Believe it or not, this rebus encodes the name of a well-known item of modern popular culture. Can you find out what it is?

Hint #1:

The Spain and Belgium in question were colonial somethings, the HRE was a regular something


3 Answers 3


I'm going to ride on the coattails of Sentinel and North, who have found out that ...

... the flags are those of the Spain, the Holy Roman Empire and Belgium. The first two dates for each flag relate to the founding dates of the Spanish Empire, the Holy Roman Empire and the Belgian Colonial Empire. The last line refers to the ages of Felipe VI of Spain, Charlemagne and Leopold II of Belgium.

In other words, the rebus shows ...

... the age of empires at two different points in time and the age of kings.

The item of popular culture is ...

... the strategy game Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings.

  • $\begingroup$ Aaaaaasaaaaaarg😊👍 $\endgroup$
    – Sentinel
    Mar 9, 2018 at 16:21

Partial Answers Regarding Identification of Flags

The first flag is the flag is known as the "Cross of Burgundy Flag". It was a military flag used by Spain during the 16th century and an emblem of Valoise Dukes of Burgundy.
The second flag is the Imperial Banner of the Holy Roman Empire. This was NOT the national flag of the Holy Roman Empire, but rather an imperial banner used by the Holy Roman Emperor. The third flag is most likely the Belgium Flag, or the Flag of Belgium. Unfortunately, striped colored flags are very common in Europe, and could easily be another flag representing a province or old flag of an European Country.

  • $\begingroup$ You are correct about the three polities (Spain, HRE and Belgium). You can use this information to interpret the numbers and once you understand what they mean, you will be one step away from the solution. $\endgroup$ Mar 7, 2018 at 19:57

Some work toward a solution.

The last number in each triple represent Filipe, Charlemagne and Leopold respectively. They were rulers of those areas at those times, with those ages.


482 in 1974 is 1492, Columbus discovers Americas for Isabella. 361 in 1853 is also 1492.


The other pairs are also subtractions to the same year per pair.HRE =800, Belgium = 1885.


1885 Leopold becomes head of state of the Congo Free State

  • $\begingroup$ What do you mean by the last numbers of each triple? $\endgroup$ Mar 8, 2018 at 0:17
  • $\begingroup$ All correct. You're getting close. You should consider what the creation of the CFS and the discovery of the Americas meant for the country, rather than thinking about these events themselves. $\endgroup$ Mar 8, 2018 at 1:52
  • $\begingroup$ @J.Siebeneichler well no I am stuck. For Americas and Congo it basically meant wholesale death, rape and destruction. For Spain and Belgium well it meant certain commodities. So let's see, silver (S) and (R) rubber respectively? $\endgroup$
    – Sentinel
    Mar 8, 2018 at 7:41

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