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All of the country flags below can be replaced by other flags. One country flag is missing and can not be replaced by another flag. Find the missing flag and explain why it's correct.


enter image description here

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1 Answer 1

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The missing flag is ...

... the flag of Ivory Coast:

Ivory Coast

All of the country flags below can be replaced by other flags.

Iceland can be replaced by India, Israel or Italy, among others.
Mexico can only be replaced by Luxembourg.
Finland could be Chile, Italy again or the Philippines.
Morocco could also be France, Greece or Mexico, among others.
The United States could be Barbados, Bermuda, Poland or many more.
Belgium could be Suriname or Vietnam.

Let's have a closer look at the flag arrangement:

I C E L A N D

M E X I C O
F I N L A N D
M O R O C C O
U N I T E D S T A T E S
B E L G I U M

There's a pattern:

When the names of the countries whose flags are shown are spelled out, the letters on the diagonal correspond to the roman numerals: I, V, X, L, C, D and M in ascending order of their values. In other words, the n-th letter of the name of the n-th country is the n-th Roman numeral.

So we're looking for a country whose second letter is a V. There's only one such country: Ivory Coast. (But only if you don't insist on calling it Côte d'Ivoire.)

The title:

"White" could be an allusion to ivory as a shade of off-white.

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    $\begingroup$ This is the missing flag and you got the correct interpretation of the title too. Well done! $\endgroup$ Feb 16 at 13:59
  • $\begingroup$ Great puzzle, @M Oehm. I guess it's yourself who has made it up, right? $\endgroup$
    – Apostolos
    Mar 1 at 17:17

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