Dec 15, 2012

Ohio (USA)

Today I'll talk about non-rectangular flags. The most obvious choice should be the Nepal flag, the only non-rectangular national flag in the world currently in use. As an evaluation of Nepal would present "more variables" than only its shape (look at the video and understand the joke), I'll talk about this flag other day. So I chose the second most famous flag that applies to this subject: Ohio state, in United States of America.

Look at this flag:

The flag is good at first sight, except for some considerations: there are too many stars, and they're arranged in an apparently non-logical layout - although there is explanations: look like there's thirteen stars on the left, as representing the Thirteen Colonies. There are much more symbolism, but I'll cite the five stripes for the five states of Northwest Territory (Ohio itself, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin), and the big "O" that comes from "Ohio" (although it was someday confused with "Obama").

Oh, and the shape! The Ohio flag's shape resembles more what's called "burgee", generally used by yachts identification, what doesn't make it necessarily inappropriate, however. Some people say it's a kind of "charm" that makes this flag more special, while other people consider that it only turns the flag more expensive and difficult to be produced (personally, I'm part of second group). Changing this flag isn't a high-emergency goal, but it could be recommended.

To know more about flag shapes, I made a small visual dictionary:

Many types, like pennants and streamers, have variant shapes. In a better opportunity I'll post a more complete diagram.

If you have doubts about flag shapes, or only want to express any opinion, please leave a comment.

Observation: Opinions expressed by third-person sites are full responsibility of their authors. Use your critical thinking!

Dec 5, 2012

Bavaria (Germany)

The flag of German state of Bavaria is one of my favorite flags in all world. It's very simple, but its shape is very catching. Firstly, it's important to clarify which of the Bavarian flags I'm talking about: there're two of them. The first is a very boring bicolor-striped flag. The second has its inclined lozenges that are very cool. Just look at it:

[The number of lozenges varies from source by source.]
It looks like a racing flag being shaken, what's very interesting because BMW headquarters are there. By the way, BMW logo includes a stylized Bavarian flag. Have you ever noticed flag?

The coolness of state flag echoed on its capitol city, Munich. The city also use a bicolor flag, but the lozengy variant flag is much more liked.

What's your opinion about the Bavaria and Munich flags? Please, leave a comment.

Nov 20, 2012

Fukui (Japan), Saga (Japan)

Japanese flags! Didn't you think that Japanese people, always surprising the "Western civilization", would have ordinary flags? Actually it has a rich and consolidated tradition about flags. Let's start with a good example: the flag of Saga prefecture.

It's positively a great flag! I like too much radial symmetry in flags, and it's a great example of it. It's simple, everybody could easily guard all details in memory and after all reproduce them. The flag represents camphor flower, in format of mon (see definition below). The white color represents justice, while red is for passion and loyalty. As a whole, the flag represents "a highly developing harmony".

A "mon" is a stylized figure used as familiar or personal insignia, similarly to Western crests and badges. Click here to confer a gallery of mons.

Now, I'll show the beautiful Fukui prefecture flag, that'll be used to explain other tradition on Japanese flags.

This flag is very colorful, isn't it? Japanese flags are very colorful, usually bicolor or tricolor. Every color can be used in Japanese flags, including some tones that are rare in West, like grey, brown, purple, teal, buff, brownish-green and rose color.

You may be asking yourself "What's this symbol?". This mon is a stylized version of Fukui name transcription in katakana ("フクイ"). A very common technique on these flags is use the name of the entity (or their first syllables) and stylize it as a mon.

I hope you liked the flags and the text. Your comment is welcome, and you're free to ask, suggest, praise, criticize or give your opinion.

Nov 14, 2012

Olympic flag

The Olympic flag is a cultural icon, seen in almost everything related to sports and competitiveness. The flag is shrouded in myths, and I probably couldn't remember all of them, but I'll try to clarify the most famous. It's used since the seventh modern Olympic Games (Antwerp, 1920), although it is some years early (remembering that 1916 Olympics didn't occur). Its creator is Pierre de Coubertin, the founder of modern Olympics. It's the flag:

The five rings represent more probably the five continents. The position and color of each meaning is defined.

