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Flag Families

Last modified: 2013-11-09 by rob raeside
Keywords: flag families |
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Flags are very often influenced by more than one source. For instance, the flag of Brazil is influenced by the flag of the United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil and Algarve, back in the early 18th century and by a Napoleonic design for a flag of one of the Italian states (forgot which), that introduced the lozenge. The flag of Portugal, even if it seems to be entirely original, was nevertheless influenced by the previous, monarchic, flag of Portugal (in turn influenced by the earlier ones) and, ultimately, by the red flag of revolutions through the republican centers of late 19th century as we've seen recently.
Jorge Candeias, 2 March 2005

Yes, flags do not evolve in a tree fashion -- like living organisms do. It's more like a tress or thread, with individual "lineages" branching and meeting endlessly.
António Martins-Tuválkin, 2 March 2005

[Editorial Note: the names associated with the listings below do not necessarily correspond to the conventional naming scheme used by vexillologists, rather as a descriptor for the reader. Some listed elements of families may be considered families of their own.]

The British Union Flag

[Evolution example - England affects]


Scotland and England

The UK flag (pre-1801) plus "St Patrick's Cross"

UK and United States

Netherlands Tricolor

French Tricolor

French royal/merchant/naval flags


Scandinavian Cross (Denmark)

Miranda Flag

Belgrano Flag

European Union

Pan-Arab flag

Crescent and Star

United Nations

"The Red Flag"

Lists compiled by James Dignan, Ned Smith, Nathan Lamm, and Elias Granqvist, 1-3 March 2005, 6 August 2005

UK graphic tree image by Phil Nelson