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Learn the story behind some of the unique flag designs from around the world, including right here in Iowa.
The Sac and Fox Tribe of the Mississippi in Iowa, also known as the Meskwaki tribe, has its headquarters in Tama. The tribe has a two-color flag with green on the top.
'Green is for God, the creator, and red is for the Meskwaki people, who are the red-earth people,' Meskwaki artist Brenda Ackerman said in an interview with Iowa State University's Textiles and Clothing Museum staff.
The tribe flies its flag along with the Iowa and American flags on the settlement and also uses it as part of important events, including powwows.
Nepal, a South Asian country famous for being the home of Mount Everest, can claim the only national flag that isn't a rectangle or square. The Nepalese flag is red and blue and looks like two triangular pennants stacked on top of each other.
The red represents bravery and also is the color of the rhododendron, Nepal's national flower, PRI.org reported. The blue represents peace. The top pennant has a crescent moon and the bottom pennant has the sun, both of which represent Nepal's wish for its country to last as long as those parts of the sky.
While Nepal's flag is unique now, at one point most South Asian flags were triangles. Those other countries switched to a rectangular or square flag to be more like European countries. Nepal, meanwhile, said 'Nah, I'm good.'
The Russian city of Zheleznogorsk, which has about 84,000 people — a little bigger than Iowa City — has a pretty cool flag.
The red flag shows an angry yellow bear tearing open an atom with its claws. And if that's not cool enough, the bear is inside the atomic symbol of three interlocking ovals, using the claws on his right foot to hold down a ring.
The city of Zheleznogorsk was established in 1950s and had a focus on creating plutonium, a radioactive chemical element used to make nuclear bombs. Until 1992, Zheleznogorsk was considered a closed city and wasn't marked on official maps because leaders didn't want their enemies to find this source of plutonium. The city's last nuclear reactor for making plutonium closed in 2010, but the region still has a lot of mining and an institute of metallurgy, focused on the properties of metals and their production and purification, Britannica.com reported.
The Scandinavian country of Denmark has the oldest continuously used flag of any country in the world.
The flag, called the Dannebrog, which means 'Danish cloth' in English, was created sometime in the 13th century, Denmark.dk reported. The Danish people say the flag fell from the sky as Danish King Valdemar Sejr was battling Estonians on June 15, 1219. As the story goes, the Danes were losing the fight, but then a red banner with a white cross fluttered down and helped the Danes win the battle.
The red flag has a white cross, with the up-and-down bar shifted slightly to the left. The Scandinavian cross first used on Denmark's flag became the model for flags in other Nordic countries, including Sweden, Norway, Iceland and Finland.
Mozambique, a country in southeast Africa, has a controversial flag because it shows an assault rifle with an attached bayonet, or spear. The weapon is included with a hoe, which symbolizes the cultivation of land, and a book, for education. The flag came about after Mozambique gained its independence from Portugal in 1975. The flag also includes green, black and yellow horizontal stripes, along with a red triangle and yellow star.
Many people think the rifle signifies violence and should be removed from the flag, according to an African travel website. In 2005, there was a contest to design a new flag and more than 100 entries were submitted. But the ruling political party, Frelimo, voted down all the options, the BBC reported.