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New National Flags

National flags change over time and it is difficult for flag books to stay current. New national flags, or revisions to designs, of the past ten years are shown below.  All artwork is by Ralph Kelly.



On 19 August 2021 the Islamic Emirate of Afghnaistan was declared.  Kabul had fallen to the Taliban four days earlier, and the last US military departed 30 August 2021.  The flag shown is the same as used by the Islamic Emirate from 1997 to 2001, and is one of several variants being used by the Taliban prior to the formation of a government and specification of the future flag.  Several variants exist - some use the same drawing of the Shahada as Saudi Arabia and some add a second line with the name of the state in smaller script.



On 10 May 2019 the French collectivité territoriale of Martinique adopted an official flag.  Whilst the territory flag officially remains the national flag of France, the new flag will be used to provide a local identity for international sport and cultural events.  The flag design was chosen after a public competition. Eight alternating segments in green and blue evoke the languages historically spoken on the West Indian island, and a circle of 34 Amerindian stars represents the 34 communes.  The central symbol is a giant Lambi conch shell.  The new flag replaces the previous unofficial flag with its four white coiled snakes in each corner of a blue flag with a white cross overall.  Another flag (divided horizontally green over black with red triangle at hoist) is used by independence activists.



The KIng of Swaziland, Mswati III, announced on 17 April 2018 that the country had been renamed as Kingdom of Esswatini.  The new name means "Land of the Swazis" and the name change marked the 50th anniversary of independence.  A new version of the national flag began to be promoted, with the Assegai spears and fighting stick changed from yellow to white and the feather tassels changed from blue to grey.The tassels now have a more natural looking drawing, and they represent the feathers of the long-tailed Widowbird (Isakabuli).  The medium (or dark) blue stripe has changed to light blue.  This version was apparently adopted on 1 July 2011 and it was used at the 2012 London Olympics. Formal specifications have not yet been finalised, as the King has been considering what shade of blue he prefers.  The flag drawing is the official image supplied by the government of Eswatini.  The flag of Swaziland was first raised on 25 April 1967, prior to indepnedence a year later on 6 September 1968.

Mauritania flag  

Mauritania - Islamic Republic of Mauritania

The 1959 flag was modified on 17 August 2017 by the addition of two red stripes as a tribute for the resistance fighters fallen in the national struggle against the colonizer and those who have sacrificed their lives in defence of territorial integrity. The change was proposed by President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz and approved in a referendum that changed the Constitution. The final step in the formal adoption was its first official raising on 28 November 2017, the anniversary of independence.


Paraguay flag 2013

Paraguay arms 2013



The flag of Paraguay was altered on 15 July 2013 to show new drawings of the emblems. The front of the flag has the coat of arms, which has been simplified, and the reverse shows the revised Treasury arms. The introduction of new arms was one of the last acts of outgoing President Federico Franco. The drawing of the Paraguay arms has been altered on at least four occasions over the past 100 years and the latest change is intended to bring the design closer to its original form.

Ascension flag  

Ascension Island

New flag first flown 11 May 2013 on Ascension Day. The British blue ensign displays the new Coat of Arms granted by the Queen in August 2012. The shield has a green chevron representing Green Mountain and three Wideawake birds with two turtles as supporters.

Palestine flag  

Palestine - State of Palestine

On 29 November 2012 the United Nations General Assembly recognised Palestine as a non-member observer state. This represented a milestone in international recognition of the independence asserted on 15 November 1988 when the State of Palestine was proclaimed. Currently 138 UN members recognise the State of Palestine and most others recognise its leaders as sole representatives of the Palestinian people. Not a new flag, but a new state. The flag was first adopted by the Palestinian Liberation Organization in 1964 and the design was modified 17 February 2006.



The flag of Belarus was changed slightly on 1 May 2012.  The vertical tapestry pattern was widened, eliminating the two narrow white strips on either side of the tapestry. President Alexander Lukashenko adopted this form of flag in July 1995 after a referendum. The new state symbols were intended to increase the sense of national identity and to reflect Lukashenko's pro-Russian politics.  The design was similar to the flag of the Byelorussian SSR that dates from 1952.  When independence was restored in August 1991 Belarus adopted the same white-red-white horizontally striped flag that was used in the first period of independence in March to December 1918.  Following the disputed Presidential election of 2020, this independence flag has been used in mass protests.


© 2021

Material Copyright to the Flag Society of Australia Inc and Pennant Advisory Services Pty Limited. Text and illustrations by Ralph Kelly. Web Design by Elizabeth Kelly of ELK Prints.