OK, coming to the myth #1: each color represents one continent. The answer is: depends... Although  it isn't the original meaning, it appears in the Olympic official handbook. There's even an official explanation to the colors: blue for Europe, yellow for Asia, black for Africa, green for Oceania and red for Americas.

Myth #2: the rings are based in ancient symbols found in Delphi. Absolute myth, but there's a funny explanation to it! Before the 1936 Olympic games, the torch passed in Delphi. To commemorate the occasion, a milestone was constructed and put on the Delphi ruins. It was never removed, until two British historians found it in 1950, creating a great confusion.

So let me tell what's almost certain about the origin of Olympic symbols. The rings are inspired by the logo of USFSA (the French Olympic representative), where Pierre de Coubertin took part and could easily borrow the symbol. About the colors (including white background), they came from the national flags of each country that competed on that time. See a quote by Baron de Coubertin, in 1912:
...the six colours [including the flag’s white background] thus combined reproduce the colours of all the nations, with no exception. The blue and yellow of Sweden, the blue and white of Greece, the tri- colours of France, England and America, Germany, Belgium, Italy, Hungary, the yellow and red of Spain next to the novelties of Brazil or Australia, with old Japan and new China. Here is truly an international symbol.
Would he joke? The "color-for-continents" theory isn't truth, so you can't absolutely say "yes" or "no".

This is it. I hope you liked the text. Please, leave your comment (positive, neutral or negative).

Nov 7, 2012


Today I'll talk about Nordic cross flags. After all, what are their magic? The example I chose isn't the older Nordic cross flag (Denmark adopted its flag in 1219), but I personally prefer three color Nordic crosses, and Norway flag is the older in this aspect (1821). Pay attention on this beautiful flag:

About the meaning, nothing too special: blue, white and red were the colors used by France and USA, countries that, at time, were considered democracy and freedom examples. There's a theory saying that red is for Denmark and blue for Sweden, two countries Norway has important historic relationships. Anyway they're perfect together in a Nordic cross.

Returning to the question I asked on the started of this text: why Nordic crosses are so special? They're highly geometric, what takes a lot of points; they're on limit between symmetry and asymmetry, what makes them sound enigmatic — and enigmas, of course, attracts human brains.

Oh, let me talk a little about the origin of Nordic cross flags. As I said, the first was the Danish flag, that, according to the legend, fell from the sky, what doesn't explains too much. But, if you observe, if flown vertically (and they are, when used as gonfalones), they form a Latin cross [✝], an obvious reference to Christianity — some flags, including Norwegian one, explicit this reference on official explanations.

I made this post to compensate the absence last week. I know you probably like Nordic crosses (everybody likes), so what about tell more about it on the comments? Thanks in advance.

Oct 23, 2012

Sardinia (Italy)

In my other blog about flags, I posted a proposal to a new Aragon flag. Studying the possibilities, I found the Sardinia flag. It's below:

There's two answers to the origin of this flag. The Spanish tradition says it was first flown after the victory in the Battle of Alcoraz (1096), between Aragonese and the Moors (here's the association with Aragon). The St. George's cross was used because the saint appeared to help Aragonese army, and the four Moor heads represented the defeated enemies. According to Sardinian tradition, the flag is older (from 1017), attributed by the pope to the Pisans in order to help Sardinian against the Sarracens.

Why am I talking about this specific flag? Because it remembered me about the legendary origin of the use of flags. Whitney Smith, in his famous book "Flags Through the Ages and Across the Time", stated that probably the first "vexilloid" (something like a "proto-flag") possibly was made with a blooded cloth was put on the top of a spear to scare the enemy.

In truth, the oldest flags generally have origin as a cloth to be carried on battles and wars, or else as made by enemies' blood. The Austrian flag and senyera (used in Catalan countries) were on second category. The Danish flag was "received from God" during a battle. Other example ais the blutfahne or blutbanner ("blood flag"), a solid red flag used in Holy Roman Empire by the feudal lords and made with blood of men sentenced by the Blutgericht ("Blood Court"). All of them were created before 13th century.

