A Few Words About Flags

With the World Cup still in full swing, and with the Fourth of July being today, we here at BeWeave It thought it would be fun to learn a bit about the history of flags and how they became such a symbol of their respective nations. The first flags were used in battles to organize the troops and signal action more than 4,000 years ago. These were “vexilloids”, coming from the word for “guides”. They identified soldiers so they could tell friends from enemies. It was only 2,000 years ago when they actually started making flags out of cloth. Before that, vexilloids were just carved sticks. No matter the material, they served the purpose of showing a message. Before modern technology made it easy to create a flag, flag manufacturers had to sew pieces onto the flag or use embroidery. Now, most flags are simply printed and cut. Every color in a flag has a meaning, which is carefully used to help portray the intended message of the flag. National flags did not become popularly used until the 18th century. They were used mainly for combat and maritime exploits, leading to the development of semaphore that is still used today. Many of the current national flags show elements from other flags that have affected them, like previous colonists of an area or countries they would like to associate their country with. 

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