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Don't Mix Up These World Flags

Earlier this month, Spotify launched its initial public offering (IPO), aa the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), and things didn't go so great for the Sweden-based company. The NYSE hung the Swiss flag instead of the Swedish one. Let's take a closer look at some other world flags that might confuse you.

Sep 6, 2023
  • Student Tips
Don't Mix Up These World Flags

In 2018, Spotify launched its initial public offering (IPO), at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), and things didn't go so great for the Sweden-based company.

The NYSE hung the Swiss flag instead of the Swedish one.

After they swapped the flag and tweeted an apology, now deleted, "Our flag guy was rocking his Spotify playlist a little hard this morning and grabbed the wrong flag."

Not only do the flags look completely different, the countries aren't even close to each other.

Spotify's first day on the NYSE? "Remarkably normal."

Let's take a closer look at some other examples to avoid confusing flags.

Chad and Romania

Chad and Romania

Three vertical stripes--indigo blue, yellow, red--from left to right make up Chad's flag. In spite of their political rebellions and overthrowing of governments, the flag stands for Chad's independence. The blue stands for sky, water, and hope. The yellow represents the sun and the desert, and the red represents the sacrifice and bloodshed of those who fought.

The problem? It's almost the same as Romania's flag except that Romania's blue stripe is slightly more cobalt blue than Chad's. That's the only difference.

Study in Romania.

Indonesia and Monaco

Indonesia and Monaco

Two horizontal stripes--red over white. What's the difference? Indonesia's is longer. Monaco based its flag on the heraldic shield of the Monegasque princely arms. Indonesia based its flag on the Majapahit empire. Both are centuries old. Don't confuse these similar flags with Poland either, which has a white stripe over a red one.

Study in Indonesia and Monaco.

New Zealand and Australia

New Zealand and Australia

It's the British Blue Ensign in the upper left corners of both flags that confuse people. Both feature the Southern Cross constellation, too, but Australia has five white seven-pointed stars and New Zealand has four red-and-white five-pointed stars. Australia also has a sixth, larger commonwealth star. There are literally only shades of difference between the blues and reds, too. Despite significant differences between the two, many people find it difficult to distinguish which is which.

Study in New Zealand and Australia.

Luxembourg and Netherlands

Luxembourg and the Netherlands

Red, white, and blue horizontal stripes of the same size and in the same pattern mark the flags of Luxembourg and the Netherlands.

The Dutch flag dates back to the mid-17th century, with the substitution of red for the orange stripe. The French later used the Dutch flag as inspiration after the French Revolution in 1789.

Although close in distance, Luxembourg's flag has nothing to do with the Dutch--or the French.

The difference? Luxembourg's is slightly longer, with a different shade of blue.

Study in Luxembourg and the Netherlands.

Ivory Coast and Ireland

Ivory Coast and Ireland

Again, three block colors throw people into a tizzy. The Ivory Coast takes its influence from the French flag, only with orange, white and green--the orange for land, the white for peace, and the green for hope. The country earned independence in 1959 and is similar to the India and Niger flags, too.

Which are all similar to Ireland's... Ireland's flag is nearly identical, with three vertical stripes of green, white, and orange.

The Ivory Coast's colors are in reverse order.

Study in Ireland.

Slovakia and Slovenia

Slovakia and Slovenia

The commonalities outweigh the differences here, even down to some nitty-gritty details. They both start with "Sl" and end in "ia." They both achieved independence in the 1990s.

In 2013, Mental Floss reported, "They've been confused by world leaders, Olympic officials, and the UN. And according to this Slovak tourism site, the "staff of Slovak and Slovenian embassies meet once a month to exchange wrongly-addressed mail!""

White, blue, and red horizontal stripes in the same order dominate, with the sole difference the crests. Slovakia's has a double cross on a red background. Slovenia has a triple-peaked mountain with three yellow stars and a river.

Study in Slovakia and Slovenia.