Jun 17, 2013

East Timor

Today, we'll look at the flag of one of newest nations in the world: East Timor. Look at this pretty piece:

I remember that the first time I saw the East Timor flag was on a stamp of my country, Brazil, commemorating the first anniversary of the independence of this friend nation, about a decade ago:

At the time, I was slightly more interested in stamps than in flags, but I became immediately curious with the shapes of that flag. I needed more months to found an updated flag section, I can't remember if on an atlas or in the internet.

The "boomerang" shape thrilled me, and I still find it very original. Not coincidentally, it's very similar to a proposal to a new Australian flag. The inclined star is also very unique.

Now, a little about the meaning and history of this flag. The flag adopted in 2002 is the same used in 1975, during a brief period of independence. The black represents the "the obscurantism that needs to be overcome", according to official sources, while the yellow triangle represents the traces of colonialism. The red is for the fight for independence, and the white star (on the color of peace) represents the "light that guides". The symbolism, all in all, represents a young nation trying to overcome its problems and build a better future.
Your comments are welcome.

Hispanicity / Americas

The flag of the Hispanic people isn't widely seen, in spite of its excellent design and the official status it holds in the whole American continent. Looking at it:

The flag has a white colors, representing peace. The three crosses (known as crosses pattées in heraldry) represent the nao Santa María and the caravels Pinta and Niña, the three ships ceded to Christopher Columbus in the discovery of American continent, as well as the Christianity. They are purple, according to the author of the flag, the Uruguayan army captain Ángel Camblor, in reference to the lion of the kingdom of Leon, later annexed to the Crown of Castile, where the Spanish idiom was developed. The sun represents the Inca sun-god Inti, associated in some countries with the May Sun.

This flag is used in Spanish-speaking Latin America, Hispanic communities in North America, and in Philippines, as an ethnic flag of ethnic people. Its use is most commonly flown in Columbus Day. In those occasions, it's also known as "bandera de la raza" (i.e. "flag of the race").

Moreover, it's officially regarded, in all countries of the continent, as the "flag of the Americas" i.e. as a Pan-American flag independently of ethnic identity, since the seventh assembly of Pan-American Conference, occurred in 1933.

As I said, I think this flag should me much more popular, specially in its use as a Pan-American symbol. Although the flag's symbolism is initially associated with Hispanic ethnicity, some may say Columbus is relevant to the history of the whole continent, and that the sun can be represent the concept of "New World" (as America where known before this name was given) and the liberation process of the continent.

Your comment is welcome. Feel free to comment.