Travel Collectables: Country Flag Patches For My Fleece

Collecting iron on flag country patches

Travel Collectables on Don’t Stop Living – Iron on Patches – my colourful fleece with flags from all the countries I’ve been to.

Although I almost always travel as light as I can, I’m a sucker for travel souvenirs and collectables and over the years I have kept boxes with things from my travels in them. In this new mini series I will mention some of the things I collect. First up is country flag patches and destination patches.

iron on flag patches Jonny Blair Don't Stop Living

My green Northern Ireland fleece which was bought as a present and now contains over 80 iron on patches on it!

I own a green fleece with Northern Ireland written on it. This fleece was actually bought as a present from my parents about 7 years ago. When I was in Tasmania in 2010 I suddenly decided to start collecting flags from all the countries I had been to and iron or sew them onto the back of it. On the front I planned to put all other miscellaneous patches. These patches can be bought from market stalls in many destinations. Most recently I have seen them in Siem Reap in Cambodia, La Paz in Bolivia and Bangkok in Thailand.

Country flag patches on my green Northern Ireland fleece

Sporting my green fleece while travelling in Antarctica with Frank S. Todd in 2010

It has now snowballed and the back of my fleece is now only for countries and colonies flags, the left arm is for places I’ve called home and the right arm is for football teams I support.

Iron on flag patches in Brisbane Australia

A market stall in Brisbane, Australia. This is actually where I first bought a bulk quantity of these iron on country flag patches!

Every time I visit a new country I need to buy that countries flag to iron on to the back of my fleece. I also include places like Breizh, Tierra Del Fuego and Guernsey. These places all have iron on patches available and while they are not strictly countries, it makes for more colour and variety. One thing I’m strict on is that it has to have the name of the country under the flag, and some places only have the flags, so I wait until I find a vendor that sells them with the name on it.

Iron on country flag patches in Khaosan Road Bangkok Thailand

Scanning the stalls in Khaosan Road, Bangkok, Thailand for my missing iron on flag patches!

I have yet to find iron on patches for the following places (must be rectangular and contain the country/place flag with the name only below):

– Antarctica

Antarctica country flag iron on patches are hard to find

The nearest I could find to an Antarctica flag badge was this one, bought in Ushuaia, Argentina.

– Sark

– Herm

– Jersey

(If you see them or know where I can get them, please let me know!!).

Northern Ireland iron on flag patches in Bangkok Thailand

YES! I found my Northern Ireland country flag as an iron on patch in Khaosan Road in Bangkok, Thailand. This is a god place to get them in bulk for cheap.

On the front of my fleece I just collect any random patches I find that have some kind of link to my travels. I won’t add a place unless I’ve been to it. It’s become a bit of an obsession collecting these and adding them to my fleece.

Country iron on patches Jonny Blair a lifestyle of travel

Some of my miscellaneuos iron on flag patches including Guernsey, Hong Kong, the UN, the EU and Tierra del Fuego!

I do carry my fleece with me on most of my travels, but I don’t always wear it. It’s like my pride and joy and I don’t want it getting dirty, damaged, ripped, lost or stolen! It is also quite difficult to clean. Once I have it finished, I’ll retire it and hang it up. I’ve still got room for a lot of more countries on the back having just hit the 70 mark with Brunei Darussalam this week…

Iron on country flag patches in La Paz Bolivia

I found a great cheap stall with iron on badges in La Paz, Bolivia inside the Witches Market

There will be more travel collectables to come in this series. Some small things just remind you of your epics journeys on this magical ball. I’ll leave you with my own country’s flag, we don’t get much recognition…Northern Ireland.

Northern Ireland flag patch iron on

Iron on country flag patch of Northern Ireland…travel collectables on Don’t Stop Living!

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6 thoughts on “Travel Collectables: Country Flag Patches For My Fleece

  • No way we started collecting patches of the countries we’ve traveled to too! We started in Thailand on our honeymoon, we collected all the patches for all the countries we have been too! We too also got patches for our favorite sports teams, MILWAUKEE BREWERS!!! We are going to split up the patches between both our backpacks!!!

  • Nice one guys! I also collect my favourite football (soccer to you) teams on one of the sleeves. It’s a nice travel memento to collect. Safe travels! Jonny

  • G day Jonny
    love ur site, i am a addicted traveler as well, 64 countries down,
    i have a few questions for you, if you could help me out that would be great
    1) what is the cheapest and most expensive country flag you have seen/bought
    2) where is the market stall in brisbane for the patches? i am from australia!
    3) what sort of badge do you want for Antartica? as its not a country?
    4) got any info on traveling to antartica? want to do it my self next year
    5) what do you do to fund you travels?
    where are you now? china? me too, beijing untill tuesday
    cheers mate
    safe travels

  • Hi Alan,

    Thanks for your comments. Here are my answers:

    1. Probably San Marino. Had to pay $2.50 AU and postage for it.
    2. South Bank area of Brisbane – I was there on a Saturday about 3 years ago. No idea if it’s still there but he has a website too so you could e-mail him:
    3. I wanted this badge with the word Antarctica on it (if you check my fleece you’ll see I bought an Alternative Antarctica badge – photo above):
    4. Are you kidding?! Lol. Click on my Antarctica tab – I have about 30 – 40 stories on it including how to book it on the cheap!
    5. I’ve had over 50 jobs on my travels, I try and work in 3-6 jobs at the same time to earn a load of cash in bulks.I’m always busy. Every Wednesday I share some travel work tips and stories on “Working Wednesdays”. Here are the jobs I’ve had down the years (not updated yet): I dont sit still very often 😉
    I’m in Hong Kong right now. Back to China on Friday, then North Korea then heading to the Middle East!

    Safe travels. Jonny

    PS – a lot of the questions you, and others often ask me are already on my blog – have a look round the various posts and pages I have – a lot of info on there!

  • It is always good to remind yourself the wonderful countries that you have been to. As for me, I get more than patches and go for other unique things like scarfs, curving and flags. Thanks a for sharing, and aww, you’ve visited more countries than I have 🙂

    Tracey Hoffman

  • Hi Tracy, thanks for the comment. Glad you also love collecting these types of things. So you travel a lot too – how many countries/cities/states etc. have you been to so far. Safe travels. Jonny

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