Two Countries Showed Up To 1936 Olympics With The Exact Same Flag

The current flags of Haiti and Liechtenstein.
The current flags of Haiti and Liechtenstein.

A national flag represents a country’s beliefs, history, aspirations, and status, among other factors. All 195 countries in the world have designed flags with specific meanings for their symbols and colors. Most of these flags have changed over time, especially after the occurrence of important historical events in the country. Although no two national flags are the same, some flags closely resemble each other, including Chad and Romania, Ireland and Ivory Coast, and Luxembourg and Netherlands. However, in history, two countries have once shared the same national flag without knowing.

The Discovery That Two Countries Used The Same Flag

It was at the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin, Germany that Liechtenstein and Haiti realized they used the same flag.

For a very long time, Haiti and Liechtenstein used the same flag design without knowing. Both countries had a bicolored flag that featured two equal-sized horizontal bands of blue and red colors at the top and bottom, respectively. It was during the 1936 Summer Olympics that Liechtenstein and Haiti discovered that they shared the same flag. With this discovery, the two countries decided to modify their flags by adding some symbols but retaining the original flag colors. Today, the two flags remain similar in color, with the only difference being the symbols and their position on the flags.

The Current Haitian Flag

The current flag of Haiti. 

The bicolored flag comprises two equal-sized blue and red horizontal bands at the top and bottom. At the center of the flag is a white square containing the coat of arms of Haiti that was added to the flag following the 1936 Olympics. The coat of arms comprises a collection of weapons on a green hill-like feature and a royal palm. The weapons symbolize the country’s readiness to defend its freedom while the royal palm symbolizes its independence. On top of the royal palm is the Phrygian cap. The green hill has a ribbon containing the motto L’Union Fait La Force. The flag’s proportion is 3 to 5, the same as that of Liechtenstein.

The Flag of Liechtenstein

The current flag of Liechtenstein.

The flag of Liechtenstein is a bicolor flag comprising, just like Haiti's, two equal horizontal bands of red and blue at the bottom and top. The flag has a gold crown at the canton. The gold crown was added to the flag in 1937, just a year after the Olympics. The colors and symbols on the national flag of Liechtenstein carry political, regional, and cultural meanings. The blue color symbolizes the sky during the day while the red color stands for the “evening fires” lit inside most homes throughout the country. The crown symbolizes the unity of the people and their prince. Its color has always been disputed, with the World Factbook describing it as gold in color but other sources claiming it is yellow. Sometimes the flag is flown vertically. In this case, the crown is rotated so that it is always facing upwards. The flag’s proportion is 3 to 5, the same as that of Haiti.


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