The Flag and State Encyclopedia is a comprehensive database of approximately 3.500 flags, which provides information about countries, nations, colonies and old states and their related flags. It also provides information about the geography, history, and coats of arms. An alphabetical list is provided but there is also a semiotic search engine – The Flag-Finder – which enables the user to search flags by their geometric features and also find, assign and identify them.
This site shows current and historical flags and banners from all of the officially recognized countries of the world. It also includes current and former nations and states, merchant, navy, head of state, secessionist regions, provincial, flags of subordinated territories, provinces and many more.
National flags, as we know them today, typically represent regional or national populations, only came into being in the wake of the Bourgeois revolutions. Previously, flags were Dynastic, representative of Rulers. They were mostly in the form of Crest Banners. The dynastic flags of these Rulers were often superseded by the national flags that are today emblems of sovereign states. The handling of these flags is often determined by strict rules. Of special importance are flags and pennants in a maritime setting.
The (semi-)science, which is dealt with flags is called vexillology. It has evolved out of the heraldry. Many terms that describe a flag, have their root actually in heraldry. The term 'vexillology' derives from the Latin word for banner, from 'vexillum'.
To classify the results of the ascertainment of the flag correctly , some terms should be clear beforeBanner • Banner of Arms • Bicolour • Blue Ensign • Coat of Arms • Cockade • Colonel flag • Colours • Dipping • Emblem • Ensign • Flag • Flying end • Half-staff • Jack • Leech • Merchant flag • Mourning flagging • National flag • Naval flag • Official flag • Official flag at sea • Pennant • Postal flag • Rank flag • Red ensign • Standard • State flag • Swallowtail-flag • Tricolour • Union Jack • Upper Corner • War Flag
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