Dec 26, 2014

Cusco (Peru)

I'm currently backpacking at South America and, as one could expect, a stay in Cusco and Machu Picchu was on the plans. The most curious flag I found so far is municipality of Cusco's.

This is the cusqueña flag:

The only difference between this flag and the current LGBT flag is that the latter has just six stripes, omitting the light blue. Curiously, the interval between the adoption of both flags is about one year, in late 1970s.

But it's is identical to original flag of International Co-operative Alliance (changed in 2001 to a logo-like flag). Most historians reject the ancestral origins of the Cusco flag, but a very curious theory links the flag to cooperative one: the original cooperative flag was proposed by Peruvian feminist Flora Tristán, after visiting a supposed temple dedicated to the rainbow in Peru. So, while the flag is certainly a modern invention, it may be indirectly linked to legitimate Quechua (the main ethnicity of Inca Empire) symbolism.

Due to the similarity with LGBT flag, a flag change was decided in 2007, not without polemics. The expected public consultation still haven't occurred, though.

Comments are welcome!

Nov 24, 2014

Palestine [Larousse (1939)]

Last weeks, an image has been circulated in the internet, spreading a lot of lies. It's a photograph of the flags appendix of the 1939 edition of Larousse Encyclopedia [click to zoom]:

What's so polemic about it? In the second page, third row, third column, iy's possible to see a flag labelled as "Palestine", whose design is like below:

Many people have argued that it's an ultimate proof that, before United Nations, the British Mandate of Palestine had already a Jewish character. Firstly, it's not an absolute proof: although the Larousse is usually one of most reliable encyclopedias, its flag appendix isn't. In the same image, you can see other wrong flags, like that of Morocco and Soviet Union. Actually, the supposed Palestine flag also appeared in the 1933 edition, also unreliable.

But isn't still possible that this flag flew in the British Mandate of Palestine? Probably not. The only flag officially flown on the Mandate, apart from the Union Flag, was its civil ensign:

But they should have taken this flag from somewhere, shouldn't they? Yes, they should, but they could have invented as well. It's chronologically possible that this flag was inspired by the proposed flag of the 1924 Jewish Cultural Congress:

But the British Mandate of Palestine was still predominantly Jewish, wasn't it? Well, I'm not a specialist in the matter, but the Mandate also included the area of current Kingdom of Jordan, and, with the restrictions on Jewish immigrants, it's unlikely. Sorry, Internet...

Comments are welcome.

You can alo check the Flaglog post.

Oct 31, 2014

Bolivia [naval ensign]

Bolivia is currently a landlocked country, losing its remaining sea cost in the 1879-1883 War of the Pacific (not to be confused with the WW2's Pacific theater). It's surely not the only landlocked country in the world with a navy, but having a distinct naval ensign is certainly curious, specially for its symbolism.

This is the reported naval ensign of Bolivia, created in 1966:

In the canton, you can see national flag of Bolivia; part of its symbolism was briefly addressed in another post. The blue color represents the sea, the nine stars represents the current nine departments of Bolivia. The tenth star, bigger and prominent, is the most dramatic part of the flag: it represents the lost Litoral department (that contained all Bolivian former sea coast) and, at the same time, the hope to once again have a sea access.

Although Bolivia doesn't have, currently, an oceanic fleet, the ensign is commonly saw in Lake Titicaca (the biggest South American lake) and many large rivers.

A variant flag found on photographs is the following:

The colorful checks is a representation of the Wiphala, a flag used by the native Aymara people and, since 2009, a national symbol of Bolivia. Its status is uncertain to me; any additional information is gladly received.

Comments are welcome!

Oct 18, 2014

Italy [jack]

A jack is a naval flag flown by warships and other vessels at the head of a ship. On today's post, we'll see the curious Italian jack.

That jack is very different from Italian flag:

This flag contains four quarters, each one representing, respectively, one of the main Italian "maritime republics" or thalassocracies (from Greek, "rule of the sea"): Venice, Genoa, Amalfi and Pisa.

  • Venice is represented by the Lion of St. Mark (symbolism from Revelation 4:7), because it's believed that the body of the evangelist rests in the cathedral of that city.
  • Genoa was the first of many Northern Italian cities to adopt the