In the Middle Ages, it could make sense, but killing people to create flag is a unacceptable practice by current moral, fortunately. And some people see the Moor head (also used in Corsican flag) as racist manifestations. And today I presented something like "the secret story of the flags". I hope you liked!

Your comment is very important: it's your way to praise, criticize, suggest or express your opinion. Please, leave your comment.

Oct 16, 2012

Element of flags: color palettes

When you're talking about flag, "coincidences" sometimes aren't what they look like. Many times a flag is intentionally similar to another, when the first taking the second as inspiration. An example easy to notice and study are the color combinations. Some flags are very influential, in the sense that's took as base to many newer flags. Here you can see some of them, grouped by the inspiration.

Pan-African colors

There's two palettes of colors known as pan-African colors: one is composed by red, yellow and green, while the other contains red, black and green.

The first set of color (green, yellow and red) is inspired by the flag of Ethiopian Empire.

This three colors have been specially used in Ethiopia since about 17th century, but the flag was only adopted in 1897. The meaning of the colors is disputed, but generally it's said that red is for the blood spilled in defense of Ethiopia , yellow is for the peace and harmony between Ethiopian ethnic and religious groups, and green for hope or land's fertility. The insignia in the middle of the flag is the Lion of Judah, used because the Ethiopian Dynasty claimed to have ancestry from King Solomon and Queen of Sheba, being named Solomonic Dynasty.

As Ethiopia, with exception of a brief period of Italian rule, resisted strongly to European colonization, many countries adopted this colors when gained independence from European countries, as symbol of sovereignty. They are also much used by the Rastafari Movement.

Other set of colors also known as "Pan-African colors" are composed by red, black and green, derived from UNIA (Universal Negro Improvement Association) flag.

The UNIA was founded by Afro-American activist Marcus Garvey, in 1920. It's commonly said that red stands for African blood, black for the African people and green for continent's fertility. It was adopted as an   unofficial "Afro-American" flag and many African countries inspired in it to create their own flags.

Countries in Americas with great African-descendant population, e.g. St. Kitts and Nevis and Grenada, also adopted pan-African colors. See a small flag chart with some African countries with pan-African colors in their flag history:

[Click on images to zoom]

Pan-Slavic colors

Other great flags family is from pan-Slavic. They use the colors red, white and blue. It's important to notice that not all flags with these colors has pan-Slavic inspiration (like France, USA and UK). They are inspired by the flag approved by Pan-Slav Congress of 1848 (occurred in Prague). The colors, associated with freedom and revolution (e.g. French flag) and the same of Russian flag, were chose in a great number of Slavic countries. See the pan-Slavic flag and a flag chart with flags inspired by it.

Pan-Arab colors

Here's a challenge: can you say right now, without assistance, the differences between Kuwait and Jordan flags? You probably don't; if you can, congratulations, because flags of some Arab countries are very hard to be distinguished by non-Arabs. The reason is simple: they all have the same matrix, in this case the flag used during the Arab Revolt (1916-1918). Look at the flag:

The Arab revolt was an attempt to create an unified Arab country under territories of Ottoman Empire (ruled by ethnic Turks). The flag used during the revolt, considered Arab nationalist, was immediately adopted as symbol of Arab identity. See a set of recognized and unrecognized countries that adopt this colors:

It's important to notice that non-Arab Muslim countries, like Afghanistan and Pakistan, don't adopt this colors.

Pan-Iranian colors

Many flags are commonly thought to represent the pan-Arab colors, but actually represents the pan-Iranian colors, used by Persian people, majority in Iran, Tajikistan and Afghanistan. They're based in Persian flag (nowadays Iran); this one is from before 1906 (date unknown).

The small flag chart below show some flags using pan-Iranian colors:

Colors of Federal Republic of Central America

The Federal Republic of Central America (1823-1838) was a good attempt to hold together previous Spanish colonies in Central America, but the union disbanded, although until today they have friendship relationships and there were other attempts of reunification, e.g. the Greater Republic of Central America (1896-1898). See the flag of the Federal Republic:

The color of these flags are blue and white (Costa Rica added the red).

