List of sovereign states by date of current flag adoption
For most of these states, the date of flag adoption is clear, but for others the exact date of flag adoption is unknown or disputed because of design changes. This list defines the year of flag adoption as the year since when the current flag has been used continuously to represent a nation, autonomous region or occupied state. Only countries which are currently sovereign states are listed, although the flag may have been adopted before the countries gained independence. The listed countries may have undergone fundamental regime changes, great geographical changes or even temporary lost autonomy, political unions or secessions. If the flag remained in use during such events, its original adoption date is listed. Changes that do not alter the basic design of the flag, like the changes in ratio or colour shade, restyling of emblems or inscriptions or the addition or removal of stars, are listed in the last column. The current flag design often evolved over the years (e.g. the flag of the United States) or can be a re-adoption of an earlier, historic flag (e.g. the flag of Libya). The year the current flag design first came into use is listed in the third column.
|Country||Adoption of current flag design||First use of current flag design||Last change to current flag design|
|Denmark||1219||1219||1893 (proportions formalized)|
|Netherlands||1660||1409-1410||1937 (colours formalized)|
|Nepal||1743||1743||1962 (modernized; the faces disappeared from the sun and moon)|
|United Kingdom||1801||1801||1801 (merged with Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland)|
|Chile||1817||1817||1854 (the national coat of arms disappeared and the star was kept completely upright)|
|Argentina||1818||1812||2012 (proportions standardized)|
|France||1830||1794 (naval ensign)[note 1]||1976 (colours standardized); current design reintroduced in 1830; current design becoming the default in 2020|
|Tunisia||1831||1827 (naval ensign)||1999 (proportions formalized)|
|Paraguay||1842||1842||2013 (coat of arms modified)|
|Turkey||1844||1793||1936 (proportions standardized)|
|Bolivia||1851||1851||2004 (coat of arms modified)|
|Colombia||1861||1810||1949 (official pattern issued, all flags with arms modified)|
|San Marino||1862||1797||2011 (proportions standardized)|
|Honduras||1866||1823||2022 (change of colours)|
|Japan||1870||701||1999 (exact colours specified, sun disc is perfectly centered, and proportions fixed)|
|Tonga||1875||1674 (as English Red Ensign)||1875|
|South Korea||1883||1882[note 1] (designed by King Gojong or Pak Yeong-hyo)||2011 (when the exact colour shades were last changed from their previous colours set in 1997).|
In 1948 the South Korean national assembly readopted this as the national flag with a modification of the taegeuk.
The trigrams were moved into their current place in 1949.
The exact dimensions were specified in 1984.
|Philippines||12 February 1898||1898||1998 (present definitive shades of blue and red)|
|Norway||1899||1821||1899 (removal of Union mark of Norway and Sweden)|
|Australia||3 September 1901||1901||1934 (dimensions officially gazetted)|
|Cuba||1902||1868 (naval jack of Cuba)||1902|
|New Zealand||1902||1869||1902 (dimensions defined)|
|Sweden||1906||1562 (or earlier)||1906 (removal of Union mark of Norway and Sweden)|
|Costa Rica||1848||1848||1998 (changes to coat of arms)|
|Albania||1912||1443||22 July 2002 (colours standardized)|
|El Salvador||17 May 1912||1822 (as provincial flag within Federal Republic of Central America)||17 May 1912 (colours specified, and replaced with its own coat of arms)|
|Morocco||1915||1915||1915 (the Seal of Solomon is replaced by a green pentagram)|
|Thailand||1917||1917||30 September 2017 (colours standardized)|
|Estonia||1918||1918||2002 (colours standardized)|
|Finland||1918||1861||1920 (colours changed)|
|Germany||1918||1848 (by the Frankfurt Parliament)[note 1]||1999 (when the exact colours were specified)|
|Poland||1919||1831||1921 (colours formalized)|
|Jordan||1928||1917||1928 (star introduced)|
|Latvia||1921||1279||1923 (proportions formalized)|
|Republic of China||1928||1921 (by the Guangzhou government)||1921|
|Panama||1925||1903||1925 (upper left quadrant made white)|
|Vatican City||1929||1808||1929 (Papal tiara and keys added)|
|Liechtenstein||1937||1764||1937 (addition of crown)|
|Iceland||1944||1918||1944 (when the exact colours were changed)|
|Vietnam||1945||1940||1955 (star edges made sharper)|
|India||24 July 1947||1923||1947 (Gandhian Spinning Wheel changed to Ashoka Chakra (Ashoka's Wheel; colours formalized))|
|Pakistan||11 August 1947||14 August 1947||1947|
|Italy||1943||1796 (with Napoleon I)||2006 (when exact colours were specified).|
In 1948 the monarch's banner was removed, and the Italian Republic was proclaimed.
