Can You Guess the Country From a Poorly Drawn Flag?

Tasha Moore

Image: Maya Karkalicheva/Moment/GettyImages

About This Quiz

Country flags are serious business. Explore the significance of these national symbols with our country flags quiz. We purposely distorted images of national flags to test your identification skills. 

Wars have been fought and decades-long turf battles have persisted because of flags and what they mean. Principalities, like New Zealand, invest lots of money cultivating and perfecting their nation's banners. There's a lot of history behind the colors and symbols of most country flags. Many flags have evolved through the years, and design iterations reflect the cultural, social and political signs of the times. 

China, Portugal and the United States are just a few countries that have modified their flag designs for these purposes. The U.S. "Stars and Stripes" emblem received its last stitching update sometime around 1959 when Hawaii, the nation's 50th state, was admitted to the Union. Places like Hungary have special names for their flags and have utilized its modern-day flag symbolism for centuries. Italy reserves its official flag handling for a special group of people. South Sudan's flag is one of the newer designs among nations. And proud principalities like Japan have sewn their banners into clothes.

Flags are not just fabrics flapping in the winds. These banners are loaded with history and inspire hope for millions. Wave your finger through these flag facts to see just how important the world's flags are!

This flag is poorly drawn, but can you identify the country?

The Waldorf Astoria New York, which often flies flags from different countries outside its hotel, once raised an Armenian flag upside down, mistaking it for the flag of Colombia. The Armenian flag has a narrow strip of orange, while Colombia's flag displays a wider yellow strip.

In 2012, Iran showed its appreciation for this country's flag. Can you choose the right country?

In 2012, an Iranian oil-tanker company posted Tanzanian flags on some of its shipping vessels in response to restrictions imposed on the Middle Eastern nation. The company changed its name before re-flagging massive petroleum carriers that contained two million barrels of crude.

"Khorugv" is a name for this country's flag. Do you pick the correct country?

Ukraine legislation designates its country's flag's yellow and blue colors to symbolize the nation's sovereign status. Ukrainians have used the word "khorugv," or "religious banner," to refer to its flag since the 14th century.

Try to name the new sovereign state that has this flag?

In recognition of South Sudan's July 9, 2011 independence, the African Union raised the nation's flag at its Addis Abada headquarters in August of the same year. South Sudan became the union's 54th member state when the United Nations recognized the nation's sovereign status on July 15, 2011.

The sbandieratori handle this country's flag. Do you figure out the place?

"Sbandieratori" is the name for flag wavers in Italy. The specialized Italian national practice of flag-waving started in the 12th century to signal the Italian army during the country's battles. These days, the flag-waving tradition is reserved for festivals.

Where do these colors belong?

Prior to 1994, the flag of South Africa included smaller flags that symbolized the former Orange Free State Afrikaner republic, the old Transvaal Republic and the British flag. In 1994, South Africa ended its apartheid system of rule.

A flag-first happened for this region at the 2016 Summer Olympics. What is the country?

Iran's first-ever female flag-bearer proudly displayed her country's flag at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Olympic archer Zahra Nemati of Iran was tasked with the honor at the game's opening ceremonies.

Visit the Bosphorus and you'll see this nation's colors. What's correct choice here?

Turkey's national flag is prominently displayed at some point along the Bosphorus, which is a narrow waterway that connects the Sea of Marmara and the Black Sea in northwest Turkey. It's been estimated that at least one ship donning a foreign flag sails through the strait every seven minutes.

For what country did Peter the Great design this flag?

Peter the Great originally designed Russia's white-red-and-blue flag that replaced the Kremlin's former flag, which displayed hammer-and-sickle symbolism. The Russian czar adored the Dutch and his flag design imitates the red-white-and-blue palette of the Dutch flag.

Since 1836, this country has held two coveted ensigns. Do you recognize the nation tied to this flag?

Lt. Zapadodes Jose Torres captured the Texas flag when 3,000 Mexican soldiers charged the Alamo on March 6, 1836. Ever since, Texans have sought to reclaim from Mexico's guarded possession the flag, which reads "First Company of Texan Volunteers from New Orleans."

A 2018 riot erupted over this flag. Do you know where it all happened?

