What better way for a football team to celebrate its heritage than with a flag?
From unmistakable national emblems emblazoned across entire shirts, to subtler designs that connect in a more organic way, many football shirts over the years have been inspired by vexillology (that’s the history and symbolism of flags, to us laypeople). And with some bold and brilliant flags out there, it’s no surprise that football shirts have been similarly enriched (in much the same way as our animal shirts discussion).
Although, of course, not every design gets it quite right – or even a little bit right, as the good people of Twitter pointed out when we asked for their favourite shirt that’s linked to a flag.
Here’s some honourable (and dishonourable) mentions.
We don’t have to look far beyond our shores for some iconic designs.
Underrated England kit imo (2005-2007) pic.twitter.com/ycOt4DHLeI— Hubie (@hubiesounds) June 22, 2020
As a Welshman I feel lucky that we have a bloody massive red Dragon on our flag. This @umbro one from the 90s I feel does it best.— @ShirtLane (@shirtlane) June 22, 2020
As someone who’s travelled a bit and has a range of shirts then it has to be Slovenia – I love how the mountains are integrated into their shirts pic.twitter.com/VGfxYdNWPK
Forget Gallic flair, Azzurri style and Belgium panache, Croatia came out top of the pile, with props to Slovenia.
Virtually any Croatia top 🇭🇷 pic.twitter.com/ngHp3VIeyG— Matt Tams (@MattTams) June 22, 2020
Shirt based on a flag? Have to go Croatian surely! 🇭🇷 pic.twitter.com/Oe4AjlqSEl— Richard Price (@derailedexpress) June 22, 2020
Slovenia 2018 top drawer pic.twitter.com/cbf061QWwT— WAP Inspector 🧐 (@smamflinders) June 22, 2020
Who needs subtle? Go big… or go home.
The Vanuatu 🇻🇺 flag shirt that’s midlly famous amongst international collectors. Never seen one outside of team photos. pic.twitter.com/DlXCayM0MR— Adam’s Shirt Quest (@ShirtQuest) June 22, 2020
No idea why we had this but it’s great in a hideous sort of way pic.twitter.com/YdzUsfqqeP— Martin Cleaver (@mjc1875) June 22, 2020
America the beautiful?
The Stars and Stripes have had some hits in the past… but Columbus Crew’s 2016 ‘homage’, less so.
94 World Cup USMNT pic.twitter.com/RTeM5fdBQL— Zachary Harden (@SplunkATO) June 22, 2020
This USA kit pic.twitter.com/LRvkMIFBwM— N (@KitManRamsey) June 22, 2020
It’s not all about international teams either.
My local club,Gençlerbirliği.— Alperen Sarı (@cigdembebesi) June 22, 2020
19-20 Shirt with Turkish flag only worn in one game,occasion is,remembrance our soldiers who lose their lives,and 57-58 kits looks like an AnCom flag in a way pic.twitter.com/RzOGv8GjD9
This ajax one. Resembles the Amsterdam’s flag. pic.twitter.com/k1EudLSgMl— leo Vargas (@LeocVar) June 22, 2020
Another good one. Ironic that England never went there, when it’s the national flag as opposed to just being part of Milan’s flag. pic.twitter.com/vmBRVODPG8— matt byrne (@byrninho) June 22, 2020
Goes to Subside Sports for this incredible shout…
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