Six currently existing countries have flags that are yellow and red, including two that use additional colors in emblems on them. These countries are China, Vietnam, Kyrgyzstan, North Macedonia, Spain, and Montenegro.
In the rest of the article, we are going to learn about each of these flags as well as look at some historical countries with red and yellow flags and explore what significance from them may have carried onto modern flags with the same color scheme.
Which Existing Countries Have Yellow and Red Flags?
National flags that consist of only two colors are uncommon, and of those, red and yellow is not a very common combination. Nonetheless, there are four independent states with flags that consist exclusively of yellow and red and two more that only use other colors in smaller emblems on them. Let’s have a look at them.
The flag of the People’s Republic of China – not to be confused with the Republic of China based in Taipei – consists of a red field with five yellow stars in the top left corner. One of these stars is larger, and the four smaller stars form an arc to its right.
The dominant red color of the flag represents communism and the communist revolution that concluded in mainland China in the 1940s. The large star represents the Chinese Communist Party, and the smaller stars represent each of the four social classes in China, with their alignment around the large star representing the CCP’s role in leading the country as one unified entity.
The flag of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam consists of a red field with a giant yellow star in the middle.
Like with the Chinese flag, the red background represents revolution which was spearheaded by communist leaders, although in Vietnam’s case, the red color is stated to be more a reference to the bloodshed of the revolution than necessarily the ideology of communism. The five points of the star are said to represent the five social classes of people in Vietnam.
The flag of the Kyrgyz Republic consists of a red field with a yellow symbol in the middle. The outer ring of the symbol is a sun, while the interior is a representation of the middle of the roof of a yurt, a type of tent with a long and important history to the region.
Kyrgyzstan used to be one of the republics of the Soviet Union, during which time it had a different flag but with the same color scheme of only yellow and red. The current flag has been in use since 1992.
The flag of the Republic of North Macedonia consists of a red field and a yellow sun throughout it. The yellow sun is represented by a yellow circle in the middle and eight rays spreading out from it in 360 degrees.
This variant of the North Macedonian flag came into use in 1995 after a dispute with neighboring Greece. Immediately preceding this, North Macedonia used a flag that depicted a yellow Vergina Sun over a red field. The Vergina Sun was claimed by Greece to be a national symbol, and North Macedonia eventually agreed to change their flag to the current incarnation.
The flag of the Kingdom of Spain consists of a large horizontal yellow stripe with smaller red stripes above and below it and the coat of arms of Spain on the left side.
The coat of arms consists of many colors, and so if we include these, the flag of Spain does not consist exclusively of red and yellow, though they are the dominant colors, even within the coat of arms.
The flag of Montenegro consists of a red background surrounded by a yellow border with the coat of arms of Montenegro sitting in the middle.
As with the Spanish flag, the coat of arms of Montenegro contains additional colors – in this case, blue and green – making the flag not entirely red and yellow. Also like with the Spanish flag, red and yellow nonetheless make up the dominant colors of the flag and even of the coat of arms.
Which Former Countries Have Yellow and Red Flags?
Many countries in the past had yellow and red flags, but we can look at a few recent examples to see how they may or may not affect current ones.
Perhaps the most famous flag that consists of only yellow and red, and certainly the most famous such flag for anyone who lived through the Cold War, is the flag of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.
The Soviet flag consisted of a red field with a yellow hammer and sickle near the top left corner and a red star with a yellow border above it.
Because of the significance of the Soviet Union being the first enduring socialist state, its status as one of two global superpowers during the Cold War, and all of this still being living memory, not only has the Soviet flag influenced other countries’ flags, but it continues to be an enduring symbol itself.
In this context, we are using “South Vietnam” to refer to the Republic of Vietnam, the State of Vietnam, and the Provisional Central Government of Vietnam, all three of which used a yellow flag with three horizontal red stripes.
The significance of the color scheme of this flag as compared with the flag of the rival Socialist Republic of Vietnam is that not all post-Soviet revolution flags with this color scheme refer to communism or communist history, with both Vietnams using the same two colors.
Many Others in History
Although red is intimately associated with communism and yellow symbols became de facto standard with the Soviet flag, the combination of yellow and red on flags predates the Soviet Union by millennia and has been the color scheme of countless flags in history, with far too many to name, even though it has fallen out of fashion by now.
We have learned today what countries have yellow and red flags by looking at the six existing countries that do and a bit of history behind the color scheme.