Contents of the FLAGS.DOC file
FLAGS of the WORLD
Herbert F. Van Brink
213-486-2865 days (8:00-4:00 Pacific)
There is an answering machine
at all other times.
Copyright Notice: This program has been placed in the public domain. No fees
shall be charged for its distribution beyond minimal handling charges. It is
unlawful to distribute modified versions of this program, to "disassemble" it,
or to reverse engineer it without the express written permission of the author.
The program may be incorporated into and made part of a larger system,
providing that the above constraints are adhered to.
330K of AVAILABLE memory. The program will run with as little
as 315K, but the listing functions available through F7 may not
Color Graphics Adaptor & Display or 128/256K Enhanced Graphics Adaptor
or equivalent. Some flags will be shown only with EGA.
Has not been tested with 64K EGA cards, Hercules, etc.
Certain adaptors have peculiarities:
QUADram and VEGA EGA cards, if used with a CGA monitor or an EGA
monitor but the switches are set to CGA initial mode, must have
CGA emulation enabled (QEGA CGA:on or VEGA CGA:on). Other cards
may be similar.
Paradise AutoSwitch cards are supposed automatically to enable CGA
If you get magenta instead of a pure red, you don't have
complete CGA emulation in effect.
Over 275 different national, state, and organization flags, in FULL
COLOR, are included in this educational program. The 275 flags appear
on 199 screens; Multiple flags are shown for various nations'
state flags, U.S. historical flags, and some groups of federated
countries. Over fifty national anthems are included and can be heard
as either the opening theme or completely by selecting with the F5 key.
There are three different modes of operation; each may be selected at any time via the
(1) Automatic (Flags are shown in alphabetical order with no
(2) Flags by request (Select highlighted country
or press F4 and enter name)
(3) Random Quiz Name not shown until requested
All of the flags are displayed, from the current position, in
alphabetical order. Pressing any key will terminate the automatic
operation and provide further options. (Initiated by the F3 key)
The user is asked to select, by name or by selecting the name on the
screen, the next flag to be displayed. Each flag remains on the screen
until another is requested. Some alternate spellings and country names
in their own language are acceptable. (F4 initiates typing in a
name; F1 presents a list that can be pointed to with the arrow keys)
The program randomly selects a flag to be displayed, and asks for its
identification. (F2 initiates; F2 must be pressed each time)
USE: Most current key options are always displayed.
(F8 "Stop the Music" and F9 "Boss Key" are not)
After a selection is made from the listing screen, no options are
displayed initially; any key will display them. Function keys will
perform their function when appropriate. [Note to users of earlier
versions: The annoying "double key stroke" has been eliminated.]
A + or - at any time will display the next (+) or previous (-) flag.
FUNCTION KEY OPTIONS:
F1: Show the complete list of flags
The home, end, and arrow keys move the cursor
The PgUp and PgDn keys move to other pages
The Enter Key selects the highlighted flag
F1: Display a Help Screen
When the complete listing is on the screen, pressing F1
will present a very shortened version of this document.
F2: A randomly selected flag is shown, the viewer is
asked to identify the flag, and then the correct
identification is shown, along with these options.
F3: Initiates an automatic mode in which each flag is
shown on the screen for five seconds. Pressing the
"+" key will advance to the next flag immediately,
while pressing the "-" key will back up to the previous
flag. The letter "H" will keep the flag on the screen
for an additional five seconds. (The length of time may
be altered with the F6 key.)
Pressing any other key will terminate the Automatic
mode and show these options.
F4: Allows the name of a country to be entered. If the
program recognizes the name as entered, that flag
is shown. Some names in the language of the country
and alternate spellings are accepted. Incorrect spellings
are not accepted.
F5: Music selector: Cycles through three different settings.
Off: No music
Short: Introduction or Principal Theme
Long: Complete National Anthems
When in the "Long" mode, some of the anthems
will play for over two minutes. Pressing F8
will stop the music within the next 32 notes.
F6: Selects the length of time (in seconds) that a flag
remains on the screen when in automatic mode or after
being selected from the list.
