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Statistics on flag colors

Last modified: 2012-06-08 by rob raeside
Keywords: flag color | statistics: flag color |
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I have always asked myself what is the most frequent combination of colours; what is the most used colour on flags, and I decided to research frequency and quantity of colours on flags of independent countries.

The results are sorted in different categories:

  1. Frequency of particular colour on researched flags
  2. Area of particular colour on researched flags
  3. Number of one, two three...-coloured flags
  4. Frequency of particular colour combinations on researched flags

Firstly, I had to differentiate colours. I have divided them in 10 groups:

  • W -white
  • N - black
  • R - red
  • B - blue
  • V - green
  • Y - yellow/gold (I have merged those colours, because sometimes is hard to determine yellow from gold on certain flags)
  • O - orange
  • M - brown (maroon)
  • G - gray
  • P - purple

There are 192 flags of independent countries in the world. The most frequent are the three-coloured flags.

no of colours no of flags %
1 1 0.52
2 43 22.40
3 76 39.58
4 45 23.44
5 14 7.29
6 7 3.65
7 4 2.08
8 2 1.04

And the most frequent combination of colours is White/Red/Blue...

Combinations Number References
W/R/B 30
W/R 16
R/V/Y 10 (Pan-African colours)
W/R/V 10
W/N/R/V 8 (Pan-Arab colours)
W/R/B/Y 6
B/Y 5
R/B/Y 5
W/N/R/B/V/Y 5
W/G 4 Comoros, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia
R/Y 4 China, Kyrgyz R., Macedonia, Vietnam
N/R/V/Y 4 Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Rwanda, Vanuatu
W/R/B/V 4 Azerbaijan, Djibouti, Gambia, Uzbekistan
W/N/R/V/Y 4 St. Kitts and Nevis, Mozambique, Guyana, Zimbabwe
N/R/Y 3
W/V/O 3 Ireland, Niger, Cote d'Ivoire, India
(Orange appears only with green)
W/N/R/Y 3
R/B/V/Y 3
W/R/V/Y 3
W/R/B/V/Y 3
W/N/R/B/Y 3
R/G 2
B/V/Y 2
N/B/Y 2
W/B/Y 2
W/N/B 2
W/N/R 2
W/N/B/Y 2
W/B/V/Y 2
W/N/R/B/V/Y/G/M 2
B/R 1 Haiti
N/R 1 Albania
V/Y 1 Mauritania
V 1 Libya (pre-2011)
N/R/V 1
N/V/Y 1
R/B/O 1
W/B/V 1
W/V/Y 1
W/N/R/B 1
W/N/R/O 1
W/N/R/G 1
W/N/V/Y 1
W/N/Y/M 1
N/R/B/Y 1
N/B/V/Y 1
R/V/Y/O 1
W/B/V/M 1
W/B/V/O 1
N/R/B/Y/M 1
N/R/V/O/M 1
W/N/R/Y/G 1
N/R/B/V/Y 1
W/R/B/V/Y/P 1
W/N/R/B/Y/G 1
W/N/R/B/V/O/M 1
W/N/R/B/V/Y/M 1
W/N/B/V/Y/G/M 1
W/N/B/V/V/Y/P 1

The number of flags containing particular colours are:

Colour No. %
Red 148 77.08
White 140 72.92
Blue 102 53.13
Yellow/Gold 89 46.30
Green 87 45.31
Black 59 30.73
Orange 9 4.69
Brown 9 4.69
Gray 6 3.13
Purple 2 1.04

Sorted by area of colour:

Colour Percent
Red 30.30
Blue 21.15
White 19.12
Green 15.33
Yellow/Gold 8.60
Black 5.13
Orange 1.24
Brown 0.11
Gray 0.03
Purple 0.001

Definitely, red is the most popular colour. The second colour, as you can see is not the same by area and by frequency (blue & white) ....... And the champions of whiteness are (results in % of flag area):

  1. Cyprus - 92.23
  2. Japan - 84.50
  3. South Korea - 78.85
  4. Israel - 65.44

Black:

  1. Papua New Guinea - 49.60
  2. Angola - 47.83
  3. St. Kitts-Nevis - 36.28
  4. Jamaica - 36.21

Red:

  1. China - 97.63
  2. Morocco - 97.62
  3. Turkey - 93.92
  4. Vietnam - 91.52

Blue:

  1. Micronesia - 98.53
  2. Somalia - 96.32
  3. Congo DR - 93.53
  4. Nauru - 92.03

Green:

  1. Libya - 100.0 (absolute champion)
  2. Mauritania - 90.05
  3. Comoros - 88.27
  4. Turkmenistan - 82.37

Yellow/Gold:

  1. Brunei - 54.57
  2. Spain - 52.85
  3. Vatican - 52.35
  4. Ecuador, Ukraine & Colombia - 50.00

Orange:

  1. Bhutan - 43.50
  2. Niger - 37.86
  3. India, Ireland & Armenia - 33.33
  4. Sri Lanka - 13.52

Gray:

  1. Malta - 2.06
  2. Equatorial Guinea - 1.41
  3. Mexico - 0.98
  4. Swaziland - 0.62

Brown:

  1. Andorra - 6.05
  2. Lesotho - 5.71
  3. Mexico - 2.23
  4. Zambia - 2.23

Purple:

  1. Spain - 0.10
  2. Nicaragua - 0.04
    (only two flags contain purple)

By % of flag area regardless of colour:

  1. Libya - 100.00
  2. Micronesia - 98.53
  3. China - 97.63
  4. Morocco - 97.62

There are 30 plain tribands (with equal stripes/bands) out of the countries of the world.

6 of them are "2-coloured tribands":

24 are "3-coloured tribands":

% of colour area of all tribands:

  1. R - 25.81
  2. W - 21.50
  3. B - 19.36
  4. V - 15.05
  5. Y - 10.75
  6. N - 4.30
  7. O - 3.23

Existing combinations:

  • W/R/B - 5 times
  • R/V/Y - 5 times
  • W/R/V - 3
  • B/W/B - 3
  • R/W/R - 2
  • N/R/Y - 2
  • R/B/Y - 2
  • W/V/O - 2
  • W/N/B - 1
  • W/N/R - 1
  • R/B/O - 1
  • V/W/V - 1
  • B/V/Y - 1
  • W/B/V - 1
Ivan Sarajcic, 28 May 2000 and 29 May 2000
 
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