Learn About Other Countries on Flag Day
In the United States, Flag Day is celebrated on June
14. Although first declared by former President Woodrow Wilson in 1916, the date
was not officially marked as Flag Day by Congress until 1949. With the exception
of Pennsylvania, Flag Day is not a national or state holiday, but it can serve
not only as a time to celebrate our country but to learn about other nations and
what their flags represent.
Most Americans know that
the 13 red and white stripes of the Star-Spangled Banner represent the original
British colonies that eventually declared independence from England in 1776.
However, fewer people know that the national flag of Liberia, a small country on
the coast of West Africa, bears more than a passing resemblance to the American
The Liberian flag
features a blue square in the upper left hand corner with a single white star,
as well as red and white horizontal stripes. However, the Liberian flag only has
11 of these stripes, compared to the 13 seen on the American flag. The
similarities between the two flags stem from Liberia's connection to the United
States; American abolitionists and slaveholders began sending freed slaves in
1820 to form a colony in what is now Liberia.
The stripes represent
the 11 signatories of the Liberian Declaration of Independence, which was signed
in 1847, and the blue square containing a single white star symbolizes the
The Indian flag is more
commonly known as the Tiranga. The flag features three thick horizontal stripes:
one orange, one white and one green. In the center of the white stripe is an
emblem known as the Ashoka Chakra, which literally translates to "Wheel of Law."
This design, which is colored blue on the Tiranga, has 24 spokes, each
representing aspects of the eternal cycle of progress and righteousness in the
The Tiranga is a potent
symbol of Indian ideals and gained further cultural significance in 1947, when
the British government formally renounced ownership of the Indian
subcontinent and the country gained its independence. The three colors of
the Tiranga represent faith (orange); peace, truth and unity (white); and the
majesty of the sky and ocean (blue).
The history of a
country's flag is a great way to learn about a nation's past, cultural ideals
and beliefs. This Flag Day, why not check out ChildFund's Facebook
page and Twitter feed to share flag
trivia and discover another side to countries around the world?