(minimum is one second, maximum is 99 seconds)
F7: Special Functions
A menu of special functions is presented:
One (CGA) or Nine (EGA) screens are presented which
show all of the colors which it is possible to
display. The descriptions of the colors should be
reasonable enough to indicate whether the adaptor/
display has any major malfunction.
Print Flag List
Prints the list of flags to the printer assigned to PRN
National Anthems list
Displays a list of the national anthems included.
REQUIRES THAT AN UNMODIFIED COPY OF FLANTHEM.DOC
be in the current directory.
F8: Stops the music within the next thirty-two notes.
(This does not appear on the function key menu.)
F9: [Not Shown on Menus] A "Boss Key" that displays a
typical spreadsheet screen (with accurate time
and date!). Any key returns to the flags program.
F10: Exits the program
Except where noted, the flags are believed to be current as of the
issue date of this program. The designs are taken from a variety of
the United Nations
the World Almanac
Works of Dr. Whitney Smith
(Executive Director of the Flag Research Center in
The Orbis Flag Encyclopedia, William Crampton, ed.
World of Flags; poster by Bartholomew & Sons., Ltd.
Flags of American History, D.D.Crouthers, Hamond, Inc.,pub.
The author is indebted to Dr. Steven Carol of the International
Relations Center in Holbrook, New York, who has provided vexillogical
assistance, many of the current national anthems, and numerous
Many of the national anthems have been transcribed from "National
Anthems of the World", M. Shaw and H. Coleman, ed. This 1960
compendium was published by Blandford Press of London. Even the United
Nations and the Olympic Organizing committees have problems keeping up
to date with these.
Where nations have different flags (for example, flags used for
government offices and for civil uses), this program includes the
simpler one (usually the civil flag). Thus, the flags of Ecuador,
Haiti, and others are the versions without a coat of arms. Flags
have not been omitted because of any biases on the part of the
author; Mexico, Portugal, Romania, The United Nations, and many other
missing flags require more drawing effort than the author is willing to
undertake. Similarly, Malta and a few others are missing significant
portions of their emblazonments (E.g., Malta is missing the detail of
the cross, South Korea is missing its black rectangles, The Vatican
omits the keys, and Bhutan's dragon is in hibernation). These
omissions are noted when the flag is displayed.
Particular colors and shades must, of course, be approximated both
under CGA and EGA. Further, the tuning of the monitor has much more
of an effect than any color choice. Similarly, flag proportions,
which vary from 1:1 to 1:2 (most often 3:5, 2:3, and 1:2) are not
accurately portrayed in this program. The file FLAGSIZE.DOC
describes the proper proportions for most of the flags.
LIMITATIONS Designed for CGA and EGA
The large number of graphics displayed by this program are the
result of their being created each time they are shown, rather
than being saved in their entirety, as is done in many other
graphic programs. Another result is, unfortunately, a much
slower execution time. Some of the more complex flags (the
current Lesotho flag, for example), are even slow on 286 and
386-based computers. An EGA with an 8088-based system and no
math co-processor is likely to have intolerable performance,
particularly when displaying some of the multi-flag screens or flags
with many stars, each of which has a different orientation.
(Cook Islands is probably the slowest flag with its many stars,
each of which must be drawn separately).
If it is desired that any of the EGA flag images be captured for
other uses, the capture program must be able to handle the
640x400 16-color ega mode. Very few of the currently available
capture utilities have this facility. Word Perfect's GRABBER
is one that does. It does not capture the current palette, however.
Because of the limitations of IBM's color graphics mode, providing
only two color palettes of three colors (plus background) each,
there are many flags which the IBM PC is incapable of portraying
A very few flags (particularly India and South Africa) are not shown
in their proper colors when the program is run with a CGA.
Others cannot be shown in CGA because of the limited color
combinations available, and are displayed only if an EGA or VGA
is in use. Approximately one third of the flags cannot be shown
unless EGA is available.
