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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.

enter image description here
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.

enter image description here C-3PO carrying a flag for Team Ani.

enter image description here
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?

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    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 Jan 16 '18 at 14:04
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    You've answered your own question with the caption for the C-3PO image: they're team flags. – Null Jan 16 '18 at 14:13
  • @Charles Are you sure you made your edit about the flag not being official? – Todd Sewell Jan 16 '18 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 Jan 16 '18 at 16:24
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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

enter image description here

and

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.

enter image description here
The Official Star Wars Fact File #26

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    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? – Quasi_Stomach Jan 16 '18 at 16:27
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    @Quasi_Stomach - I can't find any explanation for the flag. If I do, I'll add it to the answer. – Valorum Jan 16 '18 at 16:27
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    It probably doesn't represent anything more than horse jockey patterns do. – Pyritie Jan 16 '18 at 17:31
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    @Kevin - Complete coincidence, I would imagine. In 1999 he was still working in Silicon Valley; youtube.com/watch?v=eb3pmifEZ44 – Valorum Jan 17 '18 at 2:25
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    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. – Jeremy French Jan 17 '18 at 11:39
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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.

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    That game brings back memories! – Liath Jan 16 '18 at 16:51
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    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 Jan 16 '18 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 Jan 17 '18 at 3:54
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    There is an open source port of the game here: github.com/OpenSWE1R/openswe1r – Daniel Jan 17 '18 at 11:33
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    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 Jan 17 '18 at 18:20
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With regard to the specific question of Anakin's flag, it would appear that it was self-designed and inspired by Padmé.

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

enter image description here

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

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

enter image description here

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.

enter image description here

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