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In Search of Flag Days

Last modified: 2013-04-04 by peter hans van den muijzenberg
Keywords: vexillology | flag days |
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For more information with links to specific flags see our Flag Days of the World pages by clicking on the month in the table below.

See also:

Editorial Note: Portions of this document have been published in NAVA News [nav] FOTW bibliographic codes in square bracket [ ] have been added to the end of the author's bibliographic entries in our database.


IN SEARCH OF FLAG DAYS
By Dr. Steve Carol © 2007

Having flown flags daily for more than 30 years as well as having utilized them in the teaching of history (see NAVA NEWS, Vol. 31, No. 3, July – September 2006, pp. 2-3, 12) I have always sought occasions for the display of flags. The obvious first category to come to mind, is flying flags on the independence days of various countries. That information is readily available and a chart can be made to indicate those dates. The second most obvious, based on our own American experience, would be the grouping of flag days of various nations. It is well known that June 14, 1777 was the date that the United States Stars and Stripes was officially adopted by the United States Congress as the national banner of our nation. But what of other nations? Do they have “flag days”? This prompted my research project.

When we speak of “flag day,” it is assumed that the date in question was the day when a nation's (state, province or some other subdivision) flag was officially adopted by law by a legislature or some governing body. However research revealed that such an easy classification doesn't always exist. Various terms and phrases are used to signify when a particular flag was adopted or became known to the public at large. These include: “adopted,” “re-adopted,” “passed into law,” “introduced,” “re-introduced,” “announced,” “first hoisted,” “instituted,” “officially regulated,” “officially confirmed,” “officially hoisted,” “officially approved,” “formally confirmed,” and “proclamation of the flag,”

Some nations have established a ‘flag day” by law, while many others have not. Several nations adopted their flags on the date of independence and so “flag day” coincides with their independence day. Some have a “flag day” different from the date of adoption of that banner.

The listing compiled is based on the definitions listed above. It does not include various national holidays, and events that are celebrated in many nations by prominent display of their flag, but rather tries to establish a preliminary listing of “flag days.” When a disputed date was encountered, the earlier date was chosen. A more painstaking examination of individual nation's archives may reveal additional information for a future researcher to update, modify or correct this listing.

