Throughout history, flags have had many purposes, from proclaiming a country’s triumph in a battle to asserting a claim to a territory. They are commonly seen in the skies over administrative centers, campuses, stadiums, and even private residences. But have you ever considered the thought process behind the creation of a country’s flag? Why did the country pick those particular colors and symbols to represent it? For example, when it comes to colors, In general, flags of countries tend to use ones that represent values like peace and harmony, reflecting the values, culture, and history that those countries hold dear.
Certain colors are also employed more frequently than others. For instance, red, white, and blue are among the most selected color schemes. Today, there are hardly any national flags that do not have at least one of these colors. This piece will examine the national flags of the world that use simply red and white. Did you know that 77.08% of flags have red, with white coming in at a close second at 72.92%? It’s no wonder, then, that as of the year 2024, 19 countries’ flags feature these two colors only! We’ll take a quick look at each one below, in alphabetical order. Let’s go!
1. The Flag of Austria
Austria has officially joined the growing number of nations flying the red and white flag. Since 1230, Austria has raised its flag as an independent nation. Its design consists of three horizontal stripes of in red, white, and red. This flag design is considered one of the oldest ones in use since its inception.
2. The Flag of Bahrain
Since February 14, 2002, Bahrain has flown its red and white flag. Its design consists of a red field with a white, jagged broad strip located at the hoist. This strip features 5 points.
3. The Flag of Canada
Canada’s current red and white national flag was officially approved in 1965. This flag is often referred to as “the Maple Leaf” because of its design. It consists of a red background with a white square in the middle and a maple leaf in the center of the white square. This maple leaf represents the land and its people.
4. The Flag of Denmark
Denmark’s national flag has been flown since 1219, making it one of the earliest flags still in use today. Its design is a red field with a white Scandinavian (Nordic) cross across it.
5. The Flag of England
England has flown its current flag, a bicolor of red and white, since the early 1990s. It is a simple white field with a red Saint George cross across it. This emblem’s connection to England dates back to the middle ages.
6. The Flag of Georgia
Georgia straddles the continents of Asia and Europe. It has been using its current flag, which is red and white, since January 2004. Its design has a white field, with a large red cross that touches all four sides. There are also four smaller Georgian crosses; one in each of the four white quadrants.
7. The Flag of Greenland
The present Greenland flag, a red and white horizontal bicolor, was adopted in May 1989 and has served as the country’s national symbol ever since. Its design is two equal horizontal strips with white on top and red on the bottom. It features a counter-changed disk in red and white slightly to the left or hoist side of the center.
8. The Flag of Indonesia
Since 1950, Indonesia has flown its national flag. Its design is a very simple bicolor with two equal horizontal stripes featuring red on top and white on the bottom.
9. The Flag of Japan
Flags of red and white, which have flown over Japan since August 1999, are considered relatively new. Its current design features a red disc or circle centered on a white background.
10. The Flag of Latvia
In 1918, Latvia adopted its current flag, a red and white tricolor. Its design is a dark red field with a narrow white stripe going across it horizontally.
11. The Flag of Monaco
The red and white flag that Monaco has flown since 1881 is one of the world’s oldest flags. Its design has two equal horizontal stripes with red on top and white on the bottom. The flag of Monaco is eerily similar to the flag of Indonesia, however, their dimension is different and the tone of red is darker in Monaco’s flag.
12. The Flag of Poland
Since 1919, the red and white flag of Poland has served as the country’s national flag. Its design is two equal horizontal bands, with white on top and red on the bottom.
13. The Flag of Peru
The red and white flag of Peru was officially adopted on February 25, 1825. Its design is a vertical triband in equal proportions in the following order: red, white, and red. Although this is the official design, it can often be seen defaced with different emblems.
14. The Flag of Qatar
Since July 6, 1971, Qatar has flown a flag as its national emblem. Its design consists of a deep red field with a broad white saw-toothed band on the hoist side. There are nine points to the white band. Its design is quite similar to the flag of Bahrain; however, Bahrain has five points on its white band and Qatar has a much darker red field.
