Exploring the Cultural Significance of Flags: 'The Flagmakers' by National Geographic

National Geographic's 'The Flagmakers'

The Flagmakers is a documentary produced by National Geographic that explores the history and cultural significance of flags. The film delves into the symbolism and meaning behind different flags and how they have been used throughout history to represent nations, states, and other groups.

From National Geographic Documentary Films, award-winning director Sharon Liese, Academy Award-winning director Cynthia Wade and executive producer Giannis Antetokounmpo, THE FLAGMAKERS covers one of today's most intriguing questions: who is the American flag for?

The film begins by examining the earliest known flags, which were used by ancient civilizations to identify armies and convey messages on the battlefield. It then looks at the evolution of flag design and how different societies have used flags for communication, identification, and as a way to rally people around a common cause.

Oldest Current National Flags

The Flagmakers also examines the role of flags in modern society and how they continue to be a powerful and enduring symbol of national pride and identity. The film explores how flags are used in international relations, sports, and other areas of public life, and it looks at the cultural significance of flags in different parts of the world.

Throughout the film, The Flagmakers interviews experts in the field of flag design and history, including historians, flag makers, and cultural experts. It also features a range of historical and contemporary footage, including images of flag-making processes, flag-raising ceremonies, and other events that showcase the power and importance of flags.

 Image of Flag makers holding the American Flag sourced from the photo gallery of National Geographic The Flagmaker

What is the role of flags in modern society?

The role of flags in modern society is multifaceted and varied. From international relations to sports, flags are used to represent and identify nations, states, and other groups, and they continue to be a powerful and enduring symbol of national pride and identity.

One of the most obvious ways that flags are used in modern society is in international relations. Flags are often used to represent countries at international events, such as conferences and Olympic games, and they are often flown at embassies and consulates around the world. Flags are also used to signal the presence of a foreign country's military or diplomatic corps in a particular location, and they are often used as a way to show respect or deference when interacting with other nations.

In addition to their use in international relations, flags are also a prominent symbol in sports. Sports teams often use flags to represent their country, state, or city, and fans often wave flags as a way to show support for their team. Flags are also used in many sports as a way to signal the start or end of a game, and they are often used to mark the boundaries of a playing field or court.

Beyond their use in international relations and sports, flags are also an important symbol in other areas of public life. Flags are often used at rallies and protests as a way to unite people behind a common cause, and they are also used at ceremonies and events to mark important occasions or to honor the memory of someone. Flags are also used in many cultures as a way to show respect or deference, and they are often displayed at homes and businesses as a way to demonstrate patriotism or national pride.

Despite their widespread use, flags remain a controversial symbol in many parts of the world. Some people view flags as a symbol of oppression or colonialism, while others see them as a way to celebrate and honor a nation's history and culture. Regardless of how they are perceived, however, flags continue to be a powerful and enduring symbol of national pride and identity, and they will likely remain an important part of modern society for years to come.


Overall, The Flagmakers is a fascinating and thought-provoking documentary that provides a rich and in-depth look at the history and cultural significance of flags. It is a must-see for anyone interested in the symbolism and meaning behind these powerful and enduring symbols.

View National Geographic's 'The Flagmakers' trailer below:


The Flagmakers Trailer (2022)
Flag culture

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