Colors of Gran Colombia

Finally, the last color-based flag family. In a similar case to Central America, the ex-constituent countries of Gran Colombia (officially Republic of Colombia; 1819-1831) adopted the colors of these countries. The unification ideology, influenced by the ideas of liberator Simón Bolívar, is having some voice last years. Gran Colombia used many flags, being the flag below the first and most famous of them:

The colors that defines this family are yellow, blue and red. Bolivia changed the blue by the green. See the flags of this family:


This was a long post. Don't you think I deserve at least one comment? Please, if possible, subscribe to the blog. Thank you for reading!

Oct 9, 2012

European Union v. USA and Brazil

Brazilian and American flags have a great problem in common: the number of stars. This post will talk about this issue, and how European Union took the right decision to avoid the problem.

The Brazilian flag is, by far, one of more easily distinguishable: the yellow rhombus on green field is pretty unique between the national flags. The biggest problems with it is the writing, that may ever be avoided in a flag, and a extremely complex set of 27 stars, organized between the most seem constellations in Southern Hemisphere. The number of stars reflects the 26 states and the Federal District. When the flag was first designed, in 1889, the number of stars was 21, as was the number of federated states (counting the Federal District). Since then, the flag have the number of stars changed three times. The stars and the motto makes the flag very complicated to be correctly made.

Now, we'll talk about other extreme case: the flag of United States of America (it's important to note that the first Brazilian Republican flag was inspired in this one):

The national American have is composed of thirteen horizontal stripes (seven are red and six are white) and a  blue canton with fifty stars, representing the fifty American states (the District of Columbia isn't in account). Since the design with stars were firstly adopted, in 1776, the number of stars were officially changed 26 times — the flag has been changed in an average interval of nine years! Positively fifty is a great number to any element of a flag. Compare with the famous "Betsy Ross flag", with only thirteen stars:

Wouldn't be easier if the number of stars were fixed since then? Or if this design returns? Aesthetically, yes, but probably many people would disagree. This kind of solution was adopted by European Union flag, originally adopted by Council of Europe, in 1955.

The flag consists in a blue field, inspired by the flag of Paneuropean Union (see its flag now and then), and twelve golden stars in a golden arrangement. These elements sometimes remembers the way Virgin Mary is depicted in Book of Revelations (see example), but it's hard to know if it was a real inspiration. The first proposal had fifteen stars, because then this was the number of member states of Council of Europe, but one of the members, the Saar Protectorate, was a disputed area, and West Germany objected the start for Saar. So they fixed the number of stars in twelve, because the number symbolizes perfection and has no special political connotation.

What's your opinion about the flags presented there, or the post content? Your comment is welcome!

Oct 2, 2012

Arica y Parinacota (Chile)

Some weeks ago I read a news that gave an idea to a new post on this blog: Microsoft, one of biggest enterprises in the world, changed its logo. Look at the new logo:

You may be thinking: OK, but what this have to do with flags? I can better answer you with a flag: the one of Arica and Parinacota Region, in Chile.

It seems like Microsoft copied Arica and Parinacota logo or, more probably, the creators of the flag predicted some design trends. The two are recent: the province was only created in 2007.

This example shows perfectly that a flag can be a design piece. Unfortunately, this also shows that flag-making rules aren't necessarily identical to design rules. For example, writing is something that somebody with vexillologic knowledge would avoid.

In other hand, this model can be used as problem without major problems: some elements of the place are shown (llamas, a colonial building, a beach and mountains). It's distinguishable and can be used in many occasions (see the regional Manual of Graphic Norms). At least, still this design become old-fashioned: see the flag of Newfoundland and Labrador and you'll know better the problem — being sincere, probably Labrador and Newfoundland flag never looked good.

Thank you for reading. Every comment is welcome.

Sep 24, 2012


Who owns a flag? Technically, with exception of private flags, about 90% of all flags are in public domain, i.e., the subject represented by the flag doesn't gain royalties by the use of it. It's the main reason flags can be seen everywhere: at Internet, on magazines and newspapers, etc., although commonly they're protected of being used in merchandises, but you still can see it.

