There are currently 18 countries with red and white national flags: Austria, Indonesia, Latvia, Peru, Monaco, Malta, Poland, Singapore, Canada, Denmark, Bahrain, Georgia, Japan, Switzerland, Tonga, Tunisia, Turkey and Qatar.
Each of these countries has a unique story and history behind their red and white flag.
Austria - Red/White/Red flag
In Austria, the red and white colors were chosen as a symbol of Austria’s continuous fight for freedom and independence. The red stands for strength and bravery while the white stands for peace and honesty. The Austrian flag is considered one of the oldest national symbols still in use!
Latvia - Red/White/Red flag
Latvia’s red and white flag was first used in 1918 when Latvia declared its independence from Russia. The red color symbolizes courage and sacrifice, while the white represents purity and virtue.
Poland - White/Red flag
Poland’s red and white flag is one of the oldest in the world, dating back to the 13th century. The two colors are defined in the Polish constitution as national colors. On Poland’s flag, white represents purity, and red symbolizes love, echoing Catholic values and symbolism.
Singapore - Red/White flag with white crescent moon and five stars
Singapore’s red and white flag was adopted in 1959 when Singapore became a self-governing state within the British Empire. Red symbolizes “universal fellowship and equality”, and white alludes to “pervading and everlasting purity and virtue”. The white crescent moon symbolizes a “young islamic nation on the ascendant”. The five white stars stand for the nation’s ideals of “democracy, peace, progress, justice and equality”.
Monaco - Red/White flag
The red and white in Monaco’s flag represent the country’s coat of arms. The red comes from the House of Grimaldi, while the white represents the Genoese. The current design was adopted in 1881, although it is similar to a flag that was used as early as the 13th century. In addition to its red and white colors, the Monaco flag also features a gold crown in the center. This symbolizes the sovereignty of the ruling Grimaldi family. Together, the red, white, and gold of Monaco’s flag are a tribute to the country’s rich history and culture.
Indonesia - Red/White flag
The flag of Indonesia is red and white, similar to Monaco. The red symbolizes courage and sacrifice, while the white represents purity and virtue. When Indonesia gained independence from colonial rule in 1945, the red and white colors were chosen for the national flag as a symbol of unity between the Muslim majority and the Christian minority. Over time, the red and white flag has come to represent all Indonesians, regardless of religion or ethnicity.
Malta -White/Red flag with cross
The flag of Malta is red and white, with a red cross on a white background. The red cross is a symbol of the Maltese people’s commitment to Christianity, and the red and white colors are believed to represent the blood shed by Maltese knights during the Crusades. The flag is also said to represent the Maltese people’s hope for peace and reconciliation.
Peru - Red/White/Red flag
The flag of Peru is red and white, with two red stripes and a white stripe. The red stripes represent the blood shed by the heroes of Peru, while the white stripe represents peace. The red color also symbolizes the brave heart of the Peruvian people, while the white color symbolizes purity. The flag was designed by Jose de San Martin, who was a general in the Peruvian army. He also designed the flags of Chile and Argentina. The current flag was adopted in 1825, after Peru gained its independence from Spain (and modified in 1950).
Turkey - Red flag with white crescent moon and a star
Turkey’s red flag was adopted in 1936 and has remained unchanged since. The flag is often called “the red flag” or “the red banner”. The red color represents the blood shed by Turkish soldiers during battle, the white crescent moon, although is still in debate, represents islam and the white star represents the Turkish race.
Tunisia - Red flag with red crescent moon and a red star
Tunisia’s red and white flag was adopted in 1956 when Tunisia gained its independence from France. The white symbolizes peace, the white disk in the center symbolizes the radiance of the nation as the sun, while the red crescent and five-pointed star represent the unity of all Muslims and the Five Pillars of Islam, respectively.
Canada - Red/White/Red flag with a red maple leaf
Canada’s red and white flag was adopted in 1965 when Canada gained its independence from Great Britain. White color represents snow, while the red color is the color of the maple leaf seen all over the country.
Denmark - Red flag with a white cross
Denmark’s red and white flag was first used in the late 13th century and it’s considered one of the oldest flags in the world. The red color symbolizes courage and strength, while the white cross represents Christianity.
Georgia - White flag with 5 red crosses
Georgia’s red and white flag was adopted in 2004 when Georgia regained its independence from Russia. The red color symbolizes courage and sacrifice, while the white represents purity and virtue. The five crosses are Christian symbols that embody Jesus Christ the Savior and the four evangelists.
Switzerland - Red flag with a white cross
Switzerland’s red and white flag was first used in 1291 when Switzerland gained its independence from Austria. Many people confuse the Swiss flag symbol with the humanitarian organization’s logo, the Red Cross. The white cross on the red base represents the Christian cross, as well as the sign of the old Swiss Confederacy. The Swiss flag in the traditional sense represents freedom, honor, and loyalty.
Japan - White flag with a red circle
Japan’s red and white flag was first used in 1870 when the Meiji period began and Japan started to modernize. The red color symbolizes the rising sun, while the white represents purity and innocence.
Tonga - White/Red flag with a red cross
Tonga’s red and white flag was adopted in 1875 when Tonga became a British protectorate. The red cross of the flag of Tonga alludes to Christianity. The white of the flag of Tonga symbolizes purity. The red represents the crucifixion and the sacrifice of the blood of Christ.
Bahrain - White/Red flag
Bahrain’s red and white flag was adopted in 1932 when Bahrain became a British protectorate. The red color on the flag depicts the beliefs of the Bahrain people while the white symbolizes peace. The five white triangles symbolize the five pillars of Islam. It is similar to Qatar’s flag.
Qatar - White/Red flag
Finally, Qatar’s red and white flag was adopted in 1973 when Qatar became an independent state. The red color symbolizes Qatar’s commitment to Islam, while the white represents purity and virtue.