Stars are arguably the most popular symbol used in flag designs. More than 50 countries have stars on their flags. They are also found on the flags of several independent states and even non-governmental organizations.
The stars used on flags often come in different colors, sizes, and positions on the flag. The number of stars tends to vary as well. Consequently, the symbolism of each star varies from one flag to the other, with each country creating a specific reason for including a star on its national flag. This post lists 10 countries with stars on their flags and what these stars mean.
United States of America
The easily recognizable United States flag holds the record for the national flag with the highest number of stars in the world. The flag consists of 13 horizontal stripes of red and white and a blue canton on the side with 50 pointed white stars (arranged in a row). The stripes represent the United States’ original 13 colonies, while the stars represent each state of the union. The number of stars has been modified 26 times so far with the most recent one being in 1959 when Hawaii was incorporated as a state in the union.
The flag of Israel is one of the few in the world with a strong religious connotation. The most distinct feature of this flag is the blue hexagram star over a white background. It also has two blue horizontal stripes below and above the star. The blue horizontal stripes represent the Jewish prayer shawl, while the hexagram in the middle is called the Star of David, a globally recognized symbol of Judaism and the Jewish identity.
Nepal’s national flag has a unique double-penon shape. It is the only flag in the world that is not quadrilateral. The flag has two distinct flags on a crimson red background. The stars are aligned vertically. The upper star with 10 points is a combination of the sun and a crescent-shaped moon. The second star has 12 points and is shaped like the sun. The sun-shaped star represents the strong resolve of the Napalese people, while the crescent moon represents their calmness and purity.
The Chinese flag is also called the “Five-star Red Flag” by many people. It is one of the most recognizable national symbols in the world, with an iconic design that includes 5 golden stars on a bright red background. The flag bears the mark of the country’s communist history. The prominently-positioned big star is a representation of the communist party. The smaller flags on the right-hand side represent the country’s revolutionary classes: the national bourgeoisie, the petty bourgeoisie, the working class, and the peasantry, all of whom played an important role in the revolution that gave rise to the People’s Republic of China.
The star on the flag of the Marshall Islands is unique because it has the highest number of points of any star on a national flag. The star is a symbol of the archipelago of the Northern Hemisphere, and the 24 points of the star represent the 24 electoral districts of the Marshall Islands. Four of the points of the flag are particularly elongated, and these represent the four major cultural centers of the islands namely Majuro, Juluit, Wotje, and Ebeye.
There are six stars on the national flag of Australia, all on a blue background. Five of these stars are seven-sided, while one of them is six-sided. The flag also features the famous Union Jack, a reference to the country’s past as a British Colony. The largest seven-pointed star below the Union Jack is known as a Federation Star. It represents the states and territories of Australia. The five smaller stars represent the Southern Cross constellation only visible from the Southern Hemisphere, which is a reference to the country’s unique geographical history.
Brazil’s flag has the second highest number of stars, with 26 stars. The easily recognizable flag has striking colors of green, gold, and blue. In addition to the color, the flag has a globe in its middle with two distinct features. This includes a banner that reads “Ordem e Progresso” (Order and Progress) and a constellation of 27 stars. Each of these stars represents the country’s 26 states and its federal district. The arrangement of the stars is similar to the constellation visible above the Southern Hemisphere.
Aruba is one of the four countries that form the Kingdom of Netherlands. The country’s flag is the only one with a four-pointed star, which makes it unique. The red star is on a blue background and has a white outline. The various elements of the flag have different meanings. The four points are symbolic of the origin of the Aruba people. The red color depicts the red soil of the country, while the blue background is a representation of the blue sea. The white edges of the star stand for honesty, purity, and the white peaches of the Island nation.
The national flag of Azerbaijan has three bands of blue, red, and green colors, as well as a crescent moon and a star at its center. The blue stripe is symbolic of the nation’s Turkic heritage. The red color connotes progress, while the green is a reference to the influence of the Islamic religion on the country. The crescent moon and star have links to the Islamic faith as well. However, there are some disagreements about what the star’s 8 points could mean. While some scholars think the points correspond to the eight letters of the country’s name when written in Arabic, some think it represents the eight main ethnic groups of the Turkic people.
Cameroon’s national flag features vertical stripes of yellow, red, and green colors. These colors are popular traditional Pan-African colors. The green band is a reference to the country’s lush forests; the red stripe represents unity while the yellow stripe depicts the sun. Perhaps the most striking feature of this flag is the golden star at its center. It is known as the Star of Unity and was included to complement the unity represented by the flag’s red color.
Even though several countries have stars on them, each of these flags has different meanings. The stars they contain also represent different things that are unique to them. The meaning of the star often influences the color, position, and even the number that a country includes in their National Flag.
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- Country Flags, Available here: https://www.countryflags.com/tags/stars/
- Flag Pictures, Available here: https://www.flagpictures.com/flags/flags-with-stars/
- Astelus, Available here: https://en.astelus.com/banderas-con-estrellas/
- World Atlas, Available here: https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/country-flags-with-stars.html