Religion in national symbols

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Religion in national symbols can often be found in national anthems or flags. This has led to controversy in some countries in regard to the separation of church and state, when the national symbol is officially sanctioned by a government. [1]

Flags which incorporate symbols of religion[edit]

Christianity[edit]

Flag Country Religious characteristics
Armenia Armenia (flag) The Red emblematizes the maintenance of the Christian faith.[2]
Andorra Andorra (flag) Includes a bishop's mitre, representing the Bishop of Urgell.[3]
Australia Australia (flag) Crosses of St. George, St. Andrew and St. Patrick[4]
Colombia Colombia (flag) blue represents the equality of all races and social classes before God and the law[5]
Denmark Denmark (flag) Nordic Cross Flag[6]
Dominica Dominica (flag) The cross represents the Trinity[7]
Dominican Republic Dominican Republic (flag) A Bible, the color white stands for salvation[8]
El Salvador El Salvador (flag) Dios, Unión, Libertad (God, Union, Liberty)
Finland Finland (flag) Nordic Cross Flag[6]
Georgia (country) Georgia (country) (flag) Jerusalem cross[9]
Greece Greece (flag) The cross symbolizes Greek Orthodoxy[10]
Iceland Iceland (flag) Nordic Cross Flag[6]
Republic of Ireland Ireland (flag) The green symbolizes the Catholic population. The orange symbolizes the Protestants.[11]
Liechtenstein Liechtenstein (flag) Christian cross[12]
Malta Malta (flag) George Cross[12]
Moldova Moldova (flag) Cross of the Moldovan Orthodox Church
Montenegro Montenegro (flag) Christian cross[12]
New Zealand New Zealand (flag) Crosses of St. George, St. Andrew and St. Patrick[12]
Norway Norway (flag) Nordic Cross Flag[6]
Portugal Portugal (flag) Compound cross of five quinas, each one charged with five saltire-arranged bezants, representing the five wounds of Christ[13]
San Marino San Marino (flag) Cross[12]
Serbia Serbia (flag) Orthodox Cross[14]
Spain Spain (flag) Cross[12]
Sweden Sweden (flag) Nordic Cross Flag[6]
Switzerland Switzerland (flag) Christian cross[15]
Slovakia Slovakia (flag) Patriarchal cross[16]
Tonga Tonga (flag) Christian cross[17]
Tuvalu Tuvalu (flag) Crosses of St. George, St. Andrew and St. Patrick
United Kingdom United Kingdom (flag) Crosses of St. George, St. Andrew and St. Patrick[18]
Vatican City Vatican City (flag) The flag consists of two vertical bands, one of gold (hoist side) and one of white with the crossed keys of Saint Peter and the Papal Tiara centered in the white band

Islam[edit]

Flag Country Religious characteristics
Afghanistan Afghanistan (flag) Shahadah and a mosque, green may represent Islam[19]
Algeria Algeria (flag) Star and crescent, green color symbolizes Islam[20]
Azerbaijan Azerbaijan (flag) Green stands for Islam, the crescent moon is also an Islamic symbol[21]
Bahrain Bahrain (flag) five points represent the five pillars of Islam[22]
Brunei Brunei (flag) Crescent moon[23]
Comoros Comoros (flag) Star and crescent and green color are traditional symbols of Islam[24]
Iran Iran (flag) The word "Allah" ("God"), the phrase "Allahu Akbar" is repeated on the edges of the red and green bands[25]
Iraq Iraq (flag) The phrase "Allah Akbar" ("God is Great")[26]
Jordan Jordan (flag) The seven-pointed star represents the seven verses of the Quran's first sura[27]
Malaysia Malaysia (flag) Crescent moon[28]
Maldives Maldives (flag) White crescent moon symbolizes Islam[29]
Mauritania Mauritania (flag) Star and crescent and green color symbolize Islam[30]
Pakistan Pakistan (flag) The dark green field symbolizes the Muslim majority of Pakistan.[31]
Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabia (flag) Shahada (Muslim creed) on green, a color traditionally associated with Islam[32]
Senegal Senegal (flag) The green stripe and star represent Islam.[33][34]
Sudan Sudan (flag) Green represents Islam.[35]
Turkey Turkey (flag) Star and Crescent

Judaism[edit]

Flag Country Religious characteristics
Israel Israel (flag) The basic design is based on a Jewish prayer shawl, the Star of David is a symbol of Judaism[36]

Buddhism/Hinduism[edit]

