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||1370 (or earlier)||1370 (or earlier)||1893 (proportions formalized)|
|Netherlands||1660||1409-1410||1937 (colours formalized)|
|Nepal||1743||1743||1962 (modernized; the faces disappeared from the sun and moon)|
|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)||1976 (colours standardized); current design reintroduced in 1830.|
|Tunisia||1831||1827 (naval ensign)||1999 (proportions formalized)|
|Paraguay||1842||1842||2013 (coat of arms modified)|
|Turkey||1844||1793||1936 (proportions standardised)|
|Colombia||1861||1810||1949 (official pattern issued, all flags with arms modified)|
|San Marino||1862||1797||2011 (proportions standardised)|
|Japan||1870||1870||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||1898||1898||1998 (present definitive shades of blue and red)|
|Norway||1899||1821||1899 (removal of Union mark of Norway and Sweden)|
|Australia||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||1912||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)|
|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)|
|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||1948||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||1949||1949||1949|
|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||1960||1777[note 1]||1960 (addition of a star)|
|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)|
|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)|
|Ghana||1966||1957||1966 (white stripe changed back to original yellow)|
|Burundi||1967||1962||1982 (ratio changed from 2:3 to 3:5)|
|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)|
|Papua New Guinea||1971||1971||1971|
|Qatar||1971||1949||1971 (proportion modified)|
|Andorra||1971||1866||1971 (coat of arms modified)|
|Nicaragua||1971||1823 (as provincial flag within United States of Central America)||1908 (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||1975||1957||1975 (a yellow star added in the middle)|
|São Tomé and Príncipe||1975||1975||1975|
|Laos||1975||1945 (by the Lao Issara government)||1945|
|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)|
|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||September 21, 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||1986||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)|
|Estonia||1918||1918||2002 (colours standardized)|
|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)|
|Latvia||1921||1279||1923 (proportions formalized)|
|Bulgaria||1991||1879||1991 (removal of the state emblem)|
|Republic of the Congo||1991||1959||1959|
|Slovenia||1991||1848||1991 (red star was replaced with coat of arms)|
|Mongolia||1992||1940||2011 (colours standardized)|
|Turkmenistan||1992||1992||2001 (ratio and ornament design adjusted)|
|Brazil||1992||1889||1992 (addition of six stars)|
|Eritrea||1993||1993||1995 (ratio changed)|
|Belarus||1995||1951[note 1]||2012 (previous 1995 design with a thicker ornament pattern)|
|Oman||1995||1970||1995 (middle band to equal size)|
|Ethiopia||1996||1996||2009 (larger central disc)|
|Tuvalu||1997||1978||1997 (restoration of 1978 flag)|
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||1998||1998||1998|
|Bahrain||2002||1932||2002 (white points reduced to 5)|
|Afghanistan||2002||1928[note 1]||19 August 2013 (ratio changed)|
|Georgia||2004||1350[note 1] (approx. and disputed)||2004 (proportions defined)|
|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||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]||1951|
|South Sudan||9 July 2011||9 July 2005||9 July 2011 (proportions defined, independent state)|
|Malawi||28 May 2012||6 July 1964[note 1]||6 July 1964|
|Mauritania||15 August 2017||15 August 2017||15 August 2017 (addition of red bands)|
- The flag has not been in continuous use.
- "National Flag – The official Website of Denmark". Archived from the original on 3 February 2018. Retrieved 2 October 2016.
- Poels, Jos (2011). "The Orange Pennant: The Dutch Response to a Flag Dilemma" (PDF). The Washington Flag Congress.
- http://flagspot.net/flags/fr-index.html#his Historical flags of France FOTW
- "Colombia – Historical Flags (1910–1949)". www.crwflags.com. Retrieved 9 May 2017.
- "Sanmarino". www.rbvex.it. Retrieved 9 May 2017.
- "Honduras – Historical Flags". www.crwflags.com. Retrieved 9 May 2017.
- "Guatemala Flag and Description". www.worldatlas.com. Retrieved 9 May 2017.
- "The Dominican Republic Flag - Dominican Flag meaning - ThatsDominican.com". Retrieved 9 May 2017.
- "มาตรฐานแถบสีธงชาติไทย" [Flag of Thailand] (in Thai). National Science and Technology Development Agency. 16 October 2017. Retrieved 16 February 2018.
- Federal Government of Germany (17 December 2007). "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. Retrieved 10 August 2016.
- http://flagspot.net/flags/lu.html Flag of Luxembourg
- http://flagspot.net/flags/mz.html Flag of Mozambique
- http://www.crwflags.com/fotw/flags/ru.html Russian flag FOTW
- http://flagspot.net/flags/kz.html Flag of Kazakhstan
- http://flagspot.net/flags/er.html Flag of Eritrea
- Flag of Belarus
- http://flagspot.net/flags/tl.html Flag of East Timor
- D. Matic, Javno pravo Knjazevstva Srbije, Beograd, 1851, 33
- Српска државна застава у обновљеној Србији ("Политика", 1-4. мај 1937)
- Stadler, Paul (21 March 2011). "Zaire / Congo-Kinshasa". Encyclopedia of Christianity Online.
- http://www.crwflags.com/fotw/flags/ss.html Flag of South Sudan
- "Malawi Parliament approves to revert to original flag". Nyasa Times. 28 May 2012. Archived from the original on 27 December 2012. Retrieved 2 September 2015.
- "Malawi reverts to old flag". Sunday Times. 29 May 2012. 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.