Stars are among the most common symbols on flags. In fact, stars are featured on the flags of 59 independent states, and are also used by governmental and non-governmental organizations. A flag may consist of one or more stars alongside other symbols, and these stars can take various shapes, from four-pointed to 24-pointed, and hexagram. The meaning or symbolism of a star on a flag is not universal, as each country may have a specific reason for including the shape.
Examples of National Flags with Stars
The flag of the United States has the most stars of any national flag in the world. It consists of 13 horizontal white and red stripes, with a blue canton bearing fifty five-pointed white stars in nine rows. Each star represents a US state, while the stripes represent the original 13 colonies. The flag of the United States has been modified 26 times, most recently in 1959, after Hawaii was incorporated into the Union as a state.
The flag of Israel is the only flag with a hexagram-shaped star, popularly known as the Star of David. The star is a modern symbol of the Jewish identity, but was not originally a symbol of Judaism. It became a symbol of the Zionist community in 1897 since it was widely recognized by the Jewish community and lacked a religious connotation. Before the 19th century, the star was in limited use by the Jewish population in the Czech Republic, Austria, and parts of Germany, but in the 19th century it became a symbol of Jewish populations throughout Eastern Europe. It was incorporated on the flag of Israel after the nation's independence, where it is placed on a white background between two horizontal blue stripes.
The flag of Nepal is the only non-quadrilateral flag in the world, but instead takes the shape of a double-pennon. It encompasses two distinct stars on a red background aligned vertically. The upper star, which depicts the sun and a crescent-shaped moon, has ten points, while the lower is sun-shaped and has 12 points. The crescent moon represents the purity and calmness of the Nepalese people, while the sun symbolizes their resolve.
The flag of the Marshall Islands features a 24-point star, which is the highest number of points of any star on a national flag. The flag was designed by Emlain Kubua, former First Lady of the Marshall Islands, and adopted for official use on May 1, 1979. The star symbolizes the Northern Hemisphere archipelago. The 24 points represent the electoral districts of the Marshall Islands, while the four elongated points symbolize the cultural centers of Ebeye, Wotje, Jaluit, and Majuro.
The flag of Australia features six stars, five of which are seven-sided, plus a single five-sided star. The large seven-pointed star below the Union Jack Is a Federation Star that represents the six states and territories of Australia. The four smaller seven-pointed stars and the five-pointed star represent the Southern Cross constellation that is only visible from the Southern Hemisphere, therefore representing Australia's geographical location.
Aruba is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the only country with a four-sided star on its flag. The red star, which has a white outline, sits on a blue background and has several meanings. The four points represent the origin of the people of Aruba, while the red colors symbolizes the red soil of the country, surrounded by a blue sea. The white edges of the star represent honesty, purity, and white beaches.
The Country with the Most Stars on Its Flag
The United States features 50 stars on its flag, which is more than any other country in the world. The flag of Brazil has the second highest number of stars, with 27, while Uzbekistan's flag has 12 stars. The five-pointed star is most common star featured on national flags.