Flag Country Religious characteristics
Bhutan Bhutan (flag) The orange half signifies Buddhist spiritual tradition[37]
Cambodia Cambodia (flag) Angkor Wat[38]
India India (flag) The Ashok Chakra represents the Laws of Dharma (righteousness).[39]
Sri Lanka Sri Lanka (flag) The four bo leaves symbolize four Buddhist metaphysical concepts.[40]
Thailand Thailand (flag) white for Theravada Buddhism[41]

Traditional[edit]

Flag Country Religious characteristics
Argentina Argentina (flag) Sun of May's features are that of the Inca god Inti[42]
Kazakhstan Kazakhstan (flag) Blue represents the sky god Tengri
Uruguay Uruguay (flag) Sun of May's features are that of the Inca god Inti[43]

National anthems which incorporate religion[edit]

Old anthems[edit]

Coat of arms[edit]

Christianity[edit]

Coat of arms Country Religious characteristics
Coat of arms of Andorra.svg Andorra (Coat of arms) Includes a bishop's mitre, representing the Bishop of Urgell.
Coat of arms of Armenia.svg Armenia (Coat of arms) Mount Ararat with Noah's Ark sitting atop it.
Coat of arms of the Dominican Republic.svg Dominican Republic (Coat of arms) cross, Bible, 'Dios, Patria, Libertad' ('God, Fatherland, Liberty')
Coats of arms of El Salvador.svg El Salvador (Coat of arms) Dios, Unión, Libertad (God, Union, Liberty)
Coat of arms of Fiji.svg Fiji (Coat of arms) 'Rerevaka na kalou ka doka na Tui' ('Fear God and honour the Queen')
Greater coat of arms of Georgia.svg Georgia (Coat of arms) St. George
Coat of arms of Greece.svg Greece (Coat of arms) Greek cross
Coat of arms of Hungary.svg Hungary (Coat of arms) Double cross
Coat of arms of Iceland.svg Iceland (Coat of arms) Nordic cross
Coat of arms of Moldova.svg Moldova (Coat of arms) cross
Nauru (Coat of arms) 'God's Will First'
Coat of Arms of Nigeria.svg Nigeria (Coat of arms) 'Unity and Faith, Peace and Progress'
Coat of arms of Norway.svg Norway (Coat of arms) A globus cruciger on top of the coat of arms as a Christian symbol of authority
Coat of arms of Portugal.svg Portugal (Coat of arms) Compound cross of five quinas, each one charged with five saltire-arranged bezants
Coat of arms of Romania.svg Romania (Coat of arms) cross
Coat of arms of Samoa.svg Samoa (Coat of arms) 'Faavae i Le Atua Samoa' ('Samoa is founded on God'), cross
Coat of arms of Serbia.svg Serbia (Coat of arms) Serbian cross
Coat of arms of Slovakia.svg Slovakia (Coat of arms) Patriarchal cross
Coat of Arms of Spain.svg Spain (Coat of arms) cross
Coat of arms of Tonga.svg Tonga (Coat of arms) cross, dove, 'Ko e ʻOtua mo Tonga ko hoku Tofiʻa' ('God and Tonga are my inheritance')
Coat of arms of the Republic of Uganda.svg Uganda (Coat of arms) For God and My Country
Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom.svg United Kingdom (Coat of arms) cross, 'Dieu et mon droit' ('God and my right')
Coat of arms of the Vatican City.svg Vatican City (Coat of arms) The crossed keys of Saint Peter and the Papal Tiara
Coat of arms of Vanuatu.svg Vanuatu (Coat of arms) 'Long God yumi stanap' ('In God we stand')

Islam[edit]

Coat of arms Country Religious characteristics
Emblem of Afghanistan.svg Afghanistan (Coat of arms) shahadah, mosque, mehrab, Prayer rug
Seal of Algeria.svg Algeria (Coat of arms) Crescent and star
Emblem of Azerbaijan.svg Azerbaijan (Coat of arms) Calligraphic representation of the name Allah in the form of an Eternal Flame, green
Emblem of Bahrain.svg Bahrain (Coat of arms) five points represent the five pillars of Islam
Emblem of Brunei.svg Brunei (Coat of arms) Crescent moon, الدائمون المحسنون بالهدى (Always in service with God's guidance)
Coat of arms of Comoros.svg Comoros (Coat of arms) Crescent and star
Emblem of Iran.svg Iran (Coat of arms) Name of Allah
Coat of arms (emblem) of Iraq 2008.svg Iraq (Coat of arms) الله أكبر (God is Great)
Coat of arms of Jordan.svg Jordan (Coat of arms) Its colours of the eagle signifies the banner of the Prophet Mohammad, the globe signifies the emergence of Islamic civilisation, الراجي من الله التوفيق والعون (Who seeks support and guidance from God)
Malaysia (Coat of arms) Crescent moon
Coat of arms of Maldives.svg Maldives (Coat of arms) Crescent and star
Coat of arms of Mali.svg Mali (Coat of arms) Great Mosque of Djenné, Un Peuple, Un But, Une Foi (One People, One Goal, One Faith)
Seal of Mauritania.svg Mauritania (Coat of arms) Crescent and star, green
Coat of arms of Morocco.svg Morocco (Coat of arms) إن تنصروا الله ينصركم (If you glorify God, he will glorify you)
State emblem of Pakistan.svg Pakistan (Coat of arms) ایمان ، اتحاد ، نظم (Faith, Unity, Discipline), Crescent and star, green
Coat of arms of Senegal.svg Senegal (Coat of arms) Un, Peuple, Un But, Une Foi (One People, One Goal, One Faith)
TurkishEmblem.svg Turkey (Coat of arms) Crescent and star
Coat of arms of Tunisia.svg Tunisia (Cat of arms) Crescent and star
Coat of arms of Uzbekistan.svg Uzbekistan (Coat of arms) Rub el Hizb, Crescent and star

