In Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace during the podracing scene, just before the race begins a small number of flag-bearers make their way across the screen, one of which is C-3PO.

View facing the podracers about to start; Sebulba's distinctive racer is prominent on the right.  The flag bearers walk ceremonially in a line across in front of the podracers.
Flag-bearers during podrace.

When considering the flags, at first thought, I would think them to be planet flags or something along those lines. However, upon looking up Tatooine's flag it's not even close to the same as what C-3PO's carrying.

Close-up of C-3PO (without his shiny outer armour) carrying Anakin's blue-on-white flag C-3PO carrying a flag for Team Ani.

The official flag of Tatooine has a light brown field, with a darker green-brown stripe on the left side and across the middle forming a sideways T; two yellow circles, the larger on the left, occupy the middle of the flag, centre-aligned to the crossing line.
Official flag of Tatooine.

If the flags being carried don't represent the planet from which the racer associates with, then, what do they represent?

  • 16
    i believe they're racer team flags, just like in modern f1. could also represent a cartel, comission, federation or trade corporation that represents it. e2.365dm.com/14/09/16-9/30/…
    – CptEric
    Commented Jan 16, 2018 at 14:04
  • 6
    You've answered your own question with the caption for the C-3PO image: they're team flags.
    – Null
    Commented Jan 16, 2018 at 14:13
  • @Charles Are you sure you made your edit about the flag not being official? Commented Jan 16, 2018 at 16:09
  • @ToddSewell I obtained the updated image from Star Wars Wiki. If this isn't accurate to the actual flag, please suggest an edit.
    – Charles
    Commented Jan 16, 2018 at 16:24

3 Answers 3


The flags are intended to identify the racer to the crowd and to advertise the racer's sponsor/s.

As racers enter the arena, flagbearers march with them. Flags are decorated with heraldry, symbols or colours associated with the racer. The flags can also represent a sponsor who funds the team in order to gain local or galactic recognition.

Star Wars: The Visual Encyclopedia

Table of 18 pod racer flags, labeled for each racer.  Anakin's blue-on-white flag is in the upper left and Sebulba's orange/yellow/black flag is in the lower left


Standard bearers, each carrying a flag that identified the pilot and sponsor, marched along, forming a colorful line in front of the assembly of Podracers. Overhead, the twin suns of Tatooine shone down with a bright, hungry glare.

Star Wars: The Phantom Menace - Official Novelisation

You can see the home planets of the various racers listed below. Even though several racers are from the same planet or planetary system (Anakin and Ody Mandrell from Tatooine, Aldar Beedo and Elan Mak from the Ploo system) all of the racers have largely dissimilar flags which means that it's hard to draw any specific judgements but it would seem likely that plain planetary flags are mostly reserved for those without powerful sponsors.

Tables. of the finish placings and the number of laps completed for non-finishers.  Each table lists the home system by the racer's name; the flags of each appear in order horizontally beneath the tables.
The Official Star Wars Fact File #26

  • 4
    So do you have an explanation of the flag? Does it represent Ani? Watto? Qui-Gon? Slavery? Freedom? The Jedi? The Force? George Lucas? Some random set designer/dresser? Commented Jan 16, 2018 at 16:27
  • 1
    @Quasi_Stomach - I can't find any explanation for the flag. If I do, I'll add it to the answer.
    – Valorum
    Commented Jan 16, 2018 at 16:27
  • 11
    It probably doesn't represent anything more than horse jockey patterns do.
    – Pyritie
    Commented Jan 16, 2018 at 17:31
  • 1
    @Kevin - Complete coincidence, I would imagine. In 1999 he was still working in Silicon Valley; youtube.com/watch?v=eb3pmifEZ44
    – Valorum
    Commented Jan 17, 2018 at 2:25
  • 3
    I'm not sure of other instances, but Anakin's clone wars starfighter has the same colorings starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Azure_Angel so it seems to represent Anakin rather than any sponsor. Commented Jan 17, 2018 at 11:39

I can't find it explicitly stated in canon, but in the video game Star Wars: Episode I Racer the flags are treated as vehicle/team flags. For example, you can see them in the background when selecting a vehicle/team:

Anakin's team flag Source: https://r.mprd.se/media/images/51725-Star_Wars_Episode_1_Racer_(PAL)-1.jpg

Sebulba's team flag Source: https://r.mprd.se/media/images/51725-Star_Wars_Episode_1_Racer_(PAL)-2.jpg

The game is Legends but was released by LucasArts so the game's use of the flags is likely the intended purpose from the film. Additionally, each flag tends to match the paint scheme for the vehicle it is paired with.

  • 13
    That game brings back memories!
    – Liath
    Commented Jan 16, 2018 at 16:51
  • 7
    Quite possibly the best racing game I’ve ever played. The dual-controller thing (each joystick controlling one of the podracer’s two engines) was awesome.
    – KRyan
    Commented Jan 16, 2018 at 19:27
  • @KRyan wait whaaaaaat. I've been playing this recently and hadn't noticed that. The sticks seriously control different engines? Woah.
    – Preston
    Commented Jan 17, 2018 at 3:54
  • 2
    There is an open source port of the game here: github.com/OpenSWE1R/openswe1r
    – Daniel
    Commented Jan 17, 2018 at 11:33
  • 1
    For what it's worth, there were two different podracer games that were released. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Star_Wars_Episode_I:_Racer was released for N64 (and other systems). en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Star_Wars_Racer_Revenge was released for PS2. I love both of these games.
    – phroureo
    Commented Jan 17, 2018 at 18:20

In Universe

With regard to the specific question of Anakin's flag, it would appear that it was self-designed by Anakin and inspired by Padmé.

When we first see Anakin's pod, it has no paintjob and no livery.

Anakin's pod is bare, dusty and unpainted.

He meets with Padmé and shortly afterwards the blue paintwork is applied to the pod and a flag designed.

The pod is now shiny, silvery and has a blue logo and stripes painted on it.  The logo matches his flag which is also shown.

Later, during the clone wars Anakin customises his first (and second) Aethersprite ships with the same livery as his podracer and names them for his secret wife, the Azure Angel.

Blue and white livery of Anakin's ship

To show his love for the ship, we had to come up with a name that also reflected his love for the one person he cherished more than life itself, Padmé. It then dawned on me - Angel. And since the colors of the ship were based off of the bluish colors of Anakin's Podracer, it was a given that it had to be a blue Angel, or something like it.

Leland Chee: The Blue Angels/Star Wars connection

All of this is a bit circular until you see what Padme was wearing when Anakin first met her. She's literally wearing the same shade of blue as the paint on his pod and the same blue as the paint on his fighter.

Comparison of the blue shade of Anakin's flag from the pod race and the sleeve of Padme's tunic that's she's wearing when she and Anakin meet.

Out of universe

The Art of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace factbook describes the blue motif on Anakin's flag (and livery on the podracer itself) as having been inspired and designed by Lucas personally. They represent a similar design to one on a sports car he once owned. The orange symbol on the flag and topside of the racer is a "Hutt sanctioning body" logo.


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