My name is Tom and I am a vexillophile.
The way every country can be neatly identified with its own visual representation is a massive buzz for me - I often leave people astounded / completely indifferent with my ability to identify any country within a millisecond of seeing its flag. But flags can be interesting to anyone, even if you're not suspected of being mildly autistic. Here are some of the world's best.
Palau (pictured above)
A warm, calming flag which makes me smile inside. I can imagine it being used to sedate aggressive animals. If you were to substitute a bullfighter's red cape for the flag of Palau, the bull and every person in the crowd would instantly fall into a deep sleep.
The Pacific islands piss all over any other region for flag design, see also Marshall Islands, Nauru, Kiribati, all strong looks.
True fact: Grenada is the only flag in the world with a clove of nutmeg on it. The six stars which frame the flag like bulbs round a Hollywood dressing room mirror represent the six parishes of the Caribbean island, with the one in the middle for the capital St George.
The red / green / yellow colour scheme is representative of the pan-African unity movement, a group of flags borrowing colours from that of Ethiopia which managed to stay independent of European rule during colonialism. You'll find the same colours on around two dozen other flags worldwide.
I love this for the sheer lack of fucks Mozambican government give about having an assault rifle on their flag. It's the equivalent of having a big 'Beware of the Dog' sticker with an angry Rottweiler plastered on the front door. There was a public campaign to change the flag in 2005, possibly to 'soften the image' of Mozambique. 169 entires were received, including the current flag without the AK-47. All were rejected by the government.
This flag represents so much that's good in the world: sunshine, carnivals, beautiful women strutting down the beach, football, Samba music. The motto "Ordem E Progresso" means "Tits and Football". Jokes. It means Order and Progress.
Flag Fact: the stars in the blue sphere show the night sky on November 15th 1889, which is the date Pele was born. Jokes again. I don't know why it shows that date.
This flag could be the sign for a '70s travel agents or on a toothpaste advert. I love everything about it. The flag was designed by Emlain Kabua, who used the orange and white bands to depict the equator and the 24 pointed star to represent the electoral districts.
Talk to Tom about flags on Twitter @tomdisco