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European Flags 6
Part of the Acropolis in Athens - symbolic of Ancient Greece.

European Flags 6

According to Greek mythology, Europa was a princess who was abducted by Zeus whilst he was disguised as a bull. Following Zeus's unwanted attentions, Europa gave birth to King Minos on the island of Crete.

Though she has little connection to the continent which bears her name, sometime around the 6th century BC this Queen of Crete became a synonym for Europe. Later, the Romans followed the Greek example and the continent became forever after known by the name of this mythical queen.

Whatever the reason it was chosen, the name has stuck. The continent is home to a variety of cultures who dwell in more than 50 nations, but all have been influenced by those ancient Greek forebears who were the first to name this land.

Find out a little more about a few of those nations and the flags they use.

1.
This is the flag of Russia, which replaced that of the Soviet Union in 1993. What was the dominant colour of the Soviet flag which this one replaced?
Red
White
Blue
Green
The flag was completely red, with a gold hammer, sickle and star in the top left corner. The red background symbolised the blood shed by workers before and during the 1917 revolution, the hammer represented industrial workers, the sickle was for agricultural workers, and the star was symbolic of the Communist Party
2.
This flag represents which country, whose capital city is Bratislava?
Slovakia
Albania
Serbia
Hungary
The flag of Slovakia is almost identical to the Russian flag, and it is also very similar to that of Slovenia. To avoid confusion the national coat of arms was added to the design in 1992
3.
Which British Crown dependency is represented by this flag?
Jersey
Gibraltar
Guernsey
Malta
The flag was adopted by the government of the islands (the Bailiwick of Jersey incudes 4 other islands as well as the one which shares its name) in 1979, and first flown in 1981. Before then, a plain red saltire, with no coat of arms, represented Jersey
4.
This is the flag of which city state, the most densely populated country in the world?
San Marino
Vatican City
Andorra
Monaco
Monaco, on the Mediterranean Coast of France, covers an area less than one square mile. In this tiny space live 36,371 people, making it the most crowded independent country on Earth
5.
The country represented by this flag has, in its time, been a part of Alexander the Great's Empire, the Roman Empire, the Byzantine Empire and the Ottoman Empire, before it gained its independence in 1830. Which country is it?
Cyprus
Greece
Malta
Turkey
The birthplace of Western Civilisation, ancient Greece was not a single united country. Instead, it was made up of a collection of independent city states, such as Athens or Sparta. These states were unified by Philip II of Macedon whose son, Alexander, forged the largest Empire yet seen on Earth. In the centuries that followed Alexander's death the Empire crumbled and Greece became a territory of foreign empires for the next 2,000 years
6.
The country represented by this flag became an independent state in 2008, although it is not recognised by the government of Serbia. What is its name?
Slovakia
Kosovo
Slovenia
Ukraine
23 out of the 28 states in the EU, and 24 of the 28 members of NATO recognise the legitimacy of Kosovo, but Serbia claims Kosovo as one of its provinces, despite the declaration of independence.
7.
Which country, called "Eastern Empire" in its mother tongue, is represented by this flag?
Russia
Turkey
Austria
Bulgaria
At the time of its foundation in 976 AD, Austria was the most Easterly of all the German territories - collectively the Holy Roman Empire. Austria left its German partners in 1804 and became the independent Austrian Empire
8.
This is the Polish flag, but from 1978 until his death in 2005, Karol Jozef Wojtyla (also known as John Paul II), held what position? He is the only Polish man ever to do so
Pope
Formula One Champion
England Football Manager
Dalai Lama
Although he was never the manager of England, Pope John Paul II did in fact play football in his youth. He was the goalkeeper for both his school and his university sides. His football career was brought to an end by the German invasion of Poland which ushered in World War II
9.
This flag belongs to which country, whose language has the second largest numbers of native speakers after Mandarin Chinese?
France
Portugal
England
Spain
Spanish is spoken throughout the former empire which spanned the Americas. 405 million people have Spanish as their first language compared to 955 million Mandarin speakers. English is the third most popular with 360 million people having it as their mother tongue
10.
This flag is almost identical to that of its neighbouring country, Romania. As well as having very similar flags the two nations also share a common language. To which country does the flag belong?
Bulgaria
Serbia
Moldova
Ukraine
Since Moldova became independent from the USSR in 1990 there has been a call for unification with Romania, as the two countries share a common history. So far though, public opinion is mostly in favour of retaining Moldovan independence

 

Author:  Graeme Haw

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