What do Jamaica, Mauritania and Libya have in common?
Okay, so here’s the story. Did you know that the Jamaican flag is the ONLY flag of the 196 or so world flags that DOES NOT have red, blue or white in it? In other words, every other flag of every other country shares the common trait of having a spot of red, a dash of blue or a smidgen of white somewhere in the design!
Well, that’s what I proudly boasted to a friend of mine recently. However, I admitted to him that I got that bit of Jamaican trivia straight from an internet email that was making the rounds, so I qualified my boast by promising to verify it on my own. And this I have done.
With a multitude of official world flag sites to choose from, I chose http://www.markfennell.com/flags/ to conduct my research. Turns out that internet email was 98.9% correct. (See for yourself!)
Jamaica’s flag is black, green and gold, and things seemed to be going quite well, until I got to Mauritania!
Mauritania’s is green and yellow. [According to wikipedia: The colors of green and gold are considered Pan-African colors. Green is also used to symbolize Islam, and the gold for the sands of the Sahara desert. The crescent and star are symbols of Islam, which is the major religion in the nation. Some writers have also speculated that green symbolizes a bright future, and growth.]
And then, there’s Libya! [According to wikipedia: The Libya Flag was officially adopted on November 11, 1977. It is the only flag in the whole world with just one single color. There are no designs, insignia or other details on the flag of Libya . The green color is the symbol for Islam which emphasizes the long devotion and respect of people to their religion. Green is also the national color of the country. The first national flag of modern Libya was adopted in 1951, when the country gained independence. The symbols and colors on the Libyan flag have constantly been changing until 1977 when the current one was adopted. The green color also stands for Gaddafi’s “Green Revolution.”
But there are two caveats!
As a result of the 2011 Libyan civil war, there are currently two entities claiming to be the government of Libya. They are the (1) Great Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya led by Muammar al-Gaddafi (all green flag above), and
(2) the Libyan Republic led by a National Transitional Council.
So, if you support the Libyan Republic claim of power, then their version of the Libyan flag does have red and white in it. Which would make Jamaica and Mauritania the only countries that do NOT share red, white or blue with every other country!
See also this post about the Meaning of Jamaica’s flag colours!