Nations/Subdivisions and Year
January
1 United Kingdom (1801), British Red Ensign (current) (1801), Syria (G-W-N Red stars) (1932), New Hampshire (1932), Northwest Territories (1969), Federation of Arab Republics (1972), Aruba (1986), Netherlands Antilles (1986)
2  
3 Myanmar (1974)
4 Cook Islands (1979)
5  
6 Transvaal (It was named the Vierkleur - four-colors) (1857)
7 Italy (tricolor) (1797)1
8 Seychelles (1996)
9  
10 Ecuador (1861)
11 Norfolk Island (1980)
12  
13 Bangladesh (1972)
14 Iraq (1991), Republic of Georgia (Five crosses flag) (2004)
15  
16  
17  
18 Honduras (1849), Schleswig-Holstein (1957)
19 Nova Scotia (1929)
20 Lesotho (1987)
21 Quebec (1948), Ukraine (1990)
22  
23 Belgium (1831)
24  
25 Texas (1839), Republic of (S) Korea (1950)
26 Republic of Mississippi (Magnolia flag) (1861)
27  
28 Serbia (1839), South Carolina (1861), Rwanda (“R” flag) (1961)
29  
30  
31 Wyoming (1917), USSR (1924), Nauru (1968)
February
1  
2  
3 California (1911)
4 Bosnia-Herzegovina (1998)
5 Azerbaijan (1991)
6 Ethiopia (star emblem) (1996)
7 Mississippi (1894), Grenada (1974)
8  
9 Guam (1948)
10  
11 Louisiana Confederate flag (1861)
12 Mongolia (1992)
13 Georgia (CS Battle flag version) (1956)
14 Netherlands (1796)
15 Canada (1965), Latvia (1990, 1992)
16 Honduras (1866), Alabama (1895), Hong Kong (1990)
17  
18 Gambia (1965), Congo/Kinshasa (independence flag restored) (2000)
19 Netherlands (1937), Turkmenistan (1992)
20  
21 St. Lucia (1967)
22  
23  
24 Mexico (1821), Maine (1909), Samoa (1949), New Brunswick (1965)
25 Argentina (1818), Peru (1825), Anjouan (1998)
26 Oregon (1925)
27 Arizona (1917), Antigua (1967), Western Sahara (1976)
28 Orange Free State (1856), Albania (1912)
29  
March
1 Mali (1961)
2  
3 North Dakota (1911), Kyrgyzstan (1992)
4 Confederate States of America (Stars & Bars) (1861), Confederate States (3rd National flag) (1865)
5  
6  
7 West Virginia (1929)
8  
9 North Carolina (1885), Maryland (1904)
10  
11 Utah (1913), New Mexico (1925), South Dakota (1963), Papua New Guinea (1971)
12 Mauritius (1968)
13 Turkish Rep. of Northern Cyprus (1984), Guernsey (1985)
14  
15 Greece (1822), Idaho (1927), Saudi Arabia (1973)
16  
17  
18 Massachusetts (1908), Aruba (1976)
19 Minnesota (1957)
20 Czechoslovakia (1920), Lithuania (1989)
21 Namibia (1990)
22 Ukraine (1918)
23 Missouri (1913)
24 Prince Edward Island (1964)
25 Rep. of Georgia (first flag) (1918)
26 New Jersey (1896), Kentucky (1918)
27  
28  
29 Iowa (1921), Syria (1980)
30  
31 Colorado (1964), Macao (1993)
April
1 Mauritania (1959)
2 New York (1901), Nebraska (1925), Pitcairn Island (1984)
3  
4 Monaco (1881), Mali Federation (with Kanaga symbol) (1959)
5  
6 San Marino (1862)
7 Albania (1912), Åland Islands (1954), Jersey (1981)
8  
9  
10 Arkansas (1924), United Arab Republic (1958), Canary Islands (1989)
11  
12 Great Britain (“King's Colors”) (1606)
13  
14  
15  
16 Jordan (then Trans-Jordan) (1923)
17 Tennessee (1905)
18 Zimbabwe (1980)
19 Lithuania (1918), Bophuthatswana (1973)
20 Venezuela (1836)
21 British Antarctic Territory (1998)
22 Armenia (1918)
23  
24 Togo (1960)
25 Faeroe Islands (Merkið) (1940)
26 Samoa (1949)
27 American Samoa (1960), Sierra Leone (1961), South Africa (1994)
28  
29  
30 Virginia (1861)
May
1 United States (15 stars and stripes) (1795), Confederate States (2nd national flag – “Stainless Banner”) (1863), Marshall Islands (1979), Mozambique (first flag) (1983), State of Cambodia (1989)
2 Alaska (1927), Bosnia-Herzegovina (first flag) (1992), Poland (2004)
3  
4  
5  
6  
7  
8 Estonia (1990)
9 Ohio (1902), Oklahoma (1941)
10  
11 Kingdom of Laos (1947)
12 Manitoba (1966), Moldova (1990)
13 Berlin (1954)
14 Hamburg (Germany) (1751)
15  
16  
17 U.S. Virgin Islands (1921)
18 Haiti (1803)
19 Rhode Island (1897), Philippines (1898)
20 France (1794), Hawaii (1845), Cuba (1902), Guyana (1966), Sudan (1970), Cameroon (Third national flag) (1975)
21 Ontario (1965)
22 Yemen (unified) (1990)
23 Germany (Federal Republic) (1949)
24 Eritrea (1993)
25  
26 European Union (1986)
27  
28 Spain (1785), Newfoundland (1980)
29 Finland (1918), Northern Ireland (1953)
30 Anguilla (1990)
31 Indiana (1917), South Africa (tricolor) (1928)
June
1 Vermont (1923), Alberta (1968), Wisconsin (1981)
2  
3 Connecticut (1897)
4 Kazakhstan (1992)
5 Turkey (1936)
6 Greenland (1985)
7 Washington (1923), Vatican City (1929), Belarus (1995)
8 Nevada (1991)
9  
10  
11  
12 Luxembourg (1845), New Zealand (1902)
13 Pennsylvania (1907), Costa Rica (1964), Palau (1980), St. Maarten (1985)
14 United States (1777), Vietnam (South) (1948)
