Branding a Country: Ten Interesting and Meaningful National Flags
Logos are all around us, so much so that few people give any thought to them. One good example of logos that have a daily subconscious impact are national flags. A country’s flag communicates key facts about that country, often without saying a single word. Here are ten flags that communicate key information about a nation and its values by using the best principles of professional logo design.
1. South Korea Logo Design
The South Korean flag uses a common concept of professional logo design: incorporating the culture into the logo. This flag features traditional Asian religious symbols such as the yin and yang of Taoism and the four I Ching symbols for earth, water, air, and fire. Because the four elements balance each other both in idea and in the actual graphic, the impression is that this is a country that cares about its past while treasuring nature and balance.
2. Brazil Logo Design
Brazil also uses aspects of its history to create a professional logo design that is representative of its history and its future. The green and gold represent the two traditional royal houses of Bragança and Habsburg. The sphere has the blue and white of the Portuguese flag along with the constellation Cruzeiro do Sul, which can be seen from much of Brazil. The words are Portuguese for Order and Progress, which are key values of the Brazilian nation.
3. Kiribati Logo Design
This Pacific island nation may be small, but they must know the fundamental rules of professional logo design. The flag is an eye-catching red, which sets it apart from most other logos. There is a vast sea, which is appropriate for an island. The rising sun shows that this country has only begin its ascent to greatness, while the bird is one that locally is associated with royalty and noble birth. In all, this small nation has done great things with this attractive, highly symbolic flag design.
4. Mexico Logo Design
The flag of Mexico features three bold strips of color in green, white, and red. Although there are different views on the meaning of these colors, the most common story is that the green stands for hope, the white for purity, and the red for the blood of the nation’s fathers. In the center of the flag is the National Coat of Arms, with a Mexican eagle in an aggressive pose holding a nopal, a common plant in this nation, and a snake held in the beak and the other talon. Two branches form a semicircle that is tied by a ribbon in the flag’s colors. Not only is this a visually striking and historically significant flag, it is also well balanced and uses principles of professional logo design.
5. Zimbabwe Logo Design
This African nation has a long and rocky past that is explained by the symbolic colors used in its flag. The flag uses one key principle of professional logo design: color as a universal language. In this case, the black stripe represents the race of native Zimbabweans, while the red represents the blood shed in revolution. The yellow stands for the gold and other minerals that are found in this nation’s fertile hills, while the green stripe represents the agriculture that fuels the nations. In addition to the stripes of color, there is symbolism even in the shapes found on the flag. A white triangle represents peace, which is a commonly held value in this nation. The red star connotes the nation’s high aspirations, while the yellow bird is a traditional national symbol. As you can see, it is possible to incorporate many meanings into one small rectangle.
6. South Africa Logo Design
When two businesses merge, the new logo is often is a blend of the two former logos. South Africa has taken this principle of professional logo design and used it for their new flag. The new flag uses the red and blue of the former flag, but these colors are separated by the colors of the African National Congress, black, green and yellow.
7. Thailand Logo Design
The way many businesses use professional logo design teams to create a logo that is recognizable in any color or resolution, the nation of Thailand, legend holds, purposely designed a flag that cannot be hung upside down. The official story is that a Siamese king was riding through the countryside and was distressed to see the national flag hung upside down. He responded by having the flag changed so it could not be upside down. Originally it was red with two white bands, but the blue stripe was added during World War II to show support for the Allies.
8. Philippines Logo Design
While many companies change logos throughout the years, the Philippine flag is designed to be changed in times of war. The flag features an eight rayed sun, representing the eight provinces that took part in the revolution, as well as three stars representing the three regions that make up this nation. The colors are also symbolic, with the red meaning courage, the blue representing noble ideals, and the white meaning peace. However, the flag is flown with the red side upward during times of peace and the blue side upward during war. This representation of the different orientation of a nature during peace and war is unique among nations, making this a very exceptional flag.
9. Kazakhstan Logo Design
The flag of the Central Asian nation of Kazakhstan has a newly redesigned flag to express their relatively new status as an independent nation. The flag is sky blue, representing the blue skies that the country is known for along with the sense that the sky is the limit for the future. The details are in gold, a color traditionally associated with wealth. A national ornamentation, common in Central Asian countries, runs down the left side of the flag, while the eagle and the sun reinforce the impression of a wide blue sky. In all, this is a very professional logo design.
10. Antarctica Logo Design
Antarctica is not a true country, but the proposed flag is another example of using professional logo design to portray key aspects of the area. This flag features the shape of the mainland in white, for the ice covering this concept most of the year, in a surrounding sea of blue. The lines drawn through the flag represent the longitudinal lines that intersect the country. Because this is the only continent with land in every longitude, this flag communicates the uniqueness of this icy continent.