Feel-Good! | airplanes | animals | architecture | art | auto | boats | famous | cool ads | funny pics | food | futurism | gadgets | history | japan
military | music | nature | photo | russia | sci-fi | signs | space | sports | steampunk | technology | trains | travel | vintage | weird | abandoned

Flags of Forgotten Countries, Part 2

Link - article by Simon Rose

We had such a great response to the first article about flags here on Dark Roasted Blend, that we thought we’d unearth a few more examples of fascinating banners from the distant and not so distant past. Here’s a look at some more flags of forgotten countries.

Epic lands, empires, wars, revolutions - with flags to match them

The flags of Napoleon and his nephew Napoleon III featured in our first article, but France went though a number of political changes in the nineteenth century. After Napoleon’s fall, the Bourbon’s returned to the throne, using this royal coat of arms, with the restoration period under Louis XVIII and Charles X lasting from 1814 until the monarchy was overthrown by the July Revolution in 1830.

(image via)

A cadet branch of their own family replaced the Bourbons as rulers of France. However, their successor, Louis Philippe, was himself overthrown in the revolution of 1848:

(images via)

France of course experienced further upheaval in World War Two, after defeat to Germany in 1940. This flag was the personal standard of Philippe Petain, chief of state of Vichy France, which remained unoccupied by the Germans until November 1942:

(larger map and more info here)

Also in World War Two, following the fall of Mussolini in 1943 and the subsequent defection of Italy from the Axis cause, Germany took control of northern and central Italy. The puppet state established by Mussolini on Lake Garda, halfway between Milan and Venice, was informally known as the Salo Republic, which came to an end in April 1945:

(image via)

In Asia during the same period, the Japanese puppet state of Manchukuo was located in Manchuria and parts of Inner Mongolia. Established in 1932, the government was headed by Puyi, the last emperor of China, until the end of the Manchukuo state following the defeat of Japan in 1945:

(right: Puyi during his time as the Emperor of Manchukuo, image via)

Propaganda posters showing harmony between the people of Japan, China, and the state of Manchukuo:

(images via)

Another result of World War Two was the division of Germany, and here’s the flag of the now defunct East Germany, or as it was formerly known, the German Democratic Republic, which lasted from 1949 to 1990:

(right: Warsaw Pact poster "Together We Are Invincible!")

Many sultans used different personal "avatars"...er, banners

The Ottoman Empire, also known as the Turkish Empire, was founded in the early fourteenth century and came to an end after the First World War. At the height of its power in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the empire controlled North Africa, Western Asia and most of South Eastern Europe. Various flags were used within the Empire throughout its existence and the sultans also used different personal banners. There was no national flag until 1844 and the design was very similar to the current flag of the Republic of Turkey, founded in 1923. However, here is a flag used by the Ottoman army for some three hundred years from the mid fifteenth century:

(image via)

Every sultan tended to have his own banner, but a coat of arms, similar to those prevalent in Europe, was created for Sultan Abdul Hamid II in 1882, although it was never an official coat of arms for the Empire itself:

(image via)

Greece was ruled by the Ottomans for centuries, until independence was secured in the 1820’s. However, during the Turkish period, the Greeks used a number of unofficial flags. This one was employed in certain parts of the empire from 1431 to 1619 by the spachides, a cavalry unit:

(images via)

After Otto, a prince of Bavaria in Germany, was made King of Greece in 1832, the country used this flag for several decades:

(image via)

Forgotten British colonial variations

(map of the British Empire, click to enlarge - via Norman B Leventhal Map Centre)

There are lots of British colonial flags due to the extent and the life span of the Empire, but here are a few examples of forgotten flags, such as this one belonging to the British East India Company from 1707. Note the absence of the diagonal red cross of St. Patrick on the Union Jack, which was not added to the main British flag until after the Act of Union with Ireland in 1801:

India was often described as the jewel in the Crown of the British Empire. Here’s the flag of the Governor General, with a separate image depicting the star pattern:

(image via)

Azad Hind was an Indian government in exile based in Singapore after 1943, which was heavily dependent on support from Imperial Japan. Its aim was to free India from British rule by allying itself with the Axis powers:

