I have been very lucky to travel all over your beautiful planet, Earth, finding out about many countries. Here are just a few of the places I have visited.
Have you been to any of them?
Pod IGT’s Challenge
I have coloured in some of the exciting places I have visited on Planet Earth. Can you name any of the places I have been?
(The answers are beneath the map)
The American flag is red, white and blue. It has some nicknames such as ‘Old Glory’, ‘Stars and Stripes’ and ‘The Star-Spangled Banner. The 50 stars on the flag represent the 50 states of the country and the 13 stripes represent the first states in the US. Did you know that there is even an American Flag on the moon! Neil Armstrong planted it there during the first moon landing on July 20 1969.The United States of America is also known as the land of the free. America is home to many theme parks and the most popular team sports are American football, baseball, basketball and ice hockey. The capital city is Washington D.C. and the currency used is the American Dollar.
The flag of Botswana is blue, black and white. The blue stands for the importance of water in a desert country while the black and white represents black and white people living and working together in harmony. Botswana is a country on the continent of Africa and is famous for its wildlife such as elephant, zebra, antelope, crocodile, hippo and lion. Much of the land is covered by the Kalahari Desert. The richest diamond mine in the world can be found in a town called Jwaneng. The capital city is Gaborone and the currency used is the Pula.
The Canadian flag is also known as the Maple Leaf. The red colour reminds people of the sacrifices made by Canadians in the two world wars; the white represents peace and the maple leaf symbolises the importance of maple syrup in the past. Canada is the country that lies north of America. It has the world’s longest land border with any other country. There is a great deal of wildlife living in Canada including polar bears, moose, bison, reindeer and mountain lion. The capital city is Ottawa and the currency is the Canadian Dollar.
The National flag of Denmark is called ‘Dannebrog’ meaning ‘the flag of the Danes’. The red background stands for the blood that was shed in battles and the white cross symbolizes the holy wars in which the blood was shed. Bakken in Denmark holds the Guinness World Record for being the oldest working amusement park. It was built in 1583, has over 150 attractions, including a wooden roller coaster built in 1932. The capital of Denmark is Copenhagen famous for its statue of the ‘Little Mermaid.’ The currency used in Denmark is the Krone.
The Egyptian flag symbolises the 1952 revolution that led to the countries freedom from being occupied by Britain. The red stripe stands for the time before the revolution; the white stripe reminds people of the revolution where no blood was shed and the black band symbolises freedom. The Eagle of Saladin in the middle of the flag stands for power and strength. Egypt was famous in ancient times for its powerful civilization when Pharaoh’s ruled and great pyramids were built. Much of Egypt is covered by desert and the life-giving River Nile flows through it. The capital city of Egypt is Cairo and its currency is the Egyptian pound.
The national flag of Finland is also called Siniristilippu meaning Blue Cross Flag. The blue cross represents the blue skies and many lakes found in the country while the white represents the snow in winter. Finland is often called the ‘Land of a Thousand Lakes’ or ‘Land of the Midnight Sun’ because the sun never sets in summer meaning that it is daylight all day and all night. The northern part of Finland is called Lapland and many families go there in winter to meet Santa Clause. The capital of Finland is Helsinki and the currency is the Euro.
The black, red and gold colours of the German flag are the national colours of the country and stand for the unity of the German nation. Germany has borders with France, Denmark, Switzerland, Austria, Poland and the Czech Republic. It is famous for its many holidays and festivals. During special festivals girls and women wear traditional dirndl skirts while men wear short leather trousers called lederhosen. Germany is also famous for its sausages and cheeses. Its capital is Berlin and its currency is the Euro.
The flag of Hungary is coloured red, white and green. The red stands for the blood shed in past battles, the white for freedom and the green represents the pastures and mountains to be found in the country. Hungary is a landlocked country that has borders with Slovakia, Ukraine, Romania, Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia, and Austria. Hungarian people love listening to the traditional folk music made famous by composers such as Liszt and Bartok. The River Danube flows through the capital city, Budapest, which was originally two separate cities: Buda and Pest. Its currency is the florint.
