Monday, May 3, 2010

Sporcle's Flag Quiz: Winners and Losers

The quiz site Sporcle has a nice challenge in which you have 16 minutes to ID 195 of the world's flags. Be forewarned, there is a big spelling-bee component to the quiz, which shows you a flag and makes you type out the name of the country. So, even though the flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina is pretty recognizable, you still groan when it pops up.

As an confirmed flag dork, I felt OK about my score of 118/195... until I noticed that this only placed me in the 55th percentile. A suspiciously huge number of entrants -- 20.7% -- have scored 195/195, which either means that many of you out there are WAY flagdorkier than Carto and I, or that some quiz takers have, shall we say, used visual aids. I'm thinking it's been an educational tool for schoolchildren?

Once you finish the quiz, you get to see how many people got each flag correct. I guess I would predict that countries that have large populations of people liable to take an English-language flag quiz, and a distinctive flag, would be likely to fare well:

The top four: Japan (88.3%), the U.K. (88%), Canada (87.5%), and the U.S. (86.8%). Not too surprising. Numbers five and six are most less distinctive tricolors, but still probably familiar countries to most of the people participating in the quiz:

Italy (85.1%) and France (84.5%). Flag distinctiveness kicks in after that, with Israel's Star of David motif, Switzerland's square red cross, Germany's bold and garish colors, and South Korea's yin-and-yang rounding out the top ten.

Can you ID the four flags that, each under 36%, are the LEAST recognizable to takers of the Sporcle quiz?

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