The countries that share similar flags

FILE PHOTO: Flags of China and Russia are displayed in this illustration picture taken March 24, 2022. REUTERS/Florence Lo/Illustration/File Photo

In many parts of the world, countries share flag colours.

In Europe, blue, red, and white are common in many flags. Nations like France, the Netherlands, and Croatia all use these colours but in different patterns. These shared colours create unique symbols for each country, each with its own meaning and culture.

Here are some European countries that share similar flag colours.


Many believe that the red on the Serbian flag stands for the blood shed for the country, the blue for freedom, and the white for mother's milk nourishing strong Serbian children. The Serbian flag has embedded in the centre, a two-headed eagle from Byzantium. One head is said to look toward the heavenly kingdom, while the other looks toward the earthly kingdom.


The Russian flag, with its white, blue, and red stripes, was first used on naval ships in the 1600s. Russian explorers started using these colours on land in the 1800s, to show new territories. Then Tsar of Russia, Peter the Great’s boat also had these same colours . Though the flag's use declined in 1858, it was revived in 1990 after many changes over 150 years. On December 25, 2000, Russia officially restored the white, blue, and red tricolour, recognising its 300-year history.


The flag of Slovenia is white, blue, and red, with each colour in a horizontal band taking up one-third of the flag. The flag's width-to-length ratio is one to two. Slovenia's coat of arms sits in the upper left corner, partly in the white band and partly in the blue band.


The Netherlands flag was first mentioned in 1572 and was called the 'Prince’s flag' with orange, white, and blue colours. Orange represented the principality of Orange, while white and blue came from its livery. In the 17th century, the orange colour changed to red.


Slovakia's flag colours of white, blue, and red were chosen because they were recognized as pan-Slavic colours. This decision was influenced by Russia, the leading Slavic power, which had used these colours for its flag since 1699.


During the early French Revolution, the colours blue, white, and red were combined in a cockade (rosette or knot of ribbons). In July 1789, Paris was tense, and a militia with blue and red cockades formed. King Louis XVI later wore this cockade, to which Marquis de Lafayette added white. In 1794, the tricolour flag was made official, with blue near the flagpole. Throughout the 19th century, the tricolour competed with royalist blue. By the Third Republic, the tricolour was widely accepted, and from 1880, it was celebrated annually on July 14. The 1946 and 1958 constitutions confirmed the blue, white, and red flag as France's national emblem.


The first known flag of Luxembourg was carried by Count William in 1123 and had horizontal yellow and red stripes. Today, the Luxembourg flag has three horizontal bands of red, white, and sky blue. To distinguish it from the Dutch flag, Luxembourg uses sky blue while the Dutch use ultramarine blue.


The Republic of Croatia's flag, adopted on December 21, 1990, is a national symbol. It features three equal horizontal stripes of red, white, and blue, with the Croatian coat of arms in the centre. 

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