The blue central circle on the Brazilian flag has a star for each of its 27 subdivisions, arranged like the stars in the Rio de Janeiro night sky on a specific day, and a white band with the national motto "Ordem e Progresso". These redesigns use the five-star depiction of the Southern Cross from the national emblem.


The flags of Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela are all based on the yellow-blue-red flag of Gran Colombia. While Venezuela's flag differs in having equal stripes (and a semicircle of stars), Ecuador's is essentially equal to Colombia's, distinguished only by its coat of arms.

Both redesigns have a Spanish fess to set the flag apart from the other Gran Colombia states while keeping the color order. The first uses the sun and astrological symbols from the arms; the second incorporates the sky blue and white stripes from the first national flag (which is now used by Guayas and Guayaquil). The first is coincidentally similar to Leonardo Piccioni's proposal, which I hadn't seen until 2016.


Among the five countries that were part of the Federal Republic of Central America and based their current flags on its blue-white-blue horizontal tricolor, Guatemala is unique in that it changed the orientation of the stripes. The first of my proposed simplifications keeps the quetzal bird from the national emblem, which is currently entirely on the flag. The second adds a central stripe in the style of Costa Rica; the third uses the colors from the official flag of the indigenous peoples.


Haiti has had many variations on its current bicolor since independence in 1804. Its first flag, created in the Haitian Revolution, was made by removing the white stripe from the French flag, leaving a square blue-red bicolor. Since then, the flag alternated between black-red and blue-red and between vertical and horizontal stripes several times.

These proposals keep the Phrygian cap and/or palm tree from the coat of arms; the original redesign also rotates the stripes back to how they were on the revolutionary flag.


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Mexico has used a green-white-red tricolor with its coat of arms as national flag since its independence in 1821. Except for the coat of arms (and the color shades and aspect ratio) it is identical to the flag of Italy, which was only officially adopted in the 1940s but was already in use at the end of the eighteenth century.

The first displayed proposal uses a diagonal pattern based on several military flags, which includes the current naval jack and the flags of the 1820s independence forces. The diagonal stripes help distinguish the flag from the Italian flag, while staying away from a horizontal tricolor that would be similar to many more flags. Four eight-pointed stars represent Mexico's 32 subdivisions (31 states and Mexico City), and also reference the three eight-pointed stars on each of the aforementioned military flags.

My September proposal is more close to the original; it keeps the vertical tricolor but greatly simplifies the arms, leaving the eagle holding the snake in red and green silhouettes. I also tried a diagonal tricolor with the same emblem.

Nicaragua and El Salvador

Like those of Guatemala, Honduras and Costa Rica, the flags of Nicaragua and El Salvador derive from that of the Federal Republic of Central America: both countries use the latter's blue and white triband charged with the respective coats of arms (and have an uncharged version as civil flag). However, unlike the other three successor states, Nicaragua and El Salvador's coats of arms are also very similar to the Federal Republic's (triangular shield, five mountains, sea waves, Phrygian cap, rainbow), and have few or no differing symbols.

All of these proposals keep the motifs of blue-white-blue and equilateral triangles. Those for Nicaragua strip down its coat of arms into a plain light blue triangle (with #3 also including the country's national flower), while El Salvador's use a highly stylized version of the coat of arms: a red Phrygian cap on top of five gold mountains.

United States

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However iconic the Stars and Stripes is, I don't think I'm alone in thinking fifty stars is too many. I reduced the number of stars to thirteen (representing the Thirteen Colonies, obviously) and the number of stripes to five, alluding to the coat of arms of first president and joint founding father Washington, and also referring to the current fifty states. A second version uses the current thirteen stripes, while a third arranges the stars as a hexagram, like on the great seal.

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