Judaism[edit]

Coat of arms Country Religious characteristics
Emblem of Israel.svg Israel (Coat of arms) Menorah, blue

Buddhism[edit]

Coat of arms Country Religious characteristics
Emblem of Bhutan.svg Bhutan (Coat of arms) Durk, lotus
Emblem of India.svg India (Coat of arms) Ashoka Chakra, Lion Capital of Asoka
Emblem of Laos.svg Laos (Coat of arms) Pha That Luang
State emblem of Mongolia.svg Mongolia (Coat of arms) Three Jewels, Wheel of Dharma
Emblem of Sri Lanka.svg Sri Lanka (Coat of arms) Blue Lotus, Dharmacakra

Hinduism[edit]

Coat of arms Country Religious characteristics
National emblem of Indonesia Garuda Pancasila.svg Indonesia (Coat of arms) Garuda
Garuda Emblem of Thailand.svg Thailand (Coat of arms) Garuda

Taoism/Confucianism[edit]

Coat of arms Country Religious characteristics
Emblem of South Korea.svg South Korea (Coat of arms) yin and yang

Traditional[edit]

Coat of arms Country Religious characteristics
Coat of arms of Argentina.svg Argentina (Coat of arms) Sun of May
Coat of arms of Uruguay.svg Uruguay (Coat of arms) Sun of May