Today I'll speak about a successful example: Switzerland. See the flags (first is national flag, second is the civil and state ensign):

The flag of Switzerland is good: simple, easy to be remembered. And it's almost impossible not associate the Swiss flag with this symbol-products: Swiss Army knives, clocks, chocolate. For instance, look at the trademarks of two official Swiss Army knives manufacturers: Victorinox and Wenger.

If it's right or not, it's not the question; the truth is that flags, principally when they're easily distinguishable, can still favor national economy!

Did you liked the post? No? Your opinion is welcome on comments. By the way, answer me: in your country, is there any enterprise that associates its products to national flag?

Sep 19, 2012


The today's flag is very beautiful and has an awesome symbolism: it's Nauru, an island in Pacific Ocean that constitutes a country only bigger than Monaco and Vatican City. However, its flag is worthy of a great nation!

This flag has many characteristics of a great flag: good geometric layout, contrasting colors, simplicity, originality, etc.

It's alright, isn't it? Now let me talk a little about Nauru flag history and symbolism. It was adopted in 1968, being designed by an Australian flag manufacturer. The blue represents, in some way, the ocean. The yellow line represents the Equator, and the white represents the island position just below the Equator. The star is white, representing the phosphate — the great wealth of island in the past —, and is twelve-pointed as expressing the twelve original tribes that have inhabited the country.

What's your opinion about Nauru flag? Please, leave your comment.

Sep 9, 2012

Element of flags: The Southern Cross

Today I'll write about the Southern Cross (also know by its scientific name, "Crux"), a symbol present in flags, coat of arms and other design issues from everywhere in Southern Hemisphere. Maybe, you, in Northern Hemisphere, want to know: what do you see in special in Southern Cross? Myself, a Brazilian, could answer: everything.

[Note: This flag is from Cruzeiro do Sul, Acre, Brazil. For me, the simplest demonstration of Crux majesty]
Firstly, it's important what the Southern Cross means: the South, its ancestors and its lands. During the Antiquity, it was visible in southern Europe and other similar locations. But, in the transition to Middle Ages, approximately, the change of Earth axial inclination hided it until, at least, some thousands of years.

The first time the Southern Cross was saw again by an European was in 1500, during the Discovery of Brazil, by Portuguese astronomer João Faras. Since then, navigators adopted the Crux in the same way the land natives was using it since immemorial times: as a reference mark to Southern Pole (my post about Antarctic flags shows one flag refering to this fact). And it's as a symbol of geographic position that the Southern Cross is used in flags, etc. See a small gallery with some of these flags:

[Click on image to zoom]
The Southern Cross is frequently seen in flags of Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Chile, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, and Samoa, and it's featured in many of Australia and New Zealand proposals to new flags.

I'm a great fan of Southern Cross, but I must to tell a bad note: the Southern Cross is tattooed, in Australia, with a connotation of  nationalism that sometimes comes near xenophobia. However, I think until many Australia recognizes the Southern Cross as the incredible symbol it is.

If you want to give your opinion about the post or the Southern Cross use in flags, feel free to comment. Thank you!

Aug 30, 2012

Albania, Kingdom of Jerusalem

Today post is about rule of tincture, a tradition that came from heraldry but that everyone interested in flags design will need to know someday. Basically, it says that a color can't be placed over a color, and a metal can't be placed over a metal. Firstly, it's needed to know the heraldic concepts of color and metal.

Light tinctures, i.e. white and yellow, are considered metals. Darker tinctures, i.e. red, blue, green, purple and black, are called colors. Non-traditional tinctures use to be classified as colors, but some scholars defend the sky blue, buff-color and some metallic colors (e.g. iron, steel, bronze) are being metals .

The rule of tinctures is rigidly followed in United Kingdom and Anglophone countries. Nevertheless, in continental Europe, it's mostly used as a aesthetic recommendation, being exceptions more common there. I'll mention and explain two cases of broken rule, one of each case.

It's just a conjectural flag: maybe it was white over yellow instead of yellow over white, and the smaller cross could exist or not. Whatever it broke the rules of tinctures: yellow and white are both heraldic "metals". But there's some freedom in this case: the Kingdom of Jerusalem was a medieval crusader kingdom, so the combination of yellow and white was accepted just because of religious purposes (repair they're Vatican colors).