15 Denmark (Dannebrog) (1219)
16  
17  
18 Iceland (1915), Italy (current) (1946)
19 Portugal (1911), Nova Scotia (1929)
20 British Columbia (1960), Jamaica (1962)
21 Haiti (red and black) (1964)
22 North Carolina Confederate (1861), Sweden (Svenska Flaggaans Dag) (1906), Ciskei (1973)
23  
24 Walloon (1975), Slovenia (1991)
25 German Imperial Tricolor (1867)
26 Romania (1867)
27 Djibouti (1977)
28 Burundi (current) (1967)
29  
30 Congo/Kinshasa (1960), Kansas (1963), Tanzania (1964), Cambodia (1993)
July
1 Louisiana (1912), Northern Territory, Montana (1981)
2 Flemish, Belgium (1973), Curacao (1984)
3 Algeria (1962), Artsakh (Nagarno-Karabakh) (1992)
4 Estonia (1920)
5 Lebowa (1974)
6 Malawi (1964)
7  
8  
9 Japan “Hinomaru” (1854), Saarland (Germany) (1956), Isle of Man (1968)
10 Bahamas (1973)
11 Uruguay (1830)
12 Kiribati (1979), Montenegro (2006)
13  
14  
15  
16  
17 Norway (1821)
18 Qwaqwa (1975)
19  
20  
21 British Red Ensign (1707)
22 India (1947)
23 Abkhazia (1992)
24 Delaware (1913)
25 Argentina (1816)
26 Maldive Islands (1965)
27 Hong Kong (British colony) (1959)
28 Madeira Islands (1978)
29 Iran Islamic Republic (1980)
30 Vanuatu (1980)
31 Iraq (3 star) (1963)
August
1 Michigan (1911), Poland (1919)
2 Martinique (1766), Cook Islands (1979), Burkina Faso (1984)
3  
4  
5  
6  
7  
8  
9 Gabon (1960)
10  
11  
12  
13  
14  
15  
16 Congo/Brazzaville (1959), Cyprus (1960)
17 Indonesia (1945)
18  
19 Bahrain (1972)
20 Senegal (1960)
21  
22 Russia (1991)
23  
24  
25  
26  
27 Liberia (1847)
28  
29 Spain (1936)
30  
31 Trinidad and Tobago (1962)
September
1 Bougainville (1975), Armenia (1991), Slovakia (1992)
2  
3 Australia (1903 officially designated Flag Day)
4 Nicaragua (1908)
5 Malta (1947), Mozambique (1974)
6  
7 Kuwait (1961), Sri Lanka (1978)
8 Azores (1976)
9 Democratic People's Republic of (N) Korea (1948)
10  
11  
12  
13 Moultrie (US) (1775)
14  
15 El Salvador (1912), Nazi Germany (1935)
16 Malaysia (1963)
17  
18  
19 St. Kitts-Nevis (1983)
20  
21 Belize (1981)
22 Saskatchewan (1969)
23  
24 Azerbaijan (1920), Guinea-Bissau (1973) Azad Kashmir (1975)
25 Cape Verde (current) (1992)
26 Turks and Caicos Islands (1965)
27 China (People's Republic) (1949)
28 Thailand (1917)
29 Brunei (1959)
30 Botswana (1966)
October
1 Hungary (1957), German Democratic Republic (1959), Tuvalu (1978)
2  
3 Comoros (current) (1996), Lesotho (current) (2006)
4 Bermuda (1910)
5 Liechtenstein (1921), Egypt (Eagle of Saladin) (1984), Macedonia (1995)
6 Ethiopia (1897)
7  
8  
9 Uganda (1962)
10 Ghana (1956), Fiji (1970)
11 Uzbekistan (1991)
12 Somalia (1954), Equatorial Guinea (1968), St. Vincent (1985)
13 Pine Tree “An Appeal to Heaven” (1775)
14 Madagascar (1958), Somaliland Republic (1996)
15 District of Columbia (1938)
16 Nigeria (1959)
17  
18 Chile (1817)
19  
20  
21 Taunton (“Liberty and Union”) (1774)
22  
23 Austria (1919)
24 Zambia (1964)
25  
26  
27 Afghanistan (17th flag) (1997)
28 Japan Imperial (1871), Taiwan (Republic of China) (1928), Israel (1948)
29 Cambodia (first flag) (1948), Cameroon (tricolor, first flag) (1957)
30 Swaziland (1967)
31  
November
1  
2 Chechnya (1991)
3 Dominica (current flag) (1990)
4 Tonga (1875), Panama (1903), British Indian Ocean Territory (1990)
5 Sao Tome e Principe (1975)
6 Sweden (1663), Dominican Republic (1844), Florida (1900), Chad (1959)
7  
8  
9 Dominica (first flag) (1965)
10 Guinea (1958)
11 Lithuania (1918), Rhodesia (UDI) (1968), Angola (1975), Libya (1977)
12 Germany (tricolor) (1848)
13  
14  
15  
16 Benin (tricolor) (1959), Oman (1970)
17 Morocco (1915)
18 Latvia (1918), Solomon Islands (1977), Oman (current) (1995)
19 Brazil (1889)
20  
21 Zaire (1971)
22 Iceland (1913), Bulgaria (1990)
23 Niger (1959), French Polynesia (1984)
24 Tajikistan (1992)
25 Paraguay (1842), Suriname (1965)
26 Colombia (1861)
27  
28  
29  
30 Bolivia (1831), Democratic Republic of (N) Vietnam (1955), Barbados (1966), Micronesia (1978)
December
1 Yugoslavia (1918), Hesse (Germany) (1946), Central African Republic (1958), Yukon Territory (1967)
2 Bavaria (Germany) (1946), United Arab Emirates (1971), Laos People's Republic (1975)
3 US Grand Union (1775), Cote d'Ivoire (1959), Singapore (1959)
4  
5  
6 Saba (1985)
7 Lebanon (1943)
8  
9 Upper Volta (1959)
10  
11  
12 Switzerland (1889), Kenya (1963)
13  
14  
15 Canada (1964), Bonaire (1981)
16 Nepal (1962)
17 Czech Republic (1992)
18 Basque Ikkurina (1979)
19  
20  
21  
22 Puerto Rico (1895), Croatia (1990)
23  
24  
25  
26  
27  
28  
29 Ireland (1937)
30 Pakistan (1906), Cape Verde (first flag) (1974)
31  

