Jun 24, 2012

Anguilla Republic (1967-1969)

Do you know when a historic flag is good? When it's popular until today, not for what it means historically, but for how it looks. Anguilla Republic is an example.

Until 1980, Anguilla was part of a British colonial federation called Saint Christopher-Nevis-Anguilla. They used this flag (no, it's not the today's flag):

In 1967, Saint Christopher and Nevis gained  internal autonomy, but Anguilla continued to be administered by Saint Christopher, causing a rebellion that continued until 1969, during what Anguilla considered itself an independent republic. From this period, Anguilla used this beautiful flag:

A good flag can obtain different labels: classic, stately, precise... for it, I think it should be "cute". The dolphins instantaneously made local people fall in love, and I understand it perfectly. The main element in this flag are, of course, the dolphins forming a circle, symbolizing continuity. They're orange symbolizing endurance and strength. The white is for peace and tranquility, and turquoise blue is for the sea, but also for youth, faith and hope.

The rebellions wasn't successful because, as I said, the secession only occurred in 1980, but flag continued to be used locally and unofficially. In 1990, Anguilla finally adopted its official flag, resounding former republican flag, but you can see, until today, the "dolphins flag" (as it is gently known) flying along Anguilla.
I'll end this post with current Anguillan flag, whose badge is inspired in this pretty historic flag:

What's your feeling about Anguilla flag? Keep it on comments.

Jun 16, 2012

Jolly Roger flag

Pirates flags were an powerful pop icon at 20th century, and still are. A common denomination to pirate flags is "Jolly Roger", usually represented by a black field with white skull and crossbones. But it differs a bit from their historic origins.

A common pirate flag from Golden Age of Piracy (16th century) is a plain red flag (Qatar and Bahrain put white on their flags to prevent retaliation to their ships). Some histories, possibly untrue, relate that the term "Jolly Roger" comes from "jolie rouge" ("pretty red" in French). The reason is curious: in naval code, a black flag means there're prisoners at ship; a red flag means there aren't (in pirates' case, all the enemies are dead). Click here to see an authentic red Jolly Roger.

Along the time, the black flag increased of use. The color was chose because it doesn't resembles any national flag, suggesting pirates are people without homeland (similar symbolism explains the use of black by Anarchists).

Now a final explanation: skull and crossbones are commonly used by pirates, OK, but not a lot more than full skeletons, hourglasses, cutlasses and "pierced" hearts. They're all used as symbols of danger and experience.

So, if you constructed a pirate flag in your childhood, I sorrily advert you were mistaken. But children like fantasy, however.

And, in the end, a very curious Jolly Roger, from Bartholomew Roberts, showing a supposed encounter between him and the Death: