Flags are symbolic and have deep roots in the history of the country it represents.
Ever wondered why certain countries have certain colors in their flags, why it has certain symbols and what are the different patterns.
Recently, here at InfoCaptor we started a small research on the subject of flags. We wanted to answer certain questions like what are the most frequently used colors across all country flags, what are the different patterns etc.
We started digging through http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_flags_by_color_combination
This was a good start but we wanted to go deeper so we manually started eye balling each flag to understand the patterns and symbols.
We needed to figure out what we can extract from the flags and there were three prominent elements.
1. A flag has one or more than one color (e.g red, blue etc)
2. Most often flags have geometric patterns (horizontal stripes, vertical stripes)
3. Lot of flags also have some kind of symbol (e.g. chakra, yin-yang, stars, sun)
Our task was then to go through each flag and note down all the distinct colors, prominent patterns and symbols.
Then we ran some analysis on the collected data.
1. What is the most frequently seen Pattern in the country flags?
As you can see, horizontal and vertical stripes are the most common patterns. In the flag dashboard link, you can see the live analysis and once you click on any pattern you can interactively see which country flags have them and also the actual flag icon.
2. What are different kind of symbols seen in the country flags?
As you see, majority of the flags don't have any symbols. The second top is some kind of emblem. In our data collection, any kind of seal or design pattern that did not fit into common geomtrical pattern we had to put it in the emblem category. The next popular symbols are the Star and combination of Star and Moon.
3. What colors appear more frequently than others in the country flags?
In this section, we had to club all shades of particular color into the primary color. For e.g lot of flags have light blue color and we had to put it into the blue color category.
4. While we were at it, why not find the first letter frequency of each country's name.
Who would have guessed that S and M are the top alphabets after which country names are identified?
5. Some flags have just one color, some have two, most of them have atleast 3 and in the extreme case some flags have over 6 or 7 colors
We had to put this chart on a separate dashboard Color count by each country flag