10 + 1 Bandeiras fascinantes e as histórias por trás delas

10 + 1 Fascinating flags and the stories behind them
Essentially they're just pieces of colored cloth, but run any of them up a pole and they become powerful talismans capable of making people behave in peculiar ways.
The stories behind national pennants can be inspiring, intriguing and often give an insight into the culture and history of the country.

1. Canada
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Say what you like about over-polite Canadians, at least they've managed to ditch the Union flag of their former British overlords.
Canadian leaders debated furiously before finally adopting the resplendent red maple leaf in 1965, an ensign pointedly free of colonial images.
Good thing they did, because it gives Americans and Brits a useful flag to slap on their backpacks to stop people hating them.
One original proposal, rejected by parliament, featured blue stripes and a maple trefoil that almost completely failed to resemble a cannabis leaf.

2. Nepal

As the only country with an ensign that doesn't have four 90-degree corners, Nepal is in a league of its own.
Its double triangle design symbolizes the mighty peaks of the Himalayas where foreign mountaineers have planted so many other national flags.
The sun and moon symbols represent calmness and resolve -- character traits needed to tolerate the Everest-sized egos of those flag-planting foreign mountaineers.
"Nepal's 1962 design marked a new a pinnacle for world flags."

3. Greece
File:Greek flag-Santorini.png
Few flags evoke the nation they represent as well as Greece's.
The blue stripes conjure the cobalt summer skies and azure seas that annually lure millions of vacationers; the white recalls spotless coastal buildings dotting its beautiful coastline.
The nine stripes are said to represent ancient muses or possibly the number of syllables in the battle cry "eleftheria i thanatos," meaning "freedom or death," used in wars against the Ottomans.
On the gorgeous Cyclades islands the buildings wear the national colors with pride.

4. Bhutan
File:Drukair Airbus A319 at Paro Airport No1.jpg
At first glance, Bhutan's flag appears to bear the image of a dragon on wheels.
The reality isn't much less exciting.
The beast in question is Druk, a thunder dragon of Bhutanese Buddhist mythology. Rather than riding on castors, he is in fact clutching a spherical jewel in each claw.
As flag stories go, this one isn't bad either.
The dragon is said to symbolize the origins of religious teachings on which Bhutan was founded.
Drukpa Buddhism was so named by its 12th-century founder, Tsangpa Gyare Yeshey Dorji, because he heard the thunderous sounds of dragons while hunting for a monastery site in Tibet.

5. United States
File:Buzz salutes the U.S. Flag.jpg
Poor Old Glory. Those starry spangles and candy stripes have become a teensy bit overexposed thanks to recent American ventures in overseas troublespots.
This is a shame as the modern incarnation of Betsy Ross's purported creation is an oft-imitated design of which Americans are rightly proud.
So proud in fact, it's one of the only flags to have a National Anthem ("The Star-spangled Banner") written specifically about it.

6. Brazil
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Given Brazil's skills on the pitch, you'd be forgiven for thinking its flag symbolizes a blue soccer ball being booted into space from a grassy stadium.
It doesn't.
Less excitingly, the green harks back to Portuguese colonial-era royalty, while the slice of night sky represents, even more prosaically, federal regions.
It's still a much-loved design, even among non-Brazilians.

7. Indonesia
File:Bendera Terbesar di Dunia dalam HSPN 2013 - Ezagren.JPG
The simplicity of the Indonesian flag belies an interesting tale (if true).
The story goes that as they were shaking off the shackles of Dutch colonial invaders, Indonesian freedom fighters created their flag by tearing the blue strip off a Dutch tricolor.
Another version claims the flag's colors are derived from those representing the archipelago's 14th century Majapahit Empire.
Either way, it excuses the fact it resembles an upside-down Polish flag.

8. Mozambique
In Peace in Indian Ocean, stroll the only flag with a firearm.
With a book, a hoe and a gun, Mozambique's flag covers a lot of bases.
Mozambique's flag features a gun!
Yes, there's a book, symbolizing education, and, yes, there's a hoe symbolizing agriculture.
But there's also an AK-47 assault rifle symbolizing the country's bloody struggle for independence.
The only national flag bearing a firearm, it's the subject of intense debate in the now largely peaceful country.
Many there feel it's time to ditch the weapon.

9. Panama
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Given that it's so widely displayed on ships using the country's emblem as a flag of convenience, it's fascinating to see what they almost used.
This rather alarming alternative version, designed by Frenchman Philippe-Jean Bunau-Varilla, is meant to resemble the country's famous canal.
Thankfully, then-president Manuel Amador Guerrero rejected it and hired his son to produce the current ensign, adopted in 1925.
The colors represent the country's main political parties.

10. Greenland
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Granted home rule from Denmark in 1978, Greenlanders decided they needed something new to fly above their frosty territories.
The result, adopted in 1985, is both an exercise in classically minimalist Scandinavian design, and a bold departure from other flags favored by Nordic nations.
Many in Greenland had hoped to emulate Denmark and its neighbors by using a Christian cross -- preferably white on green -- but from 555 submitted designs, a committee instead chose a red and white split circle on a contrasting background.
The symbolism isn't too hard to read: a red sun sinking down into snow and ice.
 "Let's hope global warming doesn't necessitate a redesign."

11. United Kingdom
The UK's Union Flag has long lived a double life, serving both as national emblem and an erstwhile fashion icon -- although its associations with the Swinging Sixties are these days just as likely to bring to mind Austin Powers' underwear.
The flag itself is an exercise in nation building, originally combining the blue and white saltire of Scotland's patron Saint Andrew and the red cross on white of England's Saint George when the two countries united in the 18th century.
The red diagonal cross of Ireland's Saint Patrick was added later.
Of course, all this could change again if Scottish people vote for independence in a referendum scheduled for 2014.
In which case, perhaps Wales might finally get a mention.

Source: http://cnn.com


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