Feb 26, 2013

Glamorgan (Wales, United Kingdom) [Proposal]

I'd like to add the subtitle "How a flag is born", but I think it would make a great title even bigger. I like this Glamorgan flag proposal not only because it's very attractive but also because it exemplifies how a flag should be created.

Firstly, it's important to say: what's Glamorgan? It's a historic, or traditional, county of Wales. It was formally abolished in 1974, but it resists as a "traditional county" i.e. as a place people still consider to have belonging. It's the flag of Glamorgan:

This flag is, actually, a kind of banner of arms (a rectangular version of the coat of arms) of Iestyn ap Gwrgant, the last Welsh ruler of Morgannwg (do you realize the name similarity?). It was an inspiration to many coats of arms of places in former Glamorgan. See examples:
Mid Glamorgan
South Glamorgan
Vale of Glamorgan
West Glamorgan

It even appears of the flag of the city of Cardiff, capital of Wales located on former Glamorgan:

This flag has everything to became the flag of the traditional county of Glamorgan: it's simple, distinctive, well-recognized and unifying (the examples I showed proved the last two). If you're interested on the campaign to a new Glamorgan flag (wherever you live), click here. If you want to find other county flag proposals, click here.

Comments are welcome!

Feb 13, 2013

Article: The British art of merger

In flags and coat of arms, a merger is usually a political act: it's used to represent the cooperation of two different parts or parties in condition of equality. I like to say it's a British art, for the many occasions it occurred on those lands. See some examples:

Royal badges of England

From 1455 and 1485, the then Kingdom of England lived a dynastic indecision between two rival branches of Plantagenet dynasty: the House of York and the House of Lancaster. The symbol of the House of York was a white rose pointing the bottom, while the House of Lancaster used a red rose pointing the top as insignia. When Henry Tudor (future king Henry VII) unified the two factions and achieved the peace, a new rose was created: the Tudor rose, still used as the royal badge of England.
York rose
Lancaster rose
Tudor rose

Royal badges of United Kingdom

So the Tudor rose became the royal badge of England. After the death of Queen Elizabeth I, the last monarch of Tudor dynasty, there were the Union of Crowns (1603) i.e. the King of Scots (the formal name of the King of Scotland) became automatically King of England. The kingdoms were administered separately, although had the same head of state, until the Acts of Union (1706-1707), that created the United Kingdom of Great Britain, constituted by the two former kingdoms.

The two kingdoms had particular pre-Union histories and, although the capital of new kingdom would be on London (England), the Scots wanted equal representation. A new badge was created, merging the Tudor rose, royal badge of England, and the thistle, the royal badge of Scotland.
Tudor rose (England)Thistle (Scotland)Royal badge of United Kingdom
of Great Britain

In 1800, a similar merge occurred: the Kingdom of Ireland, that was in personal union with Kingdom of England since the Crown of Ireland Act (1572) and, after the Union Act, with the United Kingdom of Great Britain, was unified with the United Kingdom, by acts also name Acts of Union. The badge of the two kingdoms were also merged.
Royal badge of United Kingdom
of Great Britain
Shamrock (Ireland)Royal badge of United Kingdom
of Great Britain and Ireland

The badge didn't change after the independence of Irish Free State (current Republic of Ireland) or the power devolution to Wales, that has its own badges.

Flags of United Kingdom

And the same things that occurred on the royal badges occurred on flags: the St. George's cross, the flag of England, was merged to the St. Andrew's cross, the flag of Scotland, to create the flag of the United Kingdom of Great Britain, that was merged to St. Patrick's cross, the cross-flag of Ireland, to create the flag of United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. There are many proposals to add Welsh representation under the badge, but none approved.
St. George's cross (England)St. Andrew's cross (Scotland)Flag of United Kingdom
of Great Britain
Flag of United Kingdom
of Great Britain
St. Patrick's cross (Ireland)Flag of United Kingdom
of Great Britain and Ireland

Your comment is welcome!

Maybe, on a future opportunity, I explain the meaning of each one of the flags above: St. George's, St. Andrew's and St. Patrick's crosses.

Feb 4, 2013

Australia and New Zealand: Sports

Today's post pays tribute to the flags Australians and New Zealanders use on sportive events. The reason is very simple, you need only to look at this:

It isn't a rare occasion: it occurred, for example, in men's indoor cycling last Olympics game (see evidence). That arrangement is derogatorily known as "Great Britain, Little Britain, Littler Britain", and you can imagine why: Australia and New Zealand are among the four British ex-colonies that still use a British ensign (the others are Fiji, which will change the flag soon, and Tuvalu), all in Oceania. To avoid flags confusion, specially when Australia plays against New Zealand, the two countries have their own unofficial sportive flags.

Australian have the "Boxing Kangaroo" flag (this flag also appears without stars and letters):

The kangaroo is the animal symbol of Australia, everybody knows it, and their ceremonial fights inspired this flag. Green and gold are the national colors of Australia, from national floral emblem, the golden wattle.

Inspired by Australian boxing kangaroo, the New Zealanders came with the "Fighting Kiwi" flag.

Black and white are New Zealand national colors, took from the silver fern, New Zealand national symbol. The kiwi is a symbol of New Zealand, and represent the way New Zealanders colloquially call themselves: "Kiwis".

It's how previous podium would look like if the flags hold by supporters were officially used by national teams:

OK, these flags are funny, but maybe inadequate to appear on more serious situations. Luckily, they have other alternatives; New Zealand, for example, use the "Silver Fern" flag, a very popular proposal to a new national flag:

The silver fern is used as emblem of many sportive teams in NZ, and this is, by sure, much better than the "Fighting Kiwi".

For Australia, the Ausflag (a non-profit organization with tho objective of replace Australian flag) proposed a Australian "sportive flag" on the end of last month, so it's too early to know if supporter will massively adopt it. It's the proposed flag:

It combines the Southern Cross of current flag with green and yellow, the Australian national colors, as I said before. Maybe a golden wattle could be an option, but it's harder to work than Kiwi silver fern.

A new podium:

Ending, it's possible national flags variants with the sportive colors; similar designs are often found on audiences:
  • Australia

  • New Zealand

And a podium with those flags:

I want you to comment, please: What's your favorite podium? Would you suggest other flag or other combination?