Game of Flags of The United Nations

Game of Flags

Donated to the Museum in 1982, the card game pictured at the left was manufactured by Russell Mfg. Co., Leicester, Massachusetts (US) about 1954. The container (pictured upper right) is composed of an inner and outer box, approximately 6.5cm long x 4.6cm wide x 2.3cm thick. The outer box is open on the right. This enables the inner box which is opened on the left to contain the deck, and to be slipped into the outer box.

There are 48 cards in the deck, each 6.2cm long x 4.2cm wide. Four cards are blank. Four cards serve as four pages of instructions (printed in English) for playing the game. The balance of 40 cards are used in the play of the game. These cards are divided into 12 categories. Each category is a geographic classification, and each classification includes a number of countries. In addition to including the classification symbols, each card features either one or two flags, and the name of the capitol city of the "flagged" country. When a card represents a single country, in addition to the flag, a graphic representation of that country appears on the card. For example: the first card on the upper left of the photograph represents both Argentina and Chile, while the 3rd card on the lower row of the photograph represents France. One card in the deck represents the United Nations - the first card on the lower row.

Instructions for Game of FLAGS

The set of 40 cards shows the flags of the United Nations. They are divided into 12 categories, mostly geographic as follows:

The object of the game is to get and meld complete categories (see above list). With two people playing, deal 9 cards to each, three playing, 8 cards, and four playing 7 cards. Place remainder of pack face down in center of table and turn over the top card to start the face up stack. Player at dealerís left starts by drawing a card from either stack, or by calling for a card from some other player. He must have at least one of the cards in the category for which he is calling. If successful he may call again from the same person until unsuccessful and then must discard one card on face up stack, which completes his turn. Then, the next player to left follows the same procedure.

Complete categories, and meld them, face up, in front of you as fast as possible. A player may pick up all the cards in the face up stack at any turn, but must meld at least one complete category after so doing. You must meld at least two categories before you can meld the single UN card. When any player has no cards left after his discard - the hand ends, and he scores a bonus of 100 for going out. Cards held by other players are discarded for next deal and each scores the total of the value of each card in their meld. Play for time available - highest score wins.

Note: The name of the country is shown at the side of the flag and the capital at the top. The figures at the bottom of each flag, reading from left to right give the area in thousands of square miles, the population in millions - the density of population per square mile.

To make this game more interesting to older children and adults, one or all of the following three rules may be added. If a player has a card in a category being asked for, he does not have to give it up unless the player asking can give:

  1. The capital of one country on the card

  2. Either area, population, or density of the population

  3. Description of the flag of one country on the card

Last update March 8, 2010