Monday, February 24, 2014

2014 World Cup Grouping

2014 World Cup Groups

     The 2014 World Cup in Brazil is approaching fast, and while countries are preparing and playing their final friendlies before the world's largest sporting event, they are surely focused on their initial opponents that they have been grouped with. If you are unfamiliar with the way the tournament is set up, here is a quick rundown:

How Countries are Grouped for the World Cup

     The process as a whole is admittedly strange and seems to make little sense at times; firstly, there are six internationally recognized regional governing bodies.
  • AFC: Asian Football Confederation
  • CAF: African Football Confederation
  • CONCACAF: North and Central America Football Confederation
  • CONMEBOL: South American Football Confederation
  • OFC: Oceania Football Confederation
  • UEFA: European Football Confederation

     Now, each of these units oversees tournaments containing the countries they represent. Based on the strength of their members, FIFA (the world's governing soccer body) delegates a certain amount of spaces for teams from each Confederation. UEFA for example, generally gets the most spots in the tournament due to perennial powerhouses such as Spain, Germany, Italy, etc. Once these Confederation tournaments are played, the winners and other top placing teams get thrown into four "pots". This is where things get a little weird.
     The top teams in the world get placed into one pot of eight teams, to 'avoid draws with one another'. Basically, FIFA makes sure things are exciting late in the tournament, so they ensure that the only way powerhouses won't be in the medal games are by colossal upsets and multiple poor performances in the group stage. You can compare this to the NCAA Basketball tournament (how often will you see a 16 seed beat a 1 seed, it hasn't happened yet).
     As for the other three pots, they are grouped by geographic region, as for this year's tournament, one pot held other European teams, another held South and Central American Teams, and the last held Asian/African teams. Then the teams are drawn randomly into eight groups, consisting of no more than two European teams, and no more than one team from any other Confederation. Every tournament, there consists of one overwhelmingly competitive group, dubbed the "Group of Death" due to the strength of it's participants.
     Now that you know how the system works, here are the groups, with their respective flags:

Group A

Brazil
Cameroon
Croatia
Mexico









Group B

Australia
Chile
Netherlands
Spain









Group C

Colombia
Cote d' Ivoire (Ivory Coast)
Greece
Japan









Group D

Costa Rica
England
Italy
Uruguay









Group E

Ecuador
France
Honduras
Switzerland









Group F

Argentina
Bosnia & Herzegovina
Iran
Nigeria









Group G (2014 World Cup "Group of Death")

United States
Germany
Ghana
Portugal









Group H

Russia
South Korea
Belgium
Algeria









If you're looking for an International Flag to represent a country before the World Cup, FlagCo carries all of these countries and more! Here are links to our products for these countries:

Brazilian Flags: Shop Brazil Flags
Croatian Flags: Shop Croatia Flags
Mexican Flags: Shop Mexico Flags
Cameroon Flags: Cameroon
Spain Flags: Shop Spain Flags
Netherlands Flags: Shop Netherlands Flags
Chile Flags: Shop Chile Flags
Australian Flags: Shop Australia Flags
Colombian Flags: Shop Colombia Flags
Greece Flags: Shop Greece Flags
Cote d' Ivoire Flags: Shop Cote d' Ivoire Flags
Japanese Flags: Shop Japan Flags
Uruguay Flags: Shop Uruguay Flags
Costa Rica Flags: Shop Costa Rica Flags
England Flags: Shop England Flags
Italian Flags: Shop Italy Flags
Switzerland Flags: Shop Switzerland Flags
Ecuador Flags: Shop Ecuador Flags
France Flags: Shop France Flags
Honduras Flags: Shop Honduras Flags
Argentina Flags: Shop Argentina Flags
Bosnia & Herzegovina Flags: Shop Bosnia & Herzegovina Flags
Iran Flags: Shop Iran Flags
Nigeria Flags: Shop Nigeria Flags
German Flags: Shop Germany Flags
Portugal Flags: Shop Portugal Flags
Ghana Flags: Shop Ghana Flags
USA Flags: Shop USA Flags
Belgium Flags: Shop Belgium Flags
Russian Flags: Shop Russia Flags
Algerian Flags: Shop Algeria Flags
South Korea Flags: Shop South Korea Flags

Brief History of U.S. Military Flags

Armed Forces Flags

The United States Armed Forces consists of five branches, each of which has their own flag to represent them. The order of precedence when displaying the flags together, as is commonly done during Joint Service Parades and similar events, is as follows:
During wartime, it is not uncommon to place the Coast Guard ahead of the Air Force, as they operate in conjunction with the Navy.

Flag of The United States Army

The United States Army was the last military service to have a flag created to represent them in their entirety. Individual units had been using 'guidons' (individual unit flags) for almost as long as the service existed. Due to the absence of service representation in Joint Ceremony, Secretary of The Army William M. Brucker. Within a year, on June 12th, 1956, President Dwight D. Eisenhower officially adopted the United States Army Flag, which was presented to the general public just two days later, on the 181st Anniversary of the US Army's creation by Continental Congress.

The Flag of The United States Marine Corps

The U.S. Marine Corps Flag was the first service flag to be officially established in the U.S Armed Forces. Marine Corps Order 4 had designated the official colors of the Corps long before the flag was adopted, the date was April 18th, 1925. The Marine Corps flag was officially standardized on January 18th, 1939 and the practice of adding battle streamers, rather than inscribing the honors directly onto the flag, was adopted a few years later.

The Flag of the United States Navy

The United States Naval Flag is seldom used, generally only for parade and ceremonial purposes. This is because of the Navy's long standing tradition of using union jacks, ensigns, and commission pennants in order to signify naval forces. Prior to the formalization of a service flag for the Navy, they used an 'Infantry Battalion Flag' which consisted of a blue background, and centered white diamond, and the diamond contained a foul anchor. This was in use for nearly six decades. On April 24th, 1959, the United States Navy Flag that we know today was adopted.

The Flag of The United States Air Force

The United States Air Force Flag focuses more on the seal rather than the flag as a whole. The 13 stars represent the original colonies, and the three atop the American Bald Eagle signify the Three National Defense Departments (Army, Navy, Air Force). The Flag was adopted by President Harry S. Truman on March 26th, 1951.

The Flag of the United States Coast Guard

The United States Coast Guard Flag may have first been flown by one of the our nation's founding fathers; Alexander Hamilton has been painted flying a flag very similar to the modern day Coast Guard flag as a jack. The current flag was finally adopted on January 28th, 1964, despite being flown in some capacity since 1799.