Seeing a flag when you enter a new country can give you a sense of the country's history and national pride. With 195 countries around the world, it can be tough to differentiate from flags. Here, we'll take a look at how the idea of using a flag to represent a country came to be, as well as explore some of the most common color combinations that we see on flags around the world.
No one knows for sure when flags were used by the first time, but research indicates that flags were being used as far back as 11th century BC by civilizations like China, Egypt, and Rome. A variety of materials have been used to make flags over time, including silk and cotton.
While flags today are usually used to identify countries, they can also be used for states, organizations, and causes. The earliest flags were likely used to identify different parts of the Chinese army. Flags were often carried into battle as a symbol of the country's army.
Flags have also been used to send signals from one area to another. The most common symbol of surrender--the white flag--is still used in popular culture today to symbolize one group giving into another in war or other types of combat.
Some flags are quite simple, consisting of only a few stripes or shapes. Others are far more involved, consisting of intricate designs and a rainbow of colors. Many countries, states, and organizations change their flags over time to represent their history and values. While the most common flag color combination in the world is red, white, and blue, there are other commonly used colors as well, including yellow and black. In addition to shapes and stripes, some flags use symbols--such as people or animals--to convey a message.