In September 2018, a riot erupted in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia when Ethnic Oromo members and supporters of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) clashed with young citizens of the city. Ethnic Oromo members had attempted to replace the Ethiopian flag with the OLF flag in several sections of the city.

A false photo featuring another country's flag caused an uproar. Who owns the flag that you see here?

A fake image of the pyramid's of Egypt covered with Saudi Arabia's flag went viral across the web in November 2018. Shared mainly across Arabic media networks, the doctored image emerged during the November 26 Cairo visit of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

There are a bunch of stamps out there that look just like this flag. Can you choose the exact nation?

To commemorate the 100th anniversary of Thailand's "tricolor flag," Thailand Post issued a series of distinctive postage stamps. The 2017 series explores the transformation and history of Thailand's flag through years past.

It has been said that "the sun never sets" on this emblem. What country is represented?

Throughout history, many countries and colonies have raised the flag of the United Kingdom, also called Union Jack. Canada, Australia and South Africa are just a few countries that, at one point, either included the Union Jack in their own flags or displayed the flag as the country's own.

This nation spent a lot of money to change its flag. How well do you know the state?

Former New Zealand Prime Minister John Key invested $17 million to facilitate a design competition for and referendum on selecting a new nation flag. However in 2016, 57 percent of the country's voters chose to keep the old flag.

It may be hard to imagine any other symbol tied to the nation that has this flag. Can you imagine the right answer?

It wasn't until 1965 that Canada chose the iconic red maple leaf to symbolize the North American nation. Before that time, the once-British-ruled territory did not relinquish England's flag even after the sovereignty declared independence in 1931.

Do you know the nation whose flag has evolved through the years?

China's flag has evolved greatly, from displaying the yellow dragon of the Qing Dynasty to the red insignia of the Communist Party. The five stars on the country's current flag represent China's people.

This nation's banner went through many changes for many great reasons. Try to select the perfect answer?

Stars were added to the United States flag as states were admitted to the Union. The thirteen stripes of the flag, nicknamed "The Stars and Stripes," represent the original thirteen British colonies.

Which of these nations changed colors after dissolving its monarchy?

Portugal changed its flag's all-white background to that of red and green when the nation's monarchy dissolved in the 20th century. The First Republic of Portugal began in 1910 after the monarchy was overthrown.

Can you recognize the country linked to this well-flown symbol?

Mongolia's maritime law took effect in 1999 after the fall of Communism in the country in 1990. The landlocked country opened the Mongolia Ship Registry in February 2003, and soon after over 260 ships at sea fly the nation's Soyombo flag.

Do you guess the country that has cherished its symbols for centuries?

At the funeral of Hungarian Count Lajos Battyany, 16 burghers carried flags with ceremonious symbols for the country, the city of Pest and the family of Battyany. Colors of Hungary's flags have almost consistently been red, white and green, symbolizing strength, fidelity and hope, respectively.

A region of ________ has resisted hoisting this flag?

In 2006, Kurdistan President Mas'ud Barzani decided to prohibit the Iraqi flag from flying in the Kurdistan region of northern Iraq. The Iraqi cabinet promptly issued a statement, responding that the "current Iraqi flag is the only flag that should be raised on every inch of the land of Iraq..."

Are you confident that you know the country that raised this image in honor of a national icon?

Poland raised its flags in commemorative honor of Polish Pope John Paul II who died in 2005. A 2006 ceremony in the region of Lagiewniki, featured a vigil and homily delivered by the deceased pope's secretary Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz.

The flag might be badly presented here, but can you make the best nation choice?

On December 1961, before a crowd of nearly 500 people in the East African town of Malindi, Kenyan leader Ronald Ngala lowered the flag of the Sultan of Zanzibar. The colonial flag had flown over districts that spotted a 10-mile stretch of the East African coast of the Indian Ocean.

This emblem was used by hundreds in protest. Where was this flag waved?

In symbolic defiance of their government's decision to declare independence from Spain, hundreds of Catalans flooded the streets in downtown Barcelona feverishly waving Spanish flags. Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy called for the firing of Catalonia's regional government in response to the 2017 affair.

It was first hoisted in 1812 in which Latin American country?

