writing). Reply to this

12 years ago, February 28th 2010 No: 7 Msg: #105272  
Hi Ali.

I am Brazilian, and i respect your opinion about our flag.
Well, at least i would like to explain the reason for too many stars, and our representation.

Green represents our forests, our green wealth. Also represents the colours of "Bragança's house" (imperial family, yeah, long history!) but we prefer to not see that.

The gold yellow represents our gold, our mineral wealth. Also represents the colours of "Habsburg's House" (D. Leopoldina dinasty), but we prefer to not see that.
The losangle, the most "original" representation in our flag, was taked from our imperial flag: http://www.brasilimperial.org.br/bandeiras/reinobr.jpg. That flag was adopted in 9/18/1822, 11 days after our independence day.

The blue, well, the blue symbol on the middle, is an graphical representation of our national symbol called "selo nacional": http://www.planalto.gov.br/secom/simbolos/Selo_nacional.jpg
The "selo nacional" if composed by the following caracteristics:
Is the representation of the sky of Rio de Janeiro at 8:30 am in 11/15/1889, the day of the republic proclamation.
The "Order and Progress" message, that is a lecture of a positivist message of Auguste Comte: "The love by principle, the order as the base; the progress by the end". The very first one was: "Order, progress and love" but Mr Deodoro da Fonseca cut the "love" out! XD

Also, i personally think our representation marvelous and great. We all admire all this facts printed in our flag and we love what we have here. Only who lives in Brazil is capable to understand the true beauty of that message. We don't have any black or red (death and blood) on our flag, because what we are searching, is the future. The flag, from outborder to the center, can be readed like: we have a country full of resources, a glourious past and that we will grown this with "order and progress", that is it. Is a totally positivist flag.

If you have some good translation tool for portuguese, and the interest, you can have more information about the flag, here: http://www.brasilimperial.org.br/bandsbr.htm and here: http://pt.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bandeira_do_Brasil. Both sites are really good materials. I would appreciate your interest.

And please, visit us, ok? You will see what the flag is talking about! Our nature and people would be glad. 😊
Reply to this

12 years ago, June 30th 2010 No: 8 Msg: #114429  
"Ordem e Progresso" is the most ridiculous thing to have scrawled across the flag of Brazil. I have always assumed that someone was having an ironic laugh.

"Sacanagem e Malandro"
Reply to this

11 years ago, July 8th 2010 No: 9 Msg: #115223  
N Posts: 1
Could it be possible to re-adopt the old Imperial flag, but with the crown and cross removed? That old flag is more prestigious and inspiring...

If we think about it, the present republic was formed as a reactionary when slavery was abolished...
Back when Brazil was an empire, democracy was thriving, economy was growing...

Not to say that Brazil needs an Emperor now, but at least the flag represents a better side of Brazil once lost... 😊 Reply to this

11 years ago, January 20th 2011 No: 10 Msg: #126927  
2Brothers3Con and Marcio had great posts. I think this study's methods of aesthetics are narrow, and can't possibly take into account the significance and symbolism of each country's flag. In the end, it all comes down a subjective, personal view of beauty.

But Brazil is an incredible country, vibrant like its flag. I hope people visit it! Reply to this

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