Let’s make some ugly flags in EU4

Recently, I read articles and watched a video about flag design. Then, I realized strategy games like the Total War series, EU4, Victoria 2…. do have a lot of flags in their games. Some of the flags are historical because they were like that, some reflected their culture (honestly, I didn’t know the Incan used rainbow flag before the LGBT Association). In EU4, players are able to customize their own flags for custom nation.  According to Hambly Woolley, a Canadian designing studio, they have 5 rules of flag design are:

  1. Keep it Simple: A flag, they say, should be so simple that a child can draw it from memory. Kids will have fun drawing Japan’s flag, but not so much fun with Turkmenistan’s elaborate carpet-like patterns.
  2. Use Meaningful Symbolism: A Star of David in Israel’s flag carries great meaning; however, the symbol of the rifle found on Mozambique’s flag may not be the most positive icon to represent a country.
  3. Use Two to Three Basic Colors: Most flags get this right. Clearly South Africa didn’t get this memo — it has six colors on its flag.
  4. No Lettering or Seals: Mexico has incorporated an extremely complicated seal into its flag — an eagle holding a serpent, perched atop a prickly pear cactus, atop a rock that hovers over a lake. Try drawing that, kids.
  5. Be Distinctive or Be Related: I understand why the Scandinavian flags are part of a family, but Australia and New Zealand’s flags are virtually identical.

Only some historical and cultural flags in EU4 violated some of these rules. For examples, the Chinese states and Japanese Daimyo used their their names and seals, but that’s how they represented their identity in battles and worked. They violated rule 4 but saved by rule 2,4 and 5. Also, the Persian and Venetian lion were pretty hard to draw but again saved by all other rules. They only have 2-3 colors, no words and the only lion flag around their countries.

And I will make some bad examples and try to violate all these rules. They will have no meaningful symbolism, not simple color or too simple coloring, there will be seals, and distinctive, by their ugliness.

Just Pure Ugly


  1. Frogs on undistinctive three colors. Are there any flags that features frogs anyway?


2. Red deer on red background, you need to look carefully to see it


3.It is a white beast in a white background, morale increases instantly after your troops see this flag



4. A white leopard’s arse



  1. It just doesn’t look harmonious, right?




6. White lotus are beautiful, and so does light color background


  1. Ming on yellow and purple, aren’t they just unfit together, plus the character Ming just makes it worse?


Culturally diverse unmatched


1 Roman SPQR + Medieval chess board background, both are the one of the best design from their era but when together? WTF is this?


2. Typical western royal emblem on a Non-European background



  1. This Teutonic black and white cross background with Asian dragon



4. Another eastern symbol with the Teutonic Cross, with inharmonious coloring too


  1. Alright, I am done with this Teutonic cross


In conclusion, EU4 provides great icons and background colors when customizing flag and you will need to try hard to make ugly flags like me.


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