May 30, 2012


At last May 28th, Malawi changed this flag, or better saying, returned to the model had been used for decades, since Malawi independence. The new-old flag is this:

This flag has only dark colors, what made it a little irritating to eyes. But it's only similar to Kenya flag, and not a lot to be easily confused. Before now, it was used from independence (1964) to 2010, and became a strong nationalist symbol to Malawian people. The rising sun even represents the liberation from European colonialism. The influences to this model is Marcus Garvey flag and the former Biafra flag. In 2010, the government changed the national flag to this design:

Why did they change the flag? Just to leave their mark in history. The last flag is more similar to Marcus Garvey's and Biafra flags. This sun is representing the "incredible" development in Malawi. Two rules explain the reason of popularity disaster:

  1. Not to change what's good.
  2. To change a flag produces costs.

The second rule is the most important: The first national flag was showed in car plates, and would be very expensive to replace every plate — being true, it still hasn't occurred.

And what's your opinion about the Malawi change of flag? Please, comment.

May 25, 2012


Antarctica hasn't a official flag. Sorry, there's a Antarctic Treaty flag, but it doesn't count. There's three hugely famous Antarctic flag proposals. Two were made by two of more famous world vexillologists: Graham Bartram, chief-vexillologist of Flag Institute, and Whitney Smith, famous principally for create the term "vexillology". The third is by Dave Hamilton.

The most famous of three is the one made by Graham Bartram, that's so used in media that it's almost an unofficial flag of Antarctica. Blue to sea, white to ice, forming Antarctic map. Simply beautiful, but we shall admit that this colors aren't the most distinguishable in polar landmark. The good point is that the flag is very neutral, and it refers directly to Antarctica.

The Whitney Smith's proposal is, at least, very visible, because of its orange color. But isn't a very good design, for me. The "A", for Antarctica, is easily removable. The map of Antarctica isn't very visible: a great number of people, at first sight, think it's a bowl — with some reason. The hands, that symbolizes the peaceful use, is a good idea, thought. At all, I think it isn't totally adequated.

The Dave Hamilton's proposal is known for being used in fake "Antarctic Dollar" notebanks. From top to bottom, the colors mean: the sky; the aurora australis; the ice and sea. The symbolism and colors are great, but the right canton hardly will be seen in that windy continent. (There's any astronomer to confirm that Southern Cross looks like that in South Pole?)

The three designs have problems, but can be worked to look cool and visible at ice at same time. What is your favorite?

What's your opinion? Do your comment!
 Looking for Antarctic flags, I found this funny Flicklr about flags.

May 16, 2012

South Africa

New governments, when take the power, often change the flags, thinking it'll change the people's feeling. I'm skeptic about it. For me, new flags can't change the people's identity, but change in people's identity can turn necessary a new flag. This occurred with South Africans: in 1994, they changed from the first flag to second:

Of course, I prefer the last. The first flag is a combination of the Dutch "Prince flag" with, in the center, miniatures of flags from United Kingdom and two former Boer republics: Orange and Transvaal. Summarily, only references to European-ethnic people.

With the end of apartheid, the South African citizenship was opened to African-ethnic people. The people's feeling was different, there was an imminent identity reconstruction over the country; the flag wasn't corresponding anymore the people identity. Quickly, it was prepared a provisional flag, that, because its enormous popularity, became permanent. It's the second flag.

The basis of this design is the former flag; if you look behind the pall, you'll see the same tricolor flag. In this case, the red tone is an intermediary between Dutch orange and English plain red. Black, gold and green are the colors from African National Congress flag, used to represent the African-ethnic population.

The presence of the horizontal pall has a special meaning: two people (represented by two legs on left) coming in same direction (the only leg in right).

If you need to present a defect of this flag, I can see a critical one: the flag has six main colors! Probably, it's the only national flag in this condition. But, it's so creative, ambitious and... South African that, if you review, you'll see why this flag still make magic!

May 6, 2012

Guernsey (United Kingdom)

Flags obtained from mixing two or more older flags are very common on "alternate history" and sci-fi websites. I have to admit that some of them have some artistic merit. But this kind of flag exists in real life (remember of Maryland), and Guernsey is a good example of when it occurs nicely.

This is a young flag: was created in 1985. This is a mix of St. George's flag, that was being used since 1936 as state flag (I don't know how the College of Arms and similar organs allowed it), with a old Norman cross, used by William the Conqueror, in the center. You can see below a deduction of how William's banner looked like:

This flag was created because Guernsey's St. George's cross was confused with English St. George's Cross, for example, at sportive competitions — it's obvious, they used the same flag!

The result, as you can see, was very good. The Guernsey flag is distinctive, easily memorized and good-looking. And it has, definitely, a pretty medieval look to a flag from 1985.