Armenia Flag on Our Flag Pole


The national flag of Armenia, the Armenian Tricolour, consists of three horizontal bands of equal width, red on the top, blue in the middle, and orange (also described as “colour of apricot”) on the bottom. The Armenian Supreme Soviet adopted the current flag on 24 August 1990. On 15 June 2006, the Law on the National Flag of Armenia, governing its usage, was passed by the National Assembly of Armenia.

Throughout history, there have been many variations of the Armenian flag. In ancient times, Armenian dynasties were represented by different symbolic animals displayed on their flags. In the twentieth century, various Soviet flags represented the Armenian SSR.

The meanings of the colors are interpreted in many different ways. For example, red stands for the blood of the 1.5 million Armenians killed in the Armenian Genocide, blue is for the Armenian pure sky, and orange represents the country’s courage.

The official definition of the colors, as stated in the Constitution of the Republic of Armenia, is:

The red emblematizes the Armenian Highland, the Armenian people’s continued struggle for survival, maintenance of the Christian faith, Armenia’s independence and freedom. The blue emblematizes the will of the people of Armenia to live beneath peaceful skies. The orange emblematizes the creative talent and hard-working nature of the people of Armenia.

Today’s tricolor flag bears little resemblance to the earliest Armenian ‘flags’. In ancient times, armies went into battle behind carvings mounted on poles. The carvings might represent a dragon, an eagle, a lion or “some mysterious object of the gods”. With the advent of Christianity, the Armenian empire adopted many different flags representing various dynasties. The Artaxiad Dynasty’s flag, for instance, consisted of a red cloth displaying two eagles gazing at each other, separated by a flower.

Flag of Andorra on Our Flagpole


Andorra, officially the Principality of Andorra, also called the Principality of the Valleys of Andorra, is a sovereign landlocked microstate on the Iberian Peninsula, in the eastern Pyrenees, bordering France to the north and Spain to the south. Believed to have been created by Charlemagne, Andorra was ruled by the Count of Urgell until 988, when it was transferred to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Urgell, and the present principality was formed by a charter in 1278. It is known as a principality as it is a diarchy headed by two Princes: the Catholic Bishop of Urgell in Catalonia, Spain, and the President of France.

Flag of Albania on Our Flagpole


The modern nation state of Albania emerged in 1912 following the defeat of the Ottomans in the Balkan Wars. The modern Kingdom of Albania was invaded by Italy in 1939, which formed Greater Albania, before becoming a Nazi German protectorate in 1943. After the defeat of Nazi Germany, a Communist state titled the People’s Socialist Republic of Albania was founded under the leadership of Enver Hoxha and the Party of Labour. The country experienced widespread social and political transformations in the communist era, as well as isolation from much of the international community. In the aftermath of the Revolutions of 1991, the Socialist Republic was dissolved and the fourth Republic of Albania was established.

UN Flag on Our Flagpole

United Nations

The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization that was tasked to maintain international peace and security, develop friendly relations among nations, achieve international co-operation and be a centre for harmonizing the actions of nations. The headquarters of the UN is in Manhattan, New York City, and is subject to extraterritoriality. Further main offices are situated in Geneva, Nairobi, and Vienna. The organization is financed by assessed and voluntary contributions from its member states. Its objectives include maintaining international peace and security, protecting human rights, delivering humanitarian aid, promoting sustainable development and upholding international law. The UN is the largest, most familiar, most internationally represented and most powerful intergovernmental organization in the world. In 24 October 1945, at the end of World War II, the organization was established with the aim of preventing future wars. At its founding, the UN had 51 member states; there are now 193. The UN is the successor of the ineffective League of Nations.

European Union Flag on Our Flagpole

European Union

Including the overseas territories of France which are located outside the continent of Europe, but which are members of the union, the EU experiences most types of climate from Arctic (North-East Europe) to tropical (French Guiana), rendering meteorological averages for the EU as a whole meaningless. The majority of the population lives in areas with a temperate maritime climate (North-Western Europe and Central Europe), a Mediterranean climate (Southern Europe), or a warm summer continental or hemiboreal climate (Northern Balkans and Central Europe).

Today's Flag - French Polynesia 2

Today’s Flag – French Polynesia

The flag consists of two red horizontal bands which encase a wide white band.  The bands are at a fixed width ratio of 1:2:1.  In the center of the white band is a blue and white disk with a blue and white wave pattern which depicts the sea on the lower half and a gold and white ray pattern which depicts on the upper half.  There is a Polynesian canoe riding on the wave pattern.  The canoe has a crew of five, represented by five stars.  The five stars are meant to symbolize the five island groups (The Bass Islands are generally grouped with the Austral Islands even though they are geographically distinct and separate from the main Austral archipelago.

Today's Flag - French Guiana 3

Today’s Flag – French Guiana

But the prison system wasn’t isolated to the three islands of the Isles of Salvation.  The main prison camp was along the western border with Dutch Guiana, now known as Suriname.  The islands were used to isolate the “worst of the worst” as well as for political prisoners who were housed on Devil’s Island itself.   Île Royale was for the general population of the worst criminals of the penal colony to roam about in moderate freedom due to the difficulty of escape from the island.  Île Saint-Joseph was for the worst of those criminals to be punished in solitary confinement in silence and for extra punishment in darkness of the worst of the worst criminals of the penal colony.  Conditions were so harsh, especially the presence of tropical diseases that would likely go untreated, that of the estimated 56,000 prisoners sent to the islands, only about 10% survived the experience.  Those who survived their sentence enjoyed freedom but were never to be allowed to return to metropolitan France, instead being condemned to live the rest of their days on the mainland.

The Flag of France 4

The Flag of France

The tricolor has its origins in the flag of the city of Paris which was blue and red, with blue on the hoist side.  Interestingly, at least to me, this exact flag configuration has also been attributed to the Phoenicians, whom you will recall settled in the south of France near modern day Marseilles.  Perhaps there is a connection? This arrangement is also echoed in the modern flag of Haiti, which we will get to eventually.  During the revolution, partisans would wear red and blue “cockades,”

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