|North Korea||July 1948||1948||1992 (standardization, star and disc sizes changed)|
|People's Republic of China||1 October 1949||27 September 1949||1 January 2021 (standardization of the colours)|
|Hungary||1957||1848 (1681)||1956 (removing the Rákosi-coat of arms)|
|Central African Republic||1958||1958||1958|
|Brunei||1959||1906||1959 (crest added)|
|United States||14 July 1960||1777[note 1]||1960 (addition of a star after Hawaii became a state)|
|Cyprus||1960||1960||24 April 2006 (modification)|
|Mali||1961||1959||1961 (removal of central stick figure)|
|Trinidad and Tobago||1962||1962||1962|
|Malaysia||1950||1950||1963 (14-point star and 14 stripes after Sabah, Sarawak and Singapore joined the federation, remains unchanged in 1965 after Singapore was expelled and the addition of Putrajaya and Labuan in the flag)|
|Tanzania||1964||1964||1964 (merged with Tanganyika and Zanzibar)|
|Malta||1964||1943||1964 (background of George Cross changed to white)|
|Zambia||1964||1964||1996 (green field changed to a lighter shade)|
|Maldives||1965||1926||1965 (removal of striped hoist after Independence)|
|Canada||15 February 1965||1965||1965|
|Ghana||1966||1957||1966 (white stripe changed back to original yellow)|
|Burundi||1967||1962||1982 (ratio changed from 2:3 to 3:5)|
|Antigua and Barbuda||27 February 1967||1967||1967|
|Mexico||1968||1821 (First Mexican Empire flag)||1968 (coat of arms modified)|
|Bhutan||1969||1947||1969 (colour of the lower half changed from red to orange)|
|Fiji||1970||1924||1970 (emblem on flag changed)|
|Qatar||1971||1949||1971 (proportion modified)|
|Andorra||1971||1866||1971 (coat of arms modified)|
|Nicaragua||1908||1823 (as provincial flag within United States of Central America)||1971 (coat of arms modified)|
|United Arab Emirates||1971||1971||1971|
|Bangladesh||1972||1971||1972 (removal of country's map)|
|Sri Lanka||1972||1948||1972 (four leaves of the Bo tree were added to the corners of the flag) [a]|
|Saudi Arabia||1973||1932||1973 (design of sword modified)|
|Cameroon||20 May 1975||1957||1975 (a yellow star added in the middle)|
|Papua New Guinea||1975||1971||1971|
|São Tomé and Príncipe||1975||1975||1975|
|Laos||1975||1945 (by the Lao Issara government)||1975 (communist takeover)|
|Dominica||1990||1978||1990 (yellow side of green stars removed, but old design seldom use today)|
|Greece||1978||1822 (naval ensign)[note 1]||1978 (land flag abolished)|
|Equatorial Guinea||1979||1972||1979 (re-adoption of coat of arms due to the collapse of Francisco Nguema regime)|
|Micronesia||1979||1965 (as Flag of the TTPI which had 6 stars above)||1979 (two stars removed due to reorganization of the Territory)|
|Zimbabwe||18 April 1980||1980||1980|
|Iran||1980||1980||1980 (national emblem added to center of flag and religious script added due to the Islamic Revolution)|
|Spain||1981||1785[note 1]||1981 (coat of arms replaced)|
|Belize||1981||1981||21 September 2019 (standardized)|
|Mozambique||1983||1975[note 1]||1983 (change of emblem on the left side of flag)|
|Saint Kitts and Nevis||1983||1983||1983|
|Saint Vincent and the Grenadines||1985||1985||1985|
|Haiti||1859||1806[note 1]||1986 (re-adoption due to the collapse of Duvalier regime)|
|Lithuania||1922||1918||2004 (ratio changed)|
|Romania||1989||1867||1989 (removed emblem)|
|Moldova||1990||1990||2010 (emblem copied to reverse side)|
|Armenia||1990||1918||1990 (ratio changed)|
|Croatia||1990||1848[note 1]||1990 (redesign of the coat of arms)|
|Russia||1991||1696[note 1]||1993 (ratio and colours changed)|
|Bulgaria||1991||1879||1991 (removal of the state emblem)|
|Republic of the Congo||10 June 1991||1959||1959|
