Where Did the Red, White, and Blue Horizontal Flag Originate?
The first flag to feature red, white, and blue horizontal stripes was the Dutch Tricolor flag. This flag design was the first to feature three different colors stacked in horizontal lines. The three colors in the Dutch flag represented both liberty and republicanism. It is widely believed that the Dutch Tricolor flag later went on to directly influence the design for both the French and Russian flags.
While the Dutch flag was the first to feature red, white, and blue horizontal stripes, many people attribute the most influential early design to the one used throughout the French Revolution. This flag also featured a design very similar to the Dutch Tricolor, but the colors were stacked vertically. The French Tricolor flag, used throughout the French Revolution, became one of the most commonly cited and influential flags. This flag was used to symbolize ongoing opposition to autocratic political systems used in the past. Today, the term "tricolor" is largely used to only reference the French flag instead of all flags that feature a red, white, and blue tricolor pattern.
What Countries Have a Red, White, and Blue Horizontal Flag?
Several countries feature a flag with red, white, and blue horizontal stripes. The order in which the colors are represented differs between countries. Some major countries that use red, white, and blue horizontal lines include the Netherlands, France, Russia, Serbia, Chile, and Paraguay. Many countries choose to use a rich blue and red color, while some other countries have various shades, including a lighter shade of blue.
What Other Flag Variations Exist?
The Dutch flag and the French Tricolor have gone on to inspire the flags of several other independent nations. The Russian flag can be directly connected to the French flag, and today its flag features red, white, and blue horizontal stripes. The French Tricolor inspired the Union Jack, including the same colors in its flag, albeit with a different design.
Today, many other countries have used the primary red, white, and blue flags to inspire their own flag design. Some countries include horizontal stripes as a background but use a seal or crest in the flag's center. This variation is found in the flag used initially for Democratic Yugoslavia, Mordovia, or the flag used for the Kingdom of Serbia. Other flag variations include a light blue color paired with traditional red and white stripes. Luxemburg, Montenegro, and the Republic of Crimea use this coloration in their flags.