New Zealand is not the only country that has pondered a flag change in recent years.

The following five countries have made the change over the past century, although, with the exception of Malawi, it followed constitutional or revolutionary change. As soon as the Government changed the flag, Malawians opted to go back to the old design.

1. Libya

Libya’s old flag was known among vexillophiles as the world’s most boring flag, just a green rectangle. Libya had a good reason to change its flag and it wasn’t just because it was boring. They had a revolution in which they threw out the authoritarian regime of Muammar Qaddafi. The new flag is actually an old flag resurrected from the Kingdom of Libya which existed between 1951 to 1969.

Before:
Libya before
After:
Libya after
2. Malawi

Malawi’s first flag of Independence was adopted in 1964. The sun rising represented the dawn of hope and freedom after gaining independence from colonial rule. The flag was altered by the newly elected Democratic Progressive Party in 2010. There was much public outcry about whether there was a need to change the flag and in 2012, Parliament, under the new President Joyce Banda, voted to go back to the old one.

Before:
Malawi before
After:
Malawi before
3. Venezuela

To commemorate what he called a Bolivarian revolution after his election in 1998 Hugo Chavez decided to modify the Venezuelan flag. As a reference to his revolution he added an eighth star. He also modified the country’s coat of arms so that the white horse would gallop to the left of the shield instead of the right to symbolise Chavez’s 21st century socialism.

Before:
Venezuela before
After:
Venezuela after
4. Georgia

The new flag of Georgia was adopted in 2004 after being widely used in the Rose Revolution the year before. The new (old) flag has quite a history. Widely known as the Georgian Historical Flag the red on white Jerusalem cross was originally known as the flag of Tblisi in the 14th century. Following its independence from Russian rule Georgians actually wanted to adopt it again in 1999 but President Eduard Shevardnadze refused to endorse it.

Before:
georgia before
After:
Georgia after
5. Myanmar

The flag of Myanmar (Burma) was adopted in 2010 to replace the socialist flag. The change followed the 2008 change in the Constitution including the name of the country. The colours on the flag represent the virtues of solidarity, peace and tranquillity.

Before:
Myanmar before
After:
Myanmar after
- RadioLIVE producer Mitch Harris 

Share this article