(right image: Azad Hind card, via Ann Mette Heindorff)

Here are a couple of flags from colonial Hong Kong. The one on the left dates from 1871, the one shown on the right was used from 1959 until Hong Kong’s transfer back to China in 1997:

Viceroyalties and Forgotten Federations

On the opposite side of the world, the West Indies Federation was created from a number of British colonies in the Caribbean in 1958, but only lasted until 1962:

Another short-lived federation existed in the same part of the word over a century earlier. The Federal Republic of Central America, originally known as known as the United Provinces of Central America, was created in 1823 from the former territory of the Captaincy General of Guatemala, an administrative division of the Spanish Empire covering much of the region. The republic included the modern countries of Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica, but the union dissolved in a civil war between 1838 and 1840:

From 1535 to 1821, this was the flag of the Viceroyalty of New Spain, which governed California, the South West US, Mexico and much of Central America, plus the Spanish controlled Caribbean islands (see image below, top right). Further south, the Viceroyalty of New Granada came into being in 1717 in northern South America, ruling over modern day Colombia, Ecuador, Panama and Venezuela. The symbol (shown below on the left) was used on flags at some of the forts on the coast in the eighteenth century:

Flags inside flags... inside flags...

In Africa, this was the flag of South Africa from 1928 to 1994. The design is based on the Prince’s flag from the Netherlands, the banner of the Prince of Orange in the Dutch War of Independence (1568-1648), with the smaller flags of the Orange Free State and Transvaal, the former Boer republics, plus the British Union Jack, in the centre:

(right image: South African art deco postcard 1928, via)

Elsewhere in Africa, the colonial era left a lasting legacy, since almost the entire continent was once carved up by the European powers. This flag belongs to German East Africa, or Tanganyika, which is now known as Tanzania. Most other German colonial flags were similar, in red, black and white, with a central crest or shield:

(right image: hospital in Dar-Es-Salaam, via)

The huge country in central Africa now known as the Democratic Republic of the Congo was formerly called the Belgian Congo. Established as the Congo Free State in 1885, the entire vast territory was originally privately owned by the Belgian King Leopold II, until reports of major human rights abuses against the native population forced the king to hand the state over to Belgium in 1908. It became the Belgian Congo until the independence movement began in 1960:

(images via)

Great Expectations

Finally, from down under, the Australian flag’s original design dates from 1901, but the oldest known Australian flag appeared almost a century earlier. The Bowman Flag was created by John and Honor Bowman in 1806 and raised at their home in New South Wales NSW to commemorate Nelson’s victory at Trafalgar in October 1805. The flag features the English rose, Scottish thistle and Irish shamrock, along with Nelson’s famous motto from the battle ‘England expects that every man will do his duty’, flanked by the emu and kangaroo, symbols of Australia:

(image via)


Simon Rose is the author of science fiction and fantasy novels for children, including The Alchemist's Portrait, The Sorcerer's Letterbox, The Clone Conspiracy, The Emerald Curse, The Heretic's Tomb and The Doomsday Mask.

Permanent Link......+StumbleUpon ...+Facebook


Futuristic Concept Cars of the 1970-80s

French, Italian & Japanese rare beauties

DRB Feel-Good
DRB Feel-Good Issue #29

Loads of cool and rare imagery

Epic 1970s French Space Comic Art

DRB Time-Slice: Valérian and Laureline

"Dark Roasted Blend" - All Kinds of Weird and Wonderful Things, Discovered Daily!"

DRB is a top-ranked and respected source for the best in art, travel and fascinating technology, with a highly visual presentation. Our in-depth articles in many categories make DRB a highly visual online magazine, bringing you quality entertainment every time you open your "feed" reader or visit our site - About DRB

Connect with us and become part of DRB on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google Plus; make sure to subscribe to our updates.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

nice collection, but one mistake: the GDR lasted from 1949 to 1990

Blogger The Vicar of VHS said...

The flag of Vichy France is totally badass. They should have kept it. :)

Anonymous Seano said...