15. The Flag of Singapore
Since December 1959, the current red and white flag has flown over Singapore. Its design features a horizontal bicolor of red above white bands in equal proportions. On the red band in the canton, also known as the upper left portion of a flag, is a white crescent moon that faces five tiny white five-pointed stars in the shape of a pentagon.
16. The Flag of Switzerland
The red and white flag of Switzerland has been flying with pride since 1889. Its design features a white cross in the center of a red field. The cross does not touch any of the flag corners. This cross is known as the Swiss Cross. Apart from most flags with a rectangular shape, this flag is actually square.
17. The Flag of Tonga
Since November 1875, when it declared independence, Tonga has flown the red and white flag that represents the country. Its design features a red background with a white canton (upper left quadrant). Within the canton is a red-couped cross.
18. The Flag of Tunisia
In 1827, Tunisia officially adopted its current red and white national flag. Its design is a red field with a white circle close to the center. Within the white circle is a red crescent facing a smaller red five-pointed star within the curve of the crescent.
19. The flag of Turkey
Turkey’s red and white national flag has been unchanged since 1936. Its design consists of a red field with a white-centered crescent (closer to the hoist side) facing a smaller white five-pointed star on the outside of the crescent.
We now know that red and white are the two most popular choices for flags all across the world. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that many flags employ these two colors for their aesthetic appeal. Flags are chosen by nations, states, territories, and groups to symbolize what they value most. The flag’s colors represent a revered past and an optimistic future through tradition and quality. Although each flag is unique, there is often a striking connection between the meanings of colors across many different flag designs.
For example, red is a striking and attention-grabbing hue, and it typically denotes violent events like warfare and revolution or a fight for something like freedom. It’s also a symbol of strength, bravery, and courage. This illustrates a nation’s past in numerous ways, such as the struggle that led to its founding. White is the universal color of peace, purity, and innocence. It often stands for openness and unity and has sometimes even represented the surrender of a nation. As a form of nature, it can also stand in for snow.
We hope you enjoyed learning about all the different flags across the world that have chosen such peaceful and powerful colors to represent their nation’s history, culture, and future goals. If you are interested in learning more about all the different flags of the world, including their history, photos, and more, click here!
Summary of 19 Countries with Red and White Flags
|The Flag of Austria
|Three horizontal stripes of red, white, and red
|The Flag of Bahrain
|A field of red against a white, jagged broad strip at the hoist
|The Flag of Canada
|A red background with a white square bearing a red maple leaf at its center
|The Flag of Denmark
|A Scandinavian white cross against a field of red
|The Flag of England
|A field of white covered by a red cross
|The Flag of Georgia
|Similar to the flag of England, with four additional red Georgian crosses in each white quarter
|The Flag of Greenland
|Two equal halves in red and white covered by a small counterchanged circle close to the hoist
|The Flag of Indonesia
|Two equal halves in red and white
|The Flag of Japan
|A red disc on a field of white
|The Flag of Latvia
|A horizontal white band against a field of red
|The Flag of Monaco
|Two equal halves in red and white (identical to Indonesia’s flag)
|The Flag of Poland
|Two equal halves in white and red (the reverse of Indonesia’s and Monaco’s)
|The Flag of Peru
|Three equally sized vertical bands of red, white, and red
|The Flag of Qatar
|A field of dark red against a white, jagged broad strip at the hoist (it is similar to Bahrain’s in terms of design)
|The Flag of Singapore
|Two equal halves of red and white with the upper red half bearing a crescent facing five stars all in white.
|The Flag of Switzerland
|A white cross at the center of a square red field
|The Flag of Tonga
|A field of red with a white canton (upper left quadrant) which contains a red-couped cross
|The Flag of Tunisia
|A red crescent surrounding a red star encircled by a white circle against a field of red
|The flag of Turkey
|A white crescent facing a star against a field of red
- White Flag with Red Cross: England Flag History, Meaning, and Symbolism
- Blue Flag with White X: Scotland Flag History, Meaning, and Symbolism
- Black, Red, and Green Flag: The History and Meaning of the Pan-African Flag
The photo featured at the top of this post is © iStock.com/RM80
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