You might mistake Flags of the World as a colouring book, but don’t be fooled by the first look; this book tells you more about the flags of the different countries around the world than you would find anywhere on the internet. The colouring feature is just a bonus for the readers; the real thing is the facts behinds flags and the many stories that shaped their creation.

If you didn’t know that the green stripe in the Sri Lankan flag represents the Muslims in the country, or the Y-shape in South African flag sort of merges the formerly separated people, then this book is what you are looking for. From leading nations such as the United States of America and the United Kingdom to lesser-known South Sudan and Seychelles, the flag of every country is mentioned here and the most interesting ones are discussed, with special emphasis on the ideology behind them.

You will get to know that most of the Muslim countries have a star or a crescent on their flag like we do in ours; countries that gained independence after a lot of struggle give that struggle a representation in their flags, while some unusual flags have unusual stories behind their conception.

To make it all the more interesting, the map of each continent is also attached before every chapter to make things easy for the readers; if you didn’t know which country existed where, after going through this book, you will.

What makes this book different from searching on the internet is its way of providing information that you should have, instead of information you want to have. It explains why the strikingly similar flags of Australia and New Zealand also feature the UK flag within the flag; why most of the countries are inspired by the French flag and follow the tricolours; and what does the emblem on the flags of Argentina, India, and other countries represent.

There are many countries that have birds, animals, and national emblem on their flags; some play with the colours while one of them even changed one of the colours in it for unknown reasons. And you didn’t think these things weren’t important, right? This book gives equal importance to every flag and makes you realise that each of them is to be respected for it represents something that’s is close to the hearts of that country’s people.

Published in Dawn, Young World, April 24th, 2021

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