The flag of Iceland is coloured blue, white and red. Blue stands for the waters around the island; white represents the snow and ice fields that cover the land and the red reminds people of the many volcanoes one can find there. Iceland is known as the land of ice and fire. Puffins, whales and Icelandic ponies can be found here. You can swim in the warm waters of the Blue lagoon while the temperature on land is below freezing. Iceland is famous for its spooky Northern Lights that are seen in the winter sky. The capital city, where most people live, is called Reykjavik and the currency is the Icelandic Krone.
The flag of Japan is a white banner with a red circle. The circle represents the sun. The flag is called Hinomaru, which means “circle of the sun.” It is also known as the rising sun. The highest mountain in Japan is an active volcano called Mount Fuji. Lots of martial arts such as Karate, Judo and Aikido are performed in Japan. Sumo wrestling is the favourite sport. Ancient warriors who fought with very sharp curved swords were known as the samurai. The capital city is Tokyo and the currency is the Yen.
The flag of Kenya is black, red, green, and white with a traditional Masai shield and white spears in the center. The black represents the people of Kenya, the red for blood, the green for wealth and the white for peace. The Masai warrior shield and spears stand for defending freedom. Kenya lies along the equator in Eastern Africa. You will find many wild animals in the Masai Mara Game Reserve – wildebeest, zebra, impala, giraffe, leopards, lions, hyenas and cheetah. The capital city is Nairobi and the currency is the Kenyan Shilling.
The flag of Lesotho is blue, white and green. The blue stands for rain and water, the white for peace and the green for prosperity. The hat in the middle of the flag, called the mokorotlo, stands for the people as this is the traditional straw hats they wear. Lesotho is a mountainous country in Africa that lies high above sea level. Lesotho was once called Basutoland and the first people to live there were tribes of hunter gatherers. The capital city of Lesotho is Maseru and its currency is the Loti.
The flag of Malta is red and white with the image of a George Cross Medal in the top left hand corner. The red stands for the blood that was shed by people defending their religion, the white for peace and the George Cross for victory. The country of Malta lies in the Mediterranean Sea and. is made up of three small islands called Malta, Gozo and Comino. People have lived on Malta for thousands of years. Many people go to Malta for their holidays. The capital city is Valetta and the currency is the Euro.
At one time, Norway was ruled by Denmark so today’s flag is the red and white flag of Denmark with a blue cross added to it. It stands for revolution and freedom. Norway lies in Scandinavia and its neighbours are Sweden, Finland and Denmark. Vikings used to live in Norway and there is a Viking ship museum in Oslo. The people who live in the north of the country are known as Sami and herd reindeer. The reindeer, also known as caribou, use their antlers to scrape away snow when looking for food. The capital city is Oslo and the currency is the Norwegian Krone.
The flag of Oman is red, white and green. Red stands for past battles, white for peace and green for the mountains. The image in the top left hand corner represents the national emblem of a khanjar dagger in its sheath. The full name of the country is the Sultanate of Oman and it is ruled by a Sultan rather like a king. It has borders with Yemen, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. It is known to be the oldest Arab state and has lots of oil below its dry desert soil. Its capital city is Oman and its currency is the Omani Rial.
The flag of Peru has two red stripes and one white stripe. The red stands for the blood that was shed to gain independence, the white for peace. The image of a shield in the middle of the white stripe represents the country’s coat of arms and stands for the flowers, animals and the mineral wealth found in Peru. The laurel and palm branches stand for victory. Peru contains a large part of the Amazonian rainforest. Peru is famous for the amount of birds and butterflies that live there. The people of the Inca Civilization lived high in the Andes Mountains of Peru. The capital city is Lima and the currency is the Nuevo Sol.
The flag of Qatar is maroon and white. The maroon stands for the blood that was shed in the Qatari wars and the white is for peace. The nine points on the zigzag edge reminds people that Qatar was the ninth member to join the Arab Emirates. Most of the land is covered with sand and there are often sand and dust storms causing a hazy sky. You will find many camels in Qatar and you can go on a desert adventure or watch the camels racing each other. A great deal of oil and natural gas can be found beneath the ground, making Qatar the second richest country in the world. The World Cup soccer tournament will be held here in 2022. Its capital city is Doha and its currency is the Riyal.
The flag of Russia is white, blue and red and there is no real meaning to the colours. Russia is the largest land country in the world and shares borders with many countries including China, Ukraine, North Korea and Norway. The world’s first satellite, named Sputnik, was launched in Russia. Lake Baikal is the largest freshwater lake in the world and the Volga River that flows through Russia is the longest in Europe. Basketball, ice hockey and football are the most popular sports in Russia. The national animal is the Russian Bear and the national bird is the double-headed eagle. The capital city is Moscow and the currency is the Ruble.