The rule is also broken in Albanian flag, but for inverse reason: it's considered, by heraldic scholars, "color" over "color". However, Eastern European tradition admit this: there's the marten and zibelline tinctures, looking exactly like red (gules) and black (sable), respectively, but treated as "furs" (a kind of heraldic texture), considered neutral to the rule.

By the way, a little explanation about Albanian flag history: the black double-head eagle over red background was present on the coat of arms of Kastriot family — George Kastriot Skanderbeg fought against Ottoman domination in XV century. In 1912, Albania gained independence from Ottomans again, and the model was remembered, and it has been used, with small changes, since then.

Did you like this post? Do you want to comment about Jerusalem or Albania flags? Have any doubt about the rule of tinctures? Leave a comment, please.

Aug 22, 2012

Greenland (Denmark)

Today's post is about a very interesting design technique, used both in flags and coat of arms: the "counterchanged" effect. What is this? It's easier explain with an example, and I chose a great and famous one: Greenland!

In this case, it's said that red and white are counterchanged. When using contrasting colors, like these, it's a dynamic way of make them become even more contrasting. A simple and original design, like this, is the reason to this beautiful flag.

And a additional detail makes it simply extraordinary: there's a good symbolism behind! At first sight, the flag resembles the sun fading on horizon and being reflected by the sea. And the flag creator admits other meanings: the white stripe for glaciers and ice cap, the red stripe for the ocean, the red semicircle to the sun, and finally the white semicircle to icebergs. Simply genial!

Extra: the Greenlandic flag was adopted in 1985, when the above flag received 14 votes. The runner-up ended with 11 votes. This is the flag that ended in second place:

It's an interesting flag, too. Greenland flag is the only national Nordic flag currently doesn't using the Nordic cross, but this second proposal uses. The color meaning is interesting: white for ice and green is canting island name: Greenland ("green land"). There're rumors, that I can't personally confirm, that while current flag is used principally by Inuit, the Danish-descendant prefer this proposed flag. If it's true, reasons are clear!

Did you like the post? Do you want to express your opinion about any of these flags? Leave a comment, please. Thank you for reading!

Aug 15, 2012

Estonia, Ukraine

Today I'll post something about flags representing landmarks, a technique that commonly generate good flags. Currently, at least three independent nations use landmark flags: Estonia, Kiribati and Ukraine. In local spheres, they're also very used. This post will be focused on Estonia and Ukraine, my favorite flags in this criteria.


The yellow and blue has been associated with Ukraine for centuries, and there's no register of what this originally represents. The current flag was adopted in 1992, after USSR broke-up, but a very similar model was used soon after World War I. In modern times, blue is associated with sky, while yellow is for wheat fields. See a typical Ukrainian landmark that explain this interpretation:


More interesting example is Estonian flag:

A historic interpretation gives an alternate explanation to the colors: blue for ancient freedom, black for lost independence and white for a brighter future. Other interpretations exist, however. And some Estonians associate it to the winter landmark in the country: blue is sky, black the tree without leaves and white the snow floor. See a truly Estonian image:

Do you liked the post? Want to show your liking for another flag with landmark? Write me a comment, please.

Aug 7, 2012


Today I'll denounce what is, for me, a historic injustice. Some people use to say "I'm lazier than the man that created Japanese flag". The Japanese flag is simple, but not silly, and I'll demonstrate it below. Now, let's see Japanese flag:

The Japanese flag consists of a red circle over a white background. The circle represents the sun, so the flag is know as Nisshōki ("sun-mark flag") or, more popularly, as Hinomaru ("sun circle" or "circle of the sun"). Why is this perfect to Japan? Because Japan = Sun. Let me explain better. In Japanese, the country is known as Nippon or Nihon, both meaning "sun's origin". The word "Japan" comes from Mandarin Cipan, that means "country of sun's origin". With translation to many languages, the country is known as "The Land of Rising Sun". Is there something better than a red circle to represent Japan? Maybe, but I don't know what.

An extra: The Japanese "Rising Sun" flag.

