Data Visualisation Analysis -National Flag Colours

flag colours.png

What is the story? 

This image represents the most commonly used colours on national flags around the world.

How is it being told?

A colour grid is used to display each colour. A variance in size also reflects the volume of each colours use.

The colours are grouped with similar colours to make it clearly identifiable which tones are the most popularly used.

As you can see, the main colour we see is red followed by blue/white, green, yellow, black and orange. With the subdivisions of each colour having their own hierarchy.

Does it allow for different levels of interrogation that can be seen or used on the part of the reader? eg can they drill down to discover more detail?

It allows the reader to look into the basic colours, then the colour variations of the main colour groups. It can be hard to read with the colours in some areas blending together but its detail is lost as it is only colour. There isn’t any real percentage or idea on number figure of the visualisation.

Viewers must take the face value of the visual, as there is no additional information leading them to which flags each colours may be from, or what the actual percentages are etc.

No written facts or data support the visualised data.

Are you able to create multiple stories from it? If so what are they?

Not really, the data visualisation only gives a visual representation of colour use without displaying where the colours specifically come from, number figures, differences between each country’s flag etc.

What can you say about the visual design- layout, colour, typography, visualisation style?

The layout is clean and clear. It shows us the message it needs to get across despite its lack of supporting typography. Its square layout represents 100%, although, a square to represent 100% is hard to dissect easily when there is such a variety of sections inside the square.

What improvements would you suggest?

Instead of a square to represent the whole data being displayed, a circle may have made it easier to section each colour into it, creating almost like a pie graph perhaps. If each colour had the flags, which used that colour labelled with it, may have given more dimension for readers to collect information.

Maybe even dividing each colour shade into separate graphs based on continents the flags come from etc, maybe also give a deeper dimension to the info graphic.

Where does the data came from, and comment on it’s source.

It was an award winning data visualisation project by designers Jeppe Morgenstjrne and Birger Morgenstjrne. It was taken from the UN Flag Data of all 193 countries. Coming from UN information, the data behind the info graphic must be somewhat reliable.


Morgenstjerne, J. & Morgenstjerne, B. (2016). Interesting Facts About Flag Colors And Design That You Probably Didn’t Know. Digital Synopsis. Retrieved 6 August 2016, from