A large monument in the port city of Rosario is the location where Argentine crusader and nation founder Manuel Belgrano lifted the country's sky-blue-and-gold flag for the first time in 1812. Belgrano died June 20, 1820 in Buenos Aires.

Another nation's flag flew over its land. What land is represented by this image?

On October 28, 1962, political activist Abdelaziz Choukeiri climbed the TV and radio building in Algeria, lowered the French flag, and replaced it with the Algerian flag. On November 1, 2013, a Moroccan youth climbed the Algerian consulate in Casablanca and removed the Algerian flag.

Land disputes brought forth these colors. What country has this flag?

During territorial disputes in 2009 at the African Great Lake of Lake Victoria, Ugandan soldiers raised the country's flag over a patch of land within the lake called Migingo Island. The island is 112 miles from Uganda's closest shoreline, while the scrap of land is only 9 miles from Kenya's shores.

Do you name the North African country with this symbol?

Morocco is a North African country that spans 172,413 square miles and borders the Mediterranean Sea and Atlantic Ocean. The nation's flag includes a green star with five points, known as Solomons seal, in the center of an all-red background.

What is the Middle Eastern region represented?

In 2015, anger erupted on social media at Westminster Abbey's decision to fly the flag of Saudi Arabia at half-mast throughout London's Whitehall Road to recognize the passing of King Abdullah. The Middle Eastern country has been criticized for alleged human rights violations.

The picture may be imperfect, but there's a perfect choice. Which is it?

At the winter Olympic games in PyeongChang, South Korea in 2018, North and South Korea united when the women's hockey team, with members from both countries, marched under one flag at the game's opening ceremony. Technically, the two countries have been at war since 1950.

These colors flew in one Florida town. Is it a challenge for you to pick the right European country choice?

The Boynton Veterans Council in Boynton Beach, Florida conducted a ceremony in which France's Tricolour was raised in a display of solidarity for the country in light of the 2015 Paris attacks. Prior to the raising of the French flag, ceremony attendees sang La Marseillaise.

The nation of ________ adopted this flag in 1947?

At a meeting of the Constituent Assembly on July 22, 1947, the national flag of India was adopted. The flag includes a navy-blue wheel with 24 spokes, which is known as the Dhamra Chakra.

Where is this flag from?

In August 2016, the Tanjungpura Military Command raised 17,845 flags on the border of Malaysia and Indonesia, at West Kalimantan province, to honor Indonesia's 71st Independence Day. Indonesia won independence on August 17, 1945.

There's a picture-perfect painting of this flag somewhere. What country do you notice from this not-so-perfect image?

In 2010, the original painting of the Brazilian flag was stolen from a church in Rio de Janeiro. Artist Decio Villares rendered the 19th century painting. In 1889, the new republican government adopted the Brazilian flag, which was designed by Miguel Lemos and Raimundo Teixeira Mendes.

What country super-sized their flag for Independence Day?

At Pakistan's 70th Independence Day celebration in August 2017, the Pakistan Army Chief raised the largest Pakistan flag that had ever flown in the country at the Attari-Wagah border near the city of Lahore. The flag was positioned 400-feet high and measured 120 feet by 80 feet.

Try to guess the place symbolized?

In a 2015 celebration, Bangladesh and India ended decades-long border disputes with the two countries raising their respective flags over newly designated territories. One hundred and eleven small islands were handed to Bangladesh, while fifty-one islands were given to India.

Do you see the country that owns this banner?

Japan's propaganda campaign leading to World War II included printed textiles displaying Japanese and Nazi flags, promoting the Axis Powers of the time. The textile messages were subtly incorporated into formal wear designs, like kimonos.

How easy is it for you to ID the nation that has strict rules concerning its emblem?

The February 1998 Republic Act No. 8491, also known as "Flag and Heraldic Code of the Philippines" forbids wearing the "flag, seal, coat-of-arms (in whole or in part) as part of a costume or uniform as a fashion accessory or merely as a design element." The code is meant to promote national pride.

A poorly-drawn flag shouldn't stop you from picking a perfect answer. Do you know the country?

In 2003, the city of Garden Grove prohibited the Vietnam flag from being flown during ceremonies and events in the municipality, which has a large Vietnamese community. Garden Grove followed the lead of the neighboring city of Westminster which had previously banned the Communist flag.

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