The flag of Sri Lanka is yellow, orange, green and maroon and is known as the lion flag. Yellow stands for the main religion in the country which is Buddhism. The orange represents protection of the Hindus known as Tamils and the green for protection of the Muslims known as Moors. The maroon represents the many people of Sri Lanka called the Sinhalese. The image of a golden lion is printed on the Maroon stripe. Sri Lanka is an island that lies off the coast of India and used to be called Ceylon before it gained its independence. Many, many years ago a land bridge connected India and Ceylon and that is why so many of the animals found in Sri Lanka are like those found in India. Sri Lanka is famous for its tea production and Beautiful gem stones. Its capital city is Colombo and its currency the Sri Lankan Rupee.
The flag of Thailand is red, white and blue. The red stands for the blood shed to keep the country independent, the white to stand for Buddhism and purity. Blue is the traditional colour of the country and represents the Thai royalty. Thailand was once known as Siam and the very first Siamese cats came from here. The elephant is the national symbol of Thailand and is protected against poachers as they are becoming fewer in number every year. You might even find tigers, cobras, hippos and crocodiles in the jungle regions. The national sport of Thailand is a kind of kickboxing called Mauy Thai. The capital city of Thailand is Bangkok and the currency is the Baht.
The flag of Uruguay has four blue and five white stripes that stand for the nine original provinces of the country. The sun in the corner is known as The Sun of May and stands for a new and lively nation. The country was named after the River Uruguay which means ‘river of the painted birds’. The original people who lived in Uruguay were called the Charua Indians but the country was taken over by the Spanish Conquistadors in the 16th Century. The Spaniards brought sheep cattle to the land and there are still many cows and sheep farmed there today. The main language of Uruguay is Spanish. The capital city is Montevideo and the currency is the peso.
The flag of Venezuela is yellow, blue and red with eight white stars. The yellow stands for the rich land, the blue for courage and the red for the blood shed to gain independence. The stars represent the eight provinces of the country. Venezuela lies on the northern shores of South America and the largest water falls in the world (Angel Falls) can be found here. Christopher Columbus saw Venezuela on his third journey to the New World. Venezuela is home to many strange animals such as manatees, the Giant anteater, sloths, jaguar, river dolphins, crocodiles and capybara. It is famous for its oil and gas reserves which it exports to many countries. The capital city is Caracas and its currency is the Bolivar Fuerte.
Wallis and Futuna Islands
Wallis and Futuna is a small group of volcanic islands in the Pacific Ocean that belong to France. Their flag is red with four white triangles and an image of the French flag in the top left hand corner. The red stands for bravery and the four triangles stand for the three rulers of the islands and the French Commissioner. Wallis was named after a British explorer called Samuel Wallis. There are three official languages on the islands – French, Wallisian and Futunian. English is rarely spoken on the islands. The capital town is Matâ’utu and its currency is the CFP franc.
The flag of Yemen is red, white and black. The red stripe represents the blood shed during the country’s struggle for independence. The white symbolizes hope for the future, and the black stripe represents an end to the country’s dark past. Yemen is situated in Southern Arabia and people have been living there for over 3000 years. Spice trading meant that the country was very important but now it is important for its oil, petroleum and natural gas. Yemen is one of the poorest countries in the world. Its capital city is Sanaa that gained its status as a Unesco World Heritage site and its currency is the Yemeni rial.
The flag of Zimbabwe is red, white, green, yellow and black with a bird image. The red stands for the blood shed when fighting for independence, the white for peace, the green for agriculture, the yellow for the minerals found in Zimbabwe and the black for the people. The Zimbabwe bird reminds people of the culture and history of the country because five statues of this bird were found at an ancient place. In the past Zimbabwe was known as Southern Rhodesia. The Victoria Falls found by the famous explorer David Livingstone has the largest stretch of falling water in the world and is also known as ‘the Smoke that Thunders’. The capital city is called Harare and its currency is the Zimbabwe Dollar.
Pod IGT’s Challenge
I have tried to visit a country for every letter of the alphabet but there is one letter missing. Do you know what it is?