A flag embodies the hopes and aspirations of a country or state. It's more than just an emblem — it's a grand statement. So it's too bad so many flags are kind of boring. Here are some flags from throughout history (plus a few current ones) that bring some serious pizzazz.
Above: the flag of Mozambique between 1975 and 1983. Most Serene Republic of Venice or Republic of Venice (697-1797) (via Flanker ) Isle of Man (13th century-)
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(via Sodipodi flag collection ) The Kingdom of Ireland (1542-1801) (via Trajan117 ) Burma (1752-1885) (via Mnmazur ) The Bowman Flag of Australia (1806) (via Sodacan ) The Kingdom of the Two Sicilies (1816-1848; 1849-1860) (via Flanker ) State ensign of Siam (1817-1855) (via Xiengyod ) Gran Colombia (1819-1820) (via Shadowxfox ) Peru (1821-1822, created by José de San Martín) (via Huhsunqu ) Swedish merchant flag (1844-1905) (via Jeltz ) Kingdom of Hungary (December 21, 1867 - November 12, 1918) (via Thommy ) Republic of Formosa or Republic of Taiwan (1895) (via Jeff Dahl ) South Africa (1912-1928) (via Fornax ) First flag of the Republic of China (1912-1928) (via Kibinsky ) Naval Ensign of Austria-Hungary (1915-1918) (via Hugh Jass ) South Africa (1928-1994, known as the Oranje-Blanje-Blou) (via Denelson83 ) Flag of the Second Spanish Republic (1931-1939) (via SanchoPanzaXXI ) Japanese occupation of Cambodia (March-October 1945) (via AnonMoos ) Eritrea (1952-1962) (via Orange Tuesday ) Herm, the smallest of the Channel Islands open to the public (1953-) (via Denelson83 ) Estonian Soviet Socialist Republic (1953-1990) (via Urmas and Nokka ) French Sudan (November 24, 1956 - April 4, 1959) (via Akiramenai ) British Columbia, a province of Canada (1960-) (via -xfi- ) Burundi (1962-1966) (via Orange Tuesday ) Gozo, a small island in Malta (1964-) (via Sannita ) Papua New Guinea (1965-1970) (via Orange Tuesday ) Rhodesia (1968-1979) (via Sagredo ) Zaire (1971-1997) (via Moyogo ) Northern Territory in the central northern region of Australia (1978-) (via Froztbyte ) Flag of Aragon, an autonomous community in Spain (1982-) (via Willtron ) Sicily, Italy (1990-) (via Angelo Romano ) Abkhazia, a territory that is fully recognised by Russia, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Nauru and Tuvalu (1992-) (via Achim1999 ) The only Buddhist region of Europe: The Republic of Kalmykia, Russia (1993-) (via Conscious ) Veneto, Italy (1999-) (via Flanker & Angelus ) Christmas Island, a territory of Australia (unofficially adopted in 1986, but made official only in 2002) (via Tony Couch ) The Mari El Republic, a federal subject of Russia (2011-) (via Urmas ) Pereira, Columbia (via Guilherme Paula ) Pernambuco, a state of Brazil (via E2m ) Ceuta, an autonomous city of Spain in Africa (via Ulaidh ) Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, a province of central Ukraine (via Hellerick ) Bonus: A Flag of the Governor-General of India (1885-1947) (via Sodacan )