|Slovenia||25 June 1991||1848||1991 (red star was replaced with coat of arms)|
|Uzbekistan||18 November 1991||1991||1991|
|Mongolia||12 January 1992||1940||2011 (colours standardized)|
|Ukraine||28 January 1992||1848||1918|
|Turkmenistan||19 February 1992||1992||2001 (ratio and ornament design adjusted)|
|Kyrgyzstan||3 March 1992||1992||1992|
|Brazil||11 May 1992||1889||1992 (addition of four stars after Amapá, Rondônia, Roraima and Tocantins became states)|
|Kazakhstan||4 June 1992||1992||1992|
|Slovakia||3 September 1992||1848||1992|
|Cape Verde||22 September 1992||1992||1992|
|Tajikistan||24 November 1992||1992||1992|
|Czech Republic||1 January 1993||1920||1920|
|Eritrea||24 May 1993||1993||1995 (ratio changed)|
|Cambodia||June 1993||1948||1993 (re-adoption)|
|South Africa||27 April 1994||1994||1994|
|Oman||25 April 1995||1970||1995 (middle band to equal size)|
|Belarus||7 June 1995||1951[note 1]||2012 (previous 1995 design with a thicker ornament pattern)|
|North Macedonia||5 October 1995||1995||1995|
|Seychelles||8 January 1996||1996||1996|
|Ethiopia||6 February 1996||1996||2009 (larger central disc)|
|Tuvalu||11 April 1997||1978||1997 (restoration of 1978 flag)|
|Afghanistan||27 October 1997||1997||15 August 2021 (restoration of 1997 flag)|
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||4 February 1998||1998||10 August 2001|
|Rwanda||25 October 2001||2001||2001|
|Comoros||23 December 2001||2002||2002|
|Bahrain||14 February 2002||1932||2002 (white points reduced to 5)|
|East Timor||20 May 2002||1975||1975|
|Georgia||14 January 2004||1350[note 1] (approx. and disputed)||2018 (minor change to geometry of the Bolnisi crosses)|
|Serbia||2004||1835 (by the Principality of Serbia without coat of arms)[note 1]||2010 (redesign of the coat of arms, exact colours defined)|
|Montenegro||13 July 2004||2004||2004 (first publication)|
|Democratic Republic of the Congo||20 February 2006 ||1963[note 1]||2006 (return to 1966 design, colours changed to a lighter shade of blue)|
|Venezuela||12 March 2006||1810||12 March 2006 (addition of a star)|
|Lesotho||4 October 2006||4 October 2006||4 October 2006|
|Iraq||22 January 2008||1963||22 January 2008 (removal of stars, slight change to script)|
|Myanmar||10 October 2010||10 October 2010||10 October 2010|
|Libya||17 February 2011||24 December 1951[note 1]||2011 (readoption of the 1951 flag)|
|South Sudan||9 July 2011||9 July 2005||9 July 2011 (proportions defined, independent state)|
|Malawi||28 May 2012||6 July 1964[note 1]||2012 (readoption of the 1964 flag)|
|Mauritania||15 August 2017||15 August 2017||15 August 2017 (addition of red bands)|
- The flag has not been in continuous use.
- Bartholdy, Nils G.; Leksikon, Gyldendal (n.d.). "National Flag – The official Website of Denmark". Denmark.dk. Archived from the original on 3 February 2018. Retrieved 2 October 2016.
- Poels, Jos (1–5 August 2011). "The Orange Pennant: The Dutch Response to a Flag Dilemma" (PDF). The Washington Flag Congress: 882–898. Archived (PDF) from the original on 31 July 2020. Retrieved 19 August 2020.
- sache, ivan (15 June 2022). "France: Index of all pages". FOTW "Flags Of The World" Web Site. § Historical flags. Archived from the original on 4 July 2017. Retrieved 2 August 2022.
- "Macron switches to using navy blue on France's flag - reports". BBC News. 14 November 2021. Archived from the original on 15 November 2021. Retrieved 21 March 2022.
- schneider, klaus-michael (26 August 2021). "Colombia - Historical Flags (1910-1949)". FOTW "Flags Of The World" Web Site. § 1949 Flags. Archived from the original on 17 March 2016. Retrieved 9 May 2017.
