The Belarusians don’t have a lot going their way: it has a long history of oppression by nearby powers, population decline, a state controlled economy and the distinction of being the last dictatorship in Europe. One thing that surely isn’t helping the mood in Minsk is this clunker of a flag. According to my research, the red portion (top two thirds) symbolizes Belarus’ glorious mideval and Soviet past, while the green represents the future. Now, I might make the future part a bit more than one third of the flag – that’s a little pessimistic, but that’s just me. The vertical symbols down the left side are representative of the nation’s heritage and unity. But I think it makes the flag look more like a rug. If I knew nothing else, I would guess this were the flag of one of the “stans” or other places known for rugmaking. The sidebar also looks like a pixellated screenshot from and Apple II. I bet schoolkids have a hard time drawing it. Some sources note that the flag must be topped with a golden ornament/flagpole finial for solemn ceremonies. If there’s something that would finish this flag off any better for solemn ceremonies, I can’t think of it.