Swiss flag 10 x 15 cm
Switzerland (German: Die Schweiz, Swiss German: Schwyz or Schwiiz, French: Suisse, Italian: Svizzera , Romansh: Svizra, officially the Swiss Confederation (Confoederatio Helvetica in Latin, hence its ISO country codes CH and CHE), is a landlocked alpine country of roughly 7.6 million people in Western Europe with an area of 41,285 km². Switzerland is a federal republic consisting of 26 states called cantons. Berne is the seat of the federal authorities, while the country's economic centres are its three global cities, Geneva, Basel and especially Zürich. Switzerland is one of the richest countries in the world by per capita gross domestic product. Zürich and Geneva have respectively been ranked as having the first and second highest quality of life in the world.
Switzerland is bordered by Germany to the north, France to the west, Italy to the south and Austria and Liechtenstein to the east. The country has a long history of neutrality — it has not been at war since 1815 — and hosts many international organizations, including the Red Cross, the World Trade Organization and one of the U.N.'s two European offices. However, it is not a member of the European Union. Switzerland is multilingual and has four national languages: German, French, Italian and Romansh. The country's formal name is Schweizerische Eidgenossenschaft in German, Confédération suisse in French, Confederazione Svizzera in Italian and Confederaziun svizra in Romansh. The establishment of Switzerland is traditionally dated to 1 August 1291; the first of August is the national holiday.
The flag of Switzerland consists of a red square with a bold, equilateral white cross in the center. It is one of only two square sovereign-state flags, the other being the flag of the Vatican City. (The civil and state ensign, used by Swiss ships and boats, has more traditional proportions of 2:3.)
Only the dimensions of the cross are formally established since 1889: "The coat of arms of the federation is, within a red field, an upright white cross, whose [four] arms of equal length are a sixth longer than their width.". The size of the cross in relation to the field is not formally established except on the naval ensign. A relation of 2:3 or 7:10 to the span of the flag is usual.