In the poster of 1950 FIFA World Cup, there's a leg with multiple national flags on it. But the total number of flags is at least 30, while only 13 countries were participating in the tournament.

I found out that the other flags are for countries that participated in the qualification period (Look at the flag of Syria as a proof).

But why didn't they change the poster that was created during the qualification period? (in order to include only countries that were participating in the tournament).

The only other World Cup that had a poster with flags of countries was the 1934 FIFA World Cup. But in its poster only the flags of participating countries were included.

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    There could be any number of reasons, design-wise I feel that lots of smaller flags 'looks better' than having 16 or 13 flags. But this is also a post WW2 world, pre mass communication. We think of these type of events now as super regimented and every last detail thought about, however these events were refreshingly chaotic back then. Commented Sep 9, 2023 at 17:14

1 Answer 1


The FIFA World Cup Tournament poster is unique. There's only one for each edition. Once it's picked, it becomes the official image of the tournament. It can be designed (and picked) before or after the qualifiers. Before the TV/satellites or even internet era, the visuals used were (had to be!) produced long ahead.

For instance, the 2022 Qatar (20 November - 18 December) event poster was unveiled June 15th, 5 months before the tournament. It happened that some countries, like Russia in 2018, had an official poster and some different ones for the host cities. At the time, back in 1950, in a post-war world, communication was far from being as fast as today, and most of the visual communication was through posters and pictures.

From Early World Cup Posters 1934-1950 (emphasis mine):

The designer for the 1950 poster was chosen by a public competition, widely mediated in 1948, a collaboration between the World Cup organizing committee and the commission for the Brazilian society of arts, led by its President Mario Polo and a judging panel of Professors Castro Filho, Henrique Salvio, and Alberto Sims. One hundred and fourteen entries were reduced to a longlist of fourteen, with four finalists and a winner J. Ney Damasceno, from Rio de Janeiro. Damasceno won a prize of thirty seven thousand cruzeiros, although little is then subsequently known of him, and he does not seem to have been an established designer. So these processes of selection are in themselves interesting for how World Cup posters were chosen to represent the nation, not just by the respective football authorities, but also artistic experts.

There was definitely no reason to modify the official poster of the tournament.

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