1 Adopted in Reggio Emilia as flag of Cispandane Republic

BIBLIOGRAHPY

Cannon, Jr., Devereaux. The Flags of the Confederacy: An Illustrated History, St. Luke's Press, Memphis, TN, 1988. [can88]

Crampton, William. Flags of the World, Dorset Press, New York, 1990. [cra90i]

“Flag Days” on Flags of the World, http://www.crwflags.com/fotw/flags/fdw-jan.html

Perrin, William G. British Flags, Cambridge University Press, London, 1922. prr22]

Smith, Whitney. Flags and Arms Across the World, McGraw Hill, New York, 1980. [smi80]

Smith, Whitney. Flags Through the Ages and Across the World, McGraw Hill, New York, 1975. [smi75b]

Wikipedia, (see separate nations) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page

Znamieronski, Alfred. World Encyclopedia of Flags, Hermes House, London, 2001. [zna99a]

Dr. Steve Carol is a retired professor of history with specialties in U.S. History, the World Wars of the 20th Century, the Cold War, and Modern Middle East History. He is a Middle East consultant for the Salem Radio News Network, Associate Producer and Historian of Middle East Radio Forum (www.middleeastradioforum.org) His forthcoming publication is Middle East Rules of Thumb: Understanding the complexities of the Middle East – A Handbook. He can be reached at drhistory@cox.net


Flags of the World
December 2008

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