We are so used to seeing our flags everywhere, that we hardly notice them. But do you know the real meaning behind your national flag design?

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No? Don’t worry! This super creative ad campaign by Grande Reportagem will explain you 7 flags, and then you’ll definitely get the rest of the world’s flags.

“The idea came from an e-mail we received showing the huge differences that exist in Brazil in terms of the distribution of wealth and opportunities,” says agency creative director Luís Silva Dias. “While trying to express that idea in a journalistic way – as if it had been done by Grande Reportagem – we experimented with graphics. The most striking visual representation we came up with was the flag.

All the data was checked with the United Nations and Amnesty International, as well as other national institutions.

“The client was one hundred percent behind the campaign from the very start,” says Luís. “And when it launched, the general public was very responsive. Many people told me that it made them stop and think. I personally find that extremely rewarding, because it becomes more than ‘just advertising’.”

The Grande Reportagem campaign won the 2005 Epica d’Or for print advertising in a final vote against Swedish campaign for the Stockholm Stadsmission. It marked the first time that one of Epica’s top awards has gone to a Portuguese agency.

1.USA Flag

2. European Union Flag

3.China Flag

4. Brazil Flag

5. Somalia Flag

6. Colombia Flag

7. Burkina Flag

Agency: Foote Cone & Belding, Lisbon | Creative Directors: Luís Silva Dias, Duarte Pinheiro de Melo | Copywriter: Ãcaro DÃria | Art Director: Joãn Roque | Account Director: Andrea Valenti | Client: Grande Reportagem Magazine, “Flags” Campaign | Published: 2005

Indonesia Flag (user contribution)

When my lecturer once showed this, she said, “Too bad there are no Indonesia flag” Actually the real statistic was there are about 60% who DO NOT have birth certificate, happy independence day my country.  (source: http://flickersowner.deviantart.com)

Vietnam Flag (user contribution)

(Bamboos for Jim, *War with France and America)

Canada (user contribution)

(Bamboos for Adam Fischer)