Some international flags are simple in design while others are more complex, but they all have one thing in common – the combination of colors has significance to the people of the nation which the flag represents.
Black, red, and yellow are some of the most common colors used in international flags. The following countries’ flags use combinations of black, red, and yellow, either plainly – such as Germany’s simple horizontal stripes – or with a seal, such as Uganda’s flag.
- Papua New Guinea
Read on to learn a little bit about each of these countries and the stories behind their unique flags.
Countries with Black, Yellow and Red Flags
The flags listed below include those countries with flags solely using black, red, and yellow. Some have a seal which may include miniscule amounts of other colors, while others may include small amounts of white.
Flags of countries that utilize any other color in their flag – such as green, blue, or orange – have been excluded from this list, regardless of whether they also use black, red, and yellow.
We have included flags with gold, as it is a shade of yellow, as long as the same flag also contains red and black – as in the case with Germany’s flag.
Starting out our list is this large coastal nation in southwestern Africa. Bordered by Namibia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Zambia, and the Atlantic Ocean, Angola is the seventh-largest nation in Africa.
The current flag was adopted on November 11, 1975, when Angola achieved independence and depicts two horizontal halves. The top half of Angola’s national flag is red while the bottom half is black. A yellow emblem sits in the center – a half gear with a machete and a star.
The gear and machete were meant to mimic the Soviet hammer and sickle, as Angola achieved independence as a Marxist-Leninist communist state. The red half of the flag represents the blood shed by the Angolese people in their fight for independence and the black half represents Africa.
Belgium is a constitutional monarchy located in northwestern Europe, bordered by Germany, Luxembourg, France, and the North Sea. Its tricolored flag consists of three vertical bands of equal width: black at the left, yellow in the center, and red at the right. The current flag has been used since 1831.
This small nation in Southeast Asia is located on the northern coast of the island of Borneo. With a population of approximately 460,000, Brunei is an autocratic absolute monarchy ruled by Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah since 1967. This small nation gained independence from Britain in 1984.
Brunei’s flag consists of a yellow field cut diagonally by black and white stripes that run from the top left to the bottom left corner. Brunei’s national crest is depicted in red in the center of the flag.
The yellow field represents Brunei’s monarchy, as yellow typically represents royalty in Southeast Asia. The black and white stripes represent Brunei’s chief ministers, and the red crest incorporates various symbols of Islam, monarchy, and government.
Few European nations are as well-known as Germany. Situated in Central Europe, Germany is Europe’s second most-populous country, outranked only by Russia.
While Germany’s flag is considered red, black, and gold (rather than traditional yellow), we’ve included it in our list because gold is a variant of yellow.
Germany’s current flag had originally been introduced in 1848 but wasn’t officially adopted until 1919. In 1933, the Nazis swapped out the flag for the black, white, and red tricolor with the swastika. It wasn’t until 1949, after WWII, when the horizontal black, red, and gold flag was re-established.
During the Cold War, West Germany had the current flag. East Germany had the same flag as the background, the only difference being the coat of arms in the foreground composed of a hammer and a compass surrounded by a wreath of wheat.
5. Papua New Guinea
This Oceanic nation composes the eastern half of the island of New Guinea and the offshore Melanesian islands. It is the most linguistically diverse country in the world, with 839 known languages spoken in the nation. It is considered part of the Commonwealth of Nations as of 1975.
Papua New Guinea’s distinctive flag is divided into two fields diagonally from the upper left corner to the lower right of the flag, the top half being red and the bottom being black.
In the black hoist, the constellation of the Southern Cross is composed of five white five-pointed stars – symbolizing that the nation is in the Southern hemisphere. A yellow silhouette of the Raggiana bird-of-paradise (Papua New Guinea’s national bird) is seen against the red fly.
Also known as East Timor, Timor-Leste is a small nation in Southeast Asia. A Portuguese colony since the 1500s, Timor-Leste was known as Portuguese Timor until the nation achieved independence from Portugal in 1975. The country wouldn’t become completely free until 2002, after invading Indonesian forces were finally driven from Timor-Leste with help from the United Nations.
The national flag consists of a field of red with a black triangle based on the left hoist side, set inside a larger yellow triangle. A white, five-pointed star sits in the center of the black triangle.
According to the Constitution of Timor-Leste, the yellow triangle represents the country’s history of European colonialism. The black represents the need to overcome obscurantism, and the large field of red symbolizes the country’s struggle for freedom. The star signifies peace and guiding light.
A landlocked country in east Africa, Uganda borders the large Lake Victoria. Its current flag was adopted in 1962, when Uganda achieved independence from British rule.
The flag depicts six horizontal stripes of equal width, beginning with black at the top, then yellow, red, black, yellow, and red at the bottom. In the center of the flag sits a white circle, inside of which is a gray crowned crane – Uganda’s national symbol – facing the hoist side of the flag.