St. Frank called my attention to some fun flag sites in two of his recent posts. Inspired by Flag Day, he wrote about the drawing of flags by third-graders (and their like) around the world. The coolest flag, as seen through the eyes of a third grade boy: definitely Mozambique, on which we see an AK-47 vying with a hoe atop a chagrined and retiring book (or in heraldic terms, AK-47 rampant with hoe per saltire a gules). The hoe has a certain Stone-Age charm, but I think the AK-47 is winning.
I was having so much fun a-flagging, I went looking for some material on my own. I reckoned (as I have learned to do) that there must be a Google Earth resource that places the flags of all nations above their respective countries. As there must be, indeed there is. Here is an image of the result, but you can also look at the same thing flattened out for Google Maps. Here is the Caribbean basin. Displayed in their geographical context, some patterns jump out at you, like the similarities of the Nordic countries, or Honduras, El Salvador, and Nicaragua. Through this lens we see evidence of boundaries otherwise invisible, like the swaths of Pan-African and Pan-Arab color schemes, not to mention the offspring of the shockingly fertile Union Jack.