Some of the color combinations used here, especially RED, WHITE, and
BLUE, may not be accurately presentable on IBM-compatibles (or with non-
IBM CGA cards or emulators), since this particular palette combination
is created by invoking an un-documented peculiarity of the IBM PC. It
was tested successfully on some early PC clones. (Interestingly, later
versions of IBM BASIC, when running with EGA but in SCREEN 1 (CGA) mode,
does not support this directly, either.) Technical note: It is invoked
by SCREEN 1,1 or by using OUT 984,14
I have been informed that an earlier version (with no EGA support)
worked satisfactorily on the PCjr except for some color variations.
There are some off-brand ega boards in the field that do not support
all of the standard IBM EGA Screen modes. (This can also be caused by
improper switch settings on an EGA or VGA adaptor.) This program was not
designed to work with incompatible hardware. Version 5.0 was modified
to use SCREEN 7 (320x200, 16 color) if SCREEN 9 (650x350,16 colors out
of 64) cannot be used.
Many EGA cards are prone to not displaying the deepest available
red color (used in the flags of Qatar and two of the Ecuadorian states).
This is often the result of the board being improperly seated in its
slot or the wrong initial setting of the toggle switch. Use the color
test available via the F7 key to verify your system.
The current version of the program was compiled under QuickBasic 4.5.
Earlier versions were compiled under the IBM Basic Compiler 1.0 and
prior releases of QuickBasic.
This release (6.04) is expected to be the last available version. No
further additions or enhancements are planned.
Version Numbering: Whole number changes reflect major functional
enhancements. First decimal changes are substantial content improvements;
changes in the second decimal position are lesser modifications (add a few
flags, correction of minor errors --spelling, internal documentation, a
color or two, etc.). The versions marked with an asterisk (*) have not
been publicly released (they were sent to individual requestors who may
have released them to bulletin boards).
Adds F8 key to stop the music
Eliminates extra keystrokes (any recognized key will perform
its function; others still display options)
Adds over 40 additional national anthems.
Adds long and short versions of anthems.
Adds the ability to print a list of the flags. (via F7)
Adds a listing of available national Anthems (via F7)
Adds a U.S. State Flags section.
Adds a U.S. Historical Flags section.
Some additional flags (PLO, Curacao, Manchukuo, Buddhism)
Is created under MicroSoft QuickBasic 4.5
Corrects numerous small errors in the program and in the flags.
Adds over 75 new flags, including local flags of Ecuador and Brazil,
the component states of Malaysia, and the members of the United
Adds Color Test (F7), Boss Key (F9)
Adds Second comment line
Adds Bhutan, Congo Dem Rep, Burma (no rice stalk), Brunei
Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Cook Isl., Biafra, Marianas,
Vatican city (no key), Turkish Cyprus, Niue, Sahara, Zimbabwe
Vanuatu, Kenya, Angola, many others.
Corrects Thailand, Lebanon stripes, Chile error, Senegal error
Corrects historical associations of the various Congos
Added Dominica, Liechtenstein, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica
Olympic Rings linked.
Added Uruguay, Zambia bird, Zaire, Cyprus, Mongolia.
Miscellaneous minor fixes; speed up for Singapore, high resolution
for Canada & Lebanon, better colors for Tuvalu and Curacao.
Added flags (Tuvalu, St. Vincent, others); Corrected minor errors;
Added support for ega adaptors that do not support full ega graphics
(see technical notes)
Adds Malaysia, adds the ability to select next (+) or previous (-)
flag from almost any point. Compilation is now under QuickBasic 4.0
Version 4.0 Changes
The program has been made less sensitive to upper and lower case
The 43-line mode is used for listing the flags if an EGA is in use.
A few additional flags have been added (Tanzania, Olympics, others).
Timing control of the automatic mode has been added.
This version includes "Flags by Request", automatic, and quiz
LOOK FOR "INTERNATIONAL SIGNAL FLAGS"
Available now on your favorite bulletin board.
Displays the Int'l Nautical Flag Set and
lets you "type" messages using flags
instead of characters.