Western Europe is made up of a variety of different countries, many with
interlocking history over hundreds of years. The flags that these
countries choose to represent themselves therefore have a lot of
meaning, and even something as simple as the colors displayed can have
great meaning. For example;
Ireland: The Irish tricolour is made up of three colors: green at the
hoist, white in the center and orange as the final bar. While the
country's constitution doesn't give an explanation of the flag, the
meaning is generally interpreted as green being the Gaelic tradition,
the orange being the followers of William of Orange, and the white in
the center standing for peace.
France: The French tricolour is made up of blue at the hoist side, a
center panel of white, and red as the final bar. This flag has been in
use since the 1700s, and it is represented by the blue and red that were
the traditional uniform colors of the national guard, with white added
as one of the other traditional colors of France.
Norway: Norway's flag is a blue Scandinavian cross outlined in white on a
red background. Easily identifiable, the cross is meant to identify
Norway's link to the rest of Scandinavia, with the pattern and colors
influenced historically by France, England and the United States.
Germany: Germany has had many flags over the years, and the current flag
is the post WWII flag. It is a horizontal tricolour with black, red and
gold bands beginning from top to bottom. While there is no set history
of this flag, the colors have been used in many flags throughout
Greece: The Greek flag looks similar to the United States flag, with
nine bars of alternating blue and white (the top and bottom bars are
always blue), and in the upper left hand corner there is a box with a
white cross on a blue background. It's said that the nine bars represent
the syllables for the Greek battle cry, which translated to "Freedom or
Death" when they were fighting the Ottoman Empire for independence.
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