From OpenStreetMap Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Public-images-osm logo.svg flag:wikidata
ID of the Wikidata item about each of the flags hoisted on the flagpole Show/edit corresponding data item.
Group: annotations
URL pattern$1
Used on these elements
may be used on nodesshould not be used on waysshould not be used on areasshould not be used on relations (except multipolygon relations)


Useful combination
Status: in use

A flagpole can be tagged with a Wikidata item identifier to specifically and unambiguously identify each of the flags hoisted on the flagpole.

How to tag

The value should be a Wikidata item identifier, including the "Q" prefix.

The Wikidata item should have a claim of being an instance of a flag or flag design (either directly or indirectly). In other words, it should be the item for the flag or a specific flag design, not the government or organization that the flag represents.

A few very tall flagpoles are notable enough for their own Wikipedia articles and thus their own Wikidata items. The Wikidata QID representing the flagpole itself goes in wikidata=*.


This key is especially useful when other tags like flag:type=* and country=* are ambiguous. For example:

  • For flag:type=regional, flag:type=organisation, etc., the specific flag cannot be inferred from the flag:type=* and country=* tags alone. A renderer might guess a flag based on the flagpole's location, but a flag for one region may fly in a neighboring region for many reasons.
  • A flag may outlast its country or vice versa. The flag of South Vietnam is still commonly flown in some regions with large overseas Vietnamese communities. The flag would be tagged flag:type=national country=VN, because South Vietnam had the ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 code VN before it was repurposed for a unified Vietnam. But a renderer that only considers country=* would draw the present-day flag of Vietnam, which is politically incorrect and highly sensitive in some regions. So flag:wikidata=Q1740429 allows renderers to render the correct flag.
  • States with limited recognition, such as Northern Cyprus, tend not to have standardized country codes, but data consumers expect country=* to be a country code.
  • Many countries have distinct civic, state (i.e., governmental), and naval flags. Some countries, such as Bolivia and Uruguay, have more than one official state flag.
  • At some monuments in the United States, the flag flown has fewer than 50 stars or more than 13 stripes. A Wikidata QID for the Betsy Ross flag or any of its successors allows renderers to render a historically accurate flag.

Finding a Wikidata item

Search Wikidata for flag items:

Or look up the flag's article on Wikipedia and click "Wikidata item" under the "Tools" section of the sidebar.

Alternatively, in iD, select or place a Flagpole on the map. In the "Flag Wikidata" field, search for "flag of Antarctica". Presets for a number of common flags are also available in iD, thanks to entries in the Name Suggestion Index, which you can also contribute to.

Creating a Wikidata item

Sometimes you may need to create a Wikidata item to represent the flag you're mapping. Note that Wikidata items are subject to the Wikidata notability policy, which is stricter than OpenStreetMap's inclusion standards. A flag can be mapped in OSM as long as it exists on the ground even if it's a one-off, such as the logo of an obscure secondary school athletic team on a white field, or a vanity flag. However, such flags are unlikely to be considered notable for Wikidata.

Even if the flag is commonplace, you should take one or more of these steps to ensure that the Wikidata item looks notable enough, so it doesn't get deleted:

If the flag is too obscure to meet any of these requirements, use flag:name=* and flag:colour=* instead of flag:wikidata=*.

Beyond the bare minimum, a good Wikidata flag item can also have image (P18), color (P462), and aspect ratio (P2061) statements, which allow the renderer to display the correct design and can help a future mapper verify that the same flag is still flying at a particular flagpole.


See also