- Breschi, Roberto (n.d.). "Sanmarino" [SAN MARINO]. www.rbvex.it (in Italian). Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 9 May 2017.
- raeside, rob (25 August 2021). "Honduras - Historical Flags". FOTW "Flags Of The World" Web Site. Archived from the original on 14 October 2017. Retrieved 9 May 2017.
- "Flags, Symbols, & Currencies Of Guatemala". WorldAtlas. n.d. Archived from the original on 20 June 2018. Retrieved 9 May 2017.
- "Dominican Republic Flag". That's Dominican. n.d. Archived from the original on 26 May 2017. Retrieved 9 May 2017.
- Elsie 2010, "Flag, Albanian", p. 140: "The eagle was a common heraldic symbol for many Albanian dynasties in the Late Middle Ages and came to be a symbol of the Albanians in general. It is also said to have been the flag of Skanderbeg...As a symbol of modern Albania, the flag began to be seen during the years of the national awakening and was in common use during the uprisings of 1909-1912. It was this flag that Ismail Qemal bey Vlora raised in Vlora on 28 November 1912 in proclaiming Albanian independence." harvnb error: no target: CITEREFElsie2010 (help)
- สำนักงานพัฒนาวิทยาศาสตร์และเทคโนโลยีแห่งชาติ (National Science and Technology Development Agency) (16 October 2017). "มาตรฐานแถบสีธงชาติไทย" [Thai flag color standard]. มาตรฐานแถบสีธงชาติไทย (in Thai). National Science and Technology Development Agency. Archived from the original on 24 January 2022. Retrieved 2 August 2022.
- Federal Government of Germany (n.d.). "Primärfarben". Corporate Design Documentation (in German). Archived from the original on 26 September 2007. Retrieved 26 February 2008.
- Tertitskiy, Fyodor (20 June 2014). "Kim Tu Bong and the Flag of Great Extremes". Daily NK. Archived from the original on 17 October 2019. Retrieved 10 August 2016.
- sache, ivan (9 August 2017). "Luxembourg". FOTW "Flags Of The World" Web Sitee. Archived from the original on 15 January 2017. Retrieved 2 August 2022.
- berry, bruce (5 February 2022). "Mozambique". FOTW "Flags Of The World" Web Site. Archived from the original on 4 June 2016. Retrieved 2 August 2022.
- poposki, valentin (24 July 2021). "Russia". FOTW "Flags Of The World" Web Site. Archived from the original on 23 May 2020. Retrieved 2 August 2022.
- lomantsov, victor (12 December 2020). "Kazakhstan". FOTW "Flags Of The World" Web Site. Archived from the original on 22 January 2019. Retrieved 2 August 2022.
- berry, bruce (31 December 2021). "Eritrea". FOTW "Flags Of The World" Web Site. Archived from the original on 21 November 2017. Retrieved 2 August 2022.
- harden, zachary (17 July 2021). "Belarus". FOTW "Flags Of The World" Web Site. Archived from the original on 1 January 2018. Retrieved 2 August 2022.
- harden, zachary (4 December 2021). "East Timor". FOTW "Flags Of The World" Web Site. Archived from the original on 25 November 2017. Retrieved 2 August 2022.
- The parliament of Georgia (14 November 2018). "საქართველოს სახელმწიფო სიმბოლოების შესახებ" [Organic law of Georgia - About the state symbols of Georgia]. სსიპ ”საქართველოს საკანონმდებლო მაცნე” (in Georgian). Archived from the original on 19 October 2021. Retrieved 2 August 2022.
- D. Matic, Javno pravo Knjazevstva Srbije, Beograd, 1851, 33
- Српска државна застава у обновљеној Србији Archived 15 July 2020 at the Wayback Machine ("Политика", 1-4. мај 1937)
- Stadler, Paul (21 March 2011). "Zaire / Congo-Kinshasa". Encyclopedia of Christianity Online. Archived from the original on 26 May 2021. Retrieved 26 May 2021.
- "Flag of South Sudan". Archived from the original on 25 March 2019. Retrieved 28 July 2022.
- Gwede, Wanga (28 May 2012). "Malawi Parliament approves to revert to original flag". Nyasa Times. Archived from the original on 27 December 2012. Retrieved 2 September 2015.
- "Malawi reverts to old flag". Sunday Times. 29 May 2012. Archived from the original on 8 April 2019. Retrieved 2 September 2015.
- Sources for most of the dates in this list can be found in the articles on the respective flags or per the Flags of the World database.