The GDR flag is my favourite of the former communist flags. I wonder what the present day replacement for a hammer and compass would be to represent blue and white collar workers.

Blogger Robert said...

You know, Vichy France was not really free...

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here is the flag of the Araucania and Patagonia Kingdom.

Blogger Pere-Ferran Andúgar i López said...

I find it awersome ,and really useful.It´s part of the History of the World.Thankyou for all that work!

Blogger Pere-Ferran Andúgar i López said...

This comment has been removed by the author.


Post a Comment

<< Home

Don't miss: The Ultimate Guide to NEW SF&F Writers!
Fiction Reviews: Classic Cyberpunk: Extreme Fiction
Short Fiction Reviews: Lovecraft's "At the Mountains of Madness" (with pics)
New Fiction Reviews: The Surreal Office


The Trees Are Escaping! The Abandoned Prison in French Guiana

"Great Escape" from the Devil's Island

Videophones from the Future Past

Skype? Smartphone? Google Hangouts?

The Best of DRB in 2014

Weird & Wonderful 2014 Overview

Amazing Automatons, Robots & Victorian Androids

Industrious Clockwork Creatures!

What Kids (Really) Wish For

The Ultimate Imaginary Gifts List

The Last Victorian Leviathan Steam Ship

An Iron Monster, framed in a cloud of billowing white sails

DRB Time-Slice:
Infinite Music & "Oud" Masterpieces

Unique melody for every day of the year!

DRB Time-Slice: 1930 Design:
Golden Telephone For Pope Pius

You needed to kneel to speak with Pope Pius XII by phone

FULL ARCHIVES (with previews, fast loading):

Jan-Feb 2015 -- Nov-Dec 2014 -- Sep-Oct 2014 -- July-Aug 2014 --
June 2014 -- May 2014 -- April 2014 -- Feb-March 2014 --
January 2014 -- Oct-Dec 2013 -- September 2013 --
August 2013 -- July 2013 -- May-June 2013 -- April 2013 --
March 2013 -- February 2013 -- Dec-Jan 2013 --
November 2012 -- October 2012 -- September 2012 --
August 2012 -- July 2012 -- June 2012 -- May 2012 -- April 2012 --
March 2012 -- February 2012 -- Dec-Jan 2012 --
November 2011 -- October 2011 -- September 2011 --
August 2011 -- July 2011 -- June 2011 --
May 2011 -- April 2011 -- March 2011 --
February 2011 -- January 2011 -- December 2010 --
November 2010 -- October 2010 -- September 2010 --
August 2010 - July 2010 -- June 2010 --
May 2010 -- April 2010 -- March 2010 --
Winter 2009-2010 -- Oct-Nov 2009 -- September 2009 --
August 2009 -- June-July 2009 -- May 2009 --
April 2009 -- March 2009 -- February 2009 --
January 2009 -- December 2008 -- November 2008 --
October 2008 -- September 2008 -- August 2008 --
July 2008 -- June 2008 -- May 2008 --
April 2008 -- March 2008 -- February 2008 --
January 2008 -- Dec, 2007 -- November 2007 --
October 2007 -- September 2007 -- August 2007 --
July 2007 -- June 2007 -- May 2007 --
April 2007 -- March 2007 -- February 2007 --
January 2007 -- December 2006 -- November 2006 --
October 2006 -- Link Latte Issues -- Biscotti Issues

Feel-Good! | airplanes | animals | architecture | art | auto | boats | books | cool ads | funny pics | famous | futurism | food
gadgets | health | history | humour | japan | internet | link latte | military | music | nature | photo | russia | steampunk
sci-fi & fantasy | signs | space | sports | technology | trains | travel | vintage | weird | abandoned

Cool Ads
Extreme Weather
Funny Pics
Link Latte
Oops Accidents
Science Fiction

UE Abandoned

Avi Abrams
Rachel Abrams
M. Christian
Simon Rose
Paul Schilperoord
Scott Seegert
Constantine vonHoffman

Send us your topic ideas, site suggestions, rants or sweet unpublished poetry. We love to hear from you.

Samsung Galaxy Case friendly.