(covers information from several alternate timelines)
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Flags and banners are decorative pieces containing symbols that is used to represent a government, group or individual. Typically these pieces are used to represent patriotism or ownership.
Examples of national flags:
- France: Blue, white, and red
- Germany: Black, red and gold
- Italy: Green, white and red
- United States of America: Red, white and blue
The Nazi flag was a red field with their symbol, the swastika. In an alternate timeline, Adolf Hitler's forces marched onto the North American continent; newsreel footage from that situation depicts the 1944 USA stars and stripes flag being flown under one of Hitler's Nazi flags. (ENT: "Storm Front, Part II")
The design of the United States flag remained mostly unchanged over the nation's four hundred years, with the exception of the number of stars which appeared on it. Each star represented the number of states that were united under the flag. Between 2033 and 2079 AD, the US flag had 52 stars. (TNG: "The Royale")
Flags might be flown half staff following tragic events, as was the case at Starfleet Headquarters the day after the attack on the Kelvin Memorial Archive and the Daystrom Conference Room. (Star Trek Into Darkness)
During the Occupation of Bajor, a Cardassian gul, named Pirak, executed fifteen farmers from the Hathon region for refusing to display the Cardassian banner on the outside of their homes. (DS9: "The Darkness and the Light")
The flag of the Federation had a blue background with the seal of the Federation in the middle, with "UNITED FEDERATION of PLANETS" under it. (DS9: "Tears of the Prophets") It was often customary to lower a flag to half-mast after a death, as was the case at Starfleet Academy in 2368, when Cadet Joshua Albert was killed performing the prohibited Kolvoord Starburst maneuver with Nova Squadron. (TNG: "The First Duty")
The Yangs of Omega IV had, in quite an astonishing example of Hodgkin's Law of Parallel Planetary Development, developed a society based on the same principle as the United States of America, having even produced virtually similar texts such as the Pledge of Allegiance and the United States Constitution as well as national symbols, including a flag that was practically identical to the Flag of America. Centuries after a devastating war had caused the Yangs to assume the form of a society of hunters and gatherers, the Flag of America became a holy symbol in their culture. (TOS: "The Omega Glory")
The Promenade on Deep Space 9 was often adorned with flags. Some were simply for decoration while some were stylized versions of various government flags and insignia. (DS9: "You Are Cordially Invited") Terok Nor, Deep Space 9's mirror counterpart, also had its Promenade draped in flags for the Klingon-Cardassian Alliance. (DS9: "Crossover")