There are more than 190 countries in the world, and each has its flag. Three-color striped flags are most widespread, but there are some, which you can use to study the natural diversity of our planet. And do you know how are lush vegetation and state symbols related?
Let' start with a simple one... A leaf of what tree is depicted on this flag?
This is a flag of Canada. Approved in 1965. The appearance of a maple leaf on the flag is explained by the fact that one of maple tree varieties grows in Canada.
There are two crossed olive branches symbolizing the ethnic groups of islanders: Greek and Turks. What country is it?
A silhouette of an island of copper color is also depicted on the Cyprus flag. It indicates rich copper deposits, which were found here in 3000 B.C.: even the Latin name of copper Cuprum comes from the Latin name of Cyprus island (the cypress tree name comes from the name of Cyprus). The flag was put into place when independence from Great Britain was declared in 1960.
The Republic of Cyprus
The Republic of Crete
The coat of arms of Equatorial Guinea is depicted in the center of its flag. A free, which fiber is used for stuffing cushioned furniture, hypoallergic matrasses and pillows, is depicted on it. Buoyancy tanks, lifebuoys, vests are made from it. The material is also used as a filler for warm clothing. What tree is it?
A green cotton tree (Bombax) in a silver shield is depicted on the coat of arms of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea. 6 golden six-pointed stars symbolizing the provinces of the state, are located above the shield in an arc. Under the shield – there’s a silver band with the state motto UNIDAD PAZ Y JUSTICIA (“Unity, peace and justice”) in black letters. The flag was approved in 1968 when the independence of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea was declared. The colors have the following meaning: blue symbolizes sea (the Atlantic ocean). Green color symbolizes vegetation, agriculture. White color symbolizes peace. Red color symbolizes blood shed by the fighters for Equatorial Guinea independence.
A picture of cedar of Lebanon of green color is located in the center of the Lebanon flag. Can you guess what photo shows the cones of this beautiful tree?
The cones of cedar of Lebanon are in photo #1, the cones of cypress – in photo #2, the cones of pine – in photo #3, the cones of cedar – in photo #4.
According to a legend, a shaman foretold to a tribe of Indians that they need to build a city on a place where they’ll find a Caracara bird eating a snake. And so it happened: when the Indians were crossing mountain terrain whey saw this bird at the top of a huge cactus of prickly pear. The carnivorous bird was holding a venomous snake with its claws and tearing it with its beak. Probably, the story became a source for depicting one country on the flag. What country?
The green color of the flag means hope, as well as the abundance of good soil of Mexico. White symbolizes purity, red – blood shed for the country’s independence’s sake.
The Incan republic
The flag of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region is a stylized picture of a five-petal Bauhinia in the red background. Find a photo where this stunning flower is depicted.
A flower of magnolia is in photo #1, lotus – photo #2, sakura – photo #3, and bauhinia – photo #4. The red flag means motherland, and the bauhinia represents Hong Kong. The flag structure indicates that Hong Kong is an integral part of China, thriving in the motherland’s embrace. The five stars on the flower symbolizes a fact that all nationals of Hong Kong love their country, while red and white colors represent the principle “one country, two systems”.
The coat of arms on a white square is located in the center of the flag of the Republic of Haiti: a palm topped by the Cap of Liberty, and battle trophies and a motto under the palm: “Unity is strength”. Can you guess the variety of the palm?
Yes, there’s such a palm (another name is Euterpe). This is a variety of tropical palm from Arecaceae family, the main area of its distribution is South and Central America.
There’s a small state in the Pacific ocean – the Republic of Vanuatu – located on 83 islands. The state approved its flag in 1980 when it gained independence. Two leaves of the namele plant are depicted on its flag. This species is included in the category of vascular plants known under other, more widespread name. According to legends, some metamorphoses may happen to this plant on the night of St. John the Baptist. What this plant is?
The leaves of fern are a symbol of peace, and 39 of its small leaves represent 39 members of the legislative body of Vanuatu (the number of members as of the time of flag adoption). According to legends, fern blossoms on the night of St. John the Baptist.
The oldest state of Europe and besides one of the smallest ones – the Republic of San Marino – was found in 301. The date of the official adoption of the flag – April 6, 1862. The coat of arms occupying the central part of the flag appeared in the 14th century. You can see on it the branches of laurel and other tree decorated with a large piece of jewelry in one fairytale work. Can you find this tree in the photos?
Poplar – photo #1, birch – photo #2, willow – photo #3, and the right answer – oak – photo #4. As you may known a golden chain was on this tree (Pushkin)… The branches of laurel and oak symbolizes stability and protection of freedom.
A nutmeg is put on the flag of Grenada. Growing this plant is the basis of the economy of this country. We put four “relatives” of this plant of different degrees of kinship under the flag. Three of them grow in the territory of Russia. Can you find one which doesn’t grow in Russia?
Of course, the Russian climate doesn’t fit warm-requiring cashew or Indian nut (photo #4). Based on sound science cashew is not a nut, it belongs to Anacardiaceae family. The remaining nuts grow in the territory of Russia (walnut – photo #1, hazelnut - #2, chestnut – photo #3). The Grenada flag was approved in 1974. Yellow color on the flag symbolizes the sun above the country and friendliness of its citizens, green – agriculture, red – harmony, unity and courage. Seven stars represent seven administrative districts of Grenada.
The flag of Bolivia is divided into three horizontal stripes of the same width: the upper red, the middle yellow, where the coat arms of Bolivia is depicted, and the lower green. The Bolivia flag is depicted in the picture. What plant is represented on the Bolivia coat of arms and flag?
The coat of arms of Bolivia is a battle shield of oval shape, on both sides of which there are 3 national flags of Bolivia and 2 muskets, the Phrygian cap on a wooden stick is depicted to the left and a battle-axe – to the right. The valley of the Potosi mount from the peak of which the red sun is rising is depicted inside the shield. There’s a chapel at the foot of the mount, an alpaca lama, a reap of wheat and a palm are depicted below. The shield is framed by a blue border, on which the world BOLIVIA is etched in gold (above) and 10 stars (below). A laurel wreath and the main bird of the mountain system of the Ands – condor are pictured above the shield.
You have been started to comprehend all the ins and outs of the vegetable world, and national flags are still a mindbender to you. But don't be upset - discoveries are waiting for you! A little bit of patience - and you'll easily tell what is represented on the coat of arms of Bolivia, find magical plants and name all flowers depicted on the flags of nations and countries!
Flag botany expert
You won't get lost in your own backyard and won't have a problem differentiating the flag of Mexico from the flag of San Marino, but it's still early for you to go for a botanic expedition. A little bit more walks in the woods, visiting a botanic museum - and results will not long in coming!
Doctor of Biological Sciences
Your knowledge should be applauded! You can tell the difference between different burgeons of evergreen plants, easily identify what delicacy is made of maple and what city was found with the help of a shaman. You shouldn't let your hair down, there are still many interesting things ahead of you!