It's far better than Japanese national flag, almost plain. It's something like an improvement of anterior flag. But probably it'll never be adopted as national flag, and the reasons are many. It was used, until the end of World War II, as Japanese Empire war flag. So, in Japan, it's a symbol of far-right and, in neighbors countries, symbol of militarism and imperialism. An asymmetric version of this flag is still used by country's Navy. Unfortunately, the history doesn't honor the design.

I want to know your opinion about Japanese flag. Do you think it's a good flag, or that its creator is only less lazy than the previous Libyan flag's one? Give your comment.

Jul 31, 2012

Franco-Newfoundlanders (Canada)

I've said before how much I like modern flag. Not that I dislike traditional flags, but modern flags put the creativity to next level. Today I'll present one of these flags: the flag of Francophone people in Newfoundland and Labrador, the Franco-Newfoundlanders (in English) or Franco-Terreneuviens (in French). Look at it:

These different partitions haven't place in traditional vexillology, but, in a different than modern way, a great flag like this never would take place. What I like most in this flag is the way the white and red partitions border forms a mast. Actually, many of Francophone Canadians flags has excellent designs.

Let me explain the symbolism of this flag. The flag is, obviously, based in flags of France and Acadia (French North America). The form how the partitions are divided, as I said above, simulates a ship mast. The yellow parts form the ship's flags; color is picked from Acadian flag. The ship represents the Breton, Basque and French fishermen that came to region in colonial period. The first sail holds a spruce twig (symbol of Labrador), and the second one holds a pitcher flower (provincial flower of Newfoundland and Labrador).

And you? Do you prefer traditional or modern flags? Why?

Jul 20, 2012

Curaçao (Netherlands)

Some time ago, I said I'll post some Caribbean flags, because some of them are among the best flags in all the world. I posted the ones from Barbados and former Anguilla Republic, but now I'll posted other beautiful flag: the one from Curaçao, a Dutch dependency on Caribbean Sea. Its flag is this:

This flag exists and is in use since 1982, but gained more visibility on 2010, when Netherlands Antilles was dissolved and Curaçao gained the states of "country" under Dutch dominion. The main virtue of this flag is simplicity: just geometrical shapes, very visible and distinguishable one of others.

 The symbolism isn't much different from the others Caribbean good flags. The flag has two blue stripes: the stripe on top is for sky, the one from bottom is for sea. They're separated by a yellow stripe, symbolizing the sun that bathes island's surface.

The flag also comprises two stars on top-left canton. The bigger represents Curaçao island, bigger island on archipelago and from where the administration is settled; the second is for Klevin Curaçao island, the second bigger from archipelago. They also mean "love and happiness". According to flag creators, the star are five-pointed because the local people came from "five continents".

I hope you liked the post. Anyway, comments are welcome!

Jul 11, 2012

Unified Korea

The today's post is about map flags. Everybody have seen someday a flag with a map on it: Cyprus, Kosovo, The United Nations and also an Antarctic flag proposal (see my post about Antarctic flags), just to name a few of them. But tonight I'll relate about another map flag: that one used by a unified Korean team (formed by athletes from North Korea and South Korea) in some sportive competitions in 1990s and 2000s. They used this flag:

This flag isn't awesome. Being true, it's very boring. A white background with a map of Korean Peninsula and surrounding islands, in light blue. Why light blue? It's a color usually used to represent neutrality, because it's used by UN (I don't want to enter in discussions about UN's level of neutrality).

You may say: but why don't we use a flag that contains common elements to both Koreas, or historically used by the both. Oh, I have a flag that fit perfectly in both categories: the flag used by Josean and, after that, by Korean Empire. The flag is this:

Now, answer this question: isn't it similar to the flag used by one of the sides?

DPR Korea (North Korea)Republic of Korea (South Korea)

Anybody saying it doesn't resemble South Korean flag is lying or being ironical. I'm sure that North Korea doesn't consider this flag much "neutral". So they used the first flag, that one with the map.

So, it's the reason why I mentioned unified Korea flag. Are maps flags absolutely cool? Generally, not. Are they simple? No, they increase flag-maker's work a lot. But, in spite of all criticism, they're used, because they're neutral options, and usually every size agree with them.

Did you liked the posted? Yes? No? Please, give me feedback, and comments are the best way.