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2014/11/25/64-countries-have-religious-symbols-on-their-national-flags/
  2. ^ "General Information on the government of Armenia's website". Gov.am. Retrieved 2014-02-02. 
  3. ^ Zartman, Rubin (2002). Power and Negotiation. p. 111. ISBN 0472089072. 
  4. ^ Foley, Carol A. (1996). The Australian flag : colonial relic or contemporary icon?. Sydney: Federation Press. p. 18. ISBN 9781862871885. 
  5. ^ "Flag of Colombia on CRW". Crwflags.com. Retrieved 2014-02-02. 
  6. ^ a b c d e Jeroen Temperman. State Religion Relationships and Human Rights Law. Martinus Nijhoff Publishers. Retrieved 2007-12-31. Many predominantly Christian states show a cross, symbolising Christianity, on their national flag. Scandinavian crosses or Nordic crosses on the flags of the Nordic countries–Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden–also represent Christianity. 
  7. ^ "Flag Description: Dominica". World Factbook. CIA. Retrieved June 21, 2013. 
  8. ^ "Flag Description: Dominican Republic". World Factbook. CIA. Retrieved June 21, 2013. 
  9. ^ "The new flag of Georgia does not seem to be related with this historical banner. The flag of the National Movement was unknown ten years ago [1993] and was called 'the Georgian historical national flag' by the opposition leaders only after publications by the Georgian vexillologist I.L. Bichikashvili." Mikhail Revnivtsev, 25 November 2003 crwflags.com
  10. ^ "Flag Description: Greece". World Factbook. CIA. Retrieved June 21, 2013. 
  11. ^ Talocci, Mauro (1982). Guide to the Flags of the World. p. 271. ISBN 0688011411. 
  12. ^ a b c d e f "64 countries have religious symbols on their national flags". Pew Research. Retrieved 2014-12-25. 
  13. ^ "A Bandeira de Portugal". Portugal (in Portuguese). Criar Mundos. August 2005. Retrieved 2007-02-19. 
  14. ^ Temperman, Jeroen (2010). State-Religion Relationships and Human Rights Law: Towards a Right to Religiously Neutral Governance. Brill Academic. p. 88. ISBN 9789004181489. The cross on the flag of Dominica represents Christianity while the three colours of which the cross consists stand for the Trinity. The coat of arms depicted on the flag of Slovakia shows a double cross. The flag of the Dominican Republic represents Christianity while the three colours of which the cross consists stand for the Tinity. The coat of arms depicted on the flag of Slovakia shows a double cross. The flag of the Dominican Republic shows the words "God, Fatherland, Liberty", an opened bible and a cross (depicted in the coat of arms which is represented in the centre). The 'five-cross-flag' of George shows four small crosses and a large St. George's Cross, referring to the patron saint of Georgia (the national flag of England shows the St. George's Cross as well). The white cross on the flag of Greece symbolizes Greek Orthodoxy. The flag of Moldova shows its coat of arms in the centre: an eagle with a Christian Orthodox cross in its beak. The coat of arms of Serbia, as depicted on the national flag, also shows an Orthodox cross. 
  15. ^ Foley, Carol A. (1 January 1996). The Australian Flag. Federation Press. p. 10. ISBN 9781862871885. The Christian cross, for instance, is one of the oldest and most widely used symbols in the world, and many European countries, such as the United Kingdom, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Iceland, Greece and Switzerland, adopted and currently retain the Christian cross on their national flags. 
  16. ^ "O štátnej vlajke, štátnej zástave, štátnom znaku a štátnej pečati". Joint Czech–Slovak Digital Parliamentary Library. Chamber of Deputies of the Parliament of the Czech Republic. June 1939. Retrieved 2013-06-23. 
  17. ^ Smith, Whitney (24 November 2013). "Flag of Tonga". Encyclopedia Britannica. Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc. Retrieved 9 August 2014.  (subscription required)
  18. ^ "Union Jack". The Royal Household. Retrieved 2013-06-23. 
  19. ^ "Flag Description: Afghanistan". World Factbook. CIA. Retrieved June 21, 2013. 
  20. ^ "Flag Description: Algeria". World Factbook. CIA. Retrieved June 21, 2013. 
  21. ^ "Flag Description: Azerbaijan". World Factbook. CIA. Retrieved June 21, 2013. 
  22. ^ "Flag Description: Bahrain". World Factbook. CIA. Retrieved June 21, 2013. 
  23. ^ "Flag Description: Brunei". World Factbook. CIA. Retrieved June 21, 2013. 
  24. ^ "Flag Description: Comoros". World Factbook. CIA. Retrieved June 21, 2013. 
  25. ^ "Flag Description: Iran". World Factbook. CIA. Retrieved June 21, 2013. 
  26. ^ "Flag Description: Iraq". World Factbook. CIA. Retrieved June 21, 2013. 
  27. ^ "Flag Description: Jordan". World Factbook. CIA. Retrieved June 21, 2013. 
  28. ^ "Flag Description: Malaysia". World Factbook. CIA. Retrieved June 21, 2013. 
  29. ^ "Flag Description: Maldives". World Factbook. CIA. Retrieved June 21, 2013. 
  30. ^ "Flag Description: Mauritania". World Factbook. CIA. Retrieved June 21, 2013. 
  31. ^ "Pakistan Flag". Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. Retrieved June 21, 2013. 
  32. ^ "Flag Description: Saudi Arabia". World Factbook. CIA. Retrieved June 21, 2013. 
  33. ^ "Senegal on Flagspot". Flagspot.net. Retrieved 2014-02-02. 
  34. ^ Philip, George and Son (December 26, 2002). Encyclopedic World Atlas. Oxford University Press. p. 198. Retrieved May 24, 2013. 
  35. ^ World Flags 101. "Sudan Flag - World Flags 101". WorldFlags101.com. Moxy Media. Retrieved 2008-08-09. 
  36. ^ "Flag Description: Israel". World Factbook. CIA. Retrieved June 21, 2013. 
  37. ^ "The Constitution of the Kingdom of Bhutan" (PDF). Government of Bhutan. 2008-07-18. Retrieved 2010-10-08.  |chapter= ignored (help)
  38. ^ "Flag Description: Cambodia". World Factbook. CIA. Retrieved June 21, 2013. 
  39. ^ Flags of the world: an illustrated guide to contemporary flags Alfred Znamierowski – 2000, ISBN 1-84215-337-4
  40. ^ "The Sri Lankan Lion flag -how it came to be". Virtual Library Sri Lanka. 
  41. ^ "Flag Description: Thailand". World Factbook. CIA. Retrieved June 21, 2013. 
  42. ^ "Flag Description: Argentina". World Factbook. CIA. Retrieved June 21, 2013. 
  43. ^ "Flag of Uruguay". All-flags-world.com. Retrieved 2014-02-02.