- Elon Musk inadvertently turned up one of life’s great mysteries by turning to Twitter to question why Chad and Romania have almost identical flags.
- The two countries — situated in Central Africa and Eastern Europe — both use a three-stripe flag in blue, yellow and red, in slightly different shades.
- Romania’s flag predates Chad’s by almost 100 years and the two share no real history.
- According to Britannica, Chad initially had a green stripe but chose to substitute it with blue because it closely resembled Mali’s flag.
- Mali’s flag still resembles Senegal’s, and both flags aren’t too far off from Guinea’s.
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Chad and Romania are two countries that rarely come up in the same sentence. That is, unless you’re discussing their flags.
The two countries, situated in separate continents, share very few historical or geographical links. They don’t even have an embassy in each other’s country.
Aside from slight variations in color shading, their flags appear identical — an observation that Tesla CEO Elon Musk appears to have discovered and shared with Twitter.
Why aren’t more people talking about this!? pic.twitter.com/iUFIBcDQrp
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 9, 2019
According to online encyclopedia Britannica, Romania initially displayed a flag with horizontal stripes of blue, yellow, and red, before settling on its current vertical design in 1861.
Chad, meanwhile, didn’t achieve independence from France until 1959, when it decided on its own flag design.
The country initially considered a green, yellow, and red design, but quickly discovered Mali had already taken the same pattern. It then swapped the green for the blue to inadvertently fly a flag that was almost identical to Romania’s. The three colors; however, represent the country’s rivers (blue), desert (yellow) and the blood of its independence martyrs (red).
Chad’s flag is not the only one to resemble other flags. Here are some other examples of similar-looking flags.
The flag of Mali, the country Chad tried to avoid copying, is similar to Senegal’s — a single green star in the middle appears to separate the two flags. Guinea’s also replicates Mali’s design, but is reversed.
Indonesia and Monaco both fly two horizontal stripes: red over white. Poland similarly flies white over red.
Ireland and Cote d’ivoire share the same design, but is flipped on the flagpole.
#ColombiaVsIvoryCoast Ireland and Cote d’Ivoire are not the only countries with similar flags – here are some more: pic.twitter.com/83xly7bkFy
— Irish Foreign Ministry (@dfatirl) June 19, 2014
All of these similarities may have stemmed from coincidence, but other flags have a specific reason for slight variations to a theme.
Ecuador, Venezuela, and Colombia all sport the same colored horizontal stripes, but that’s because they used to be part of the same country of Gran Colombia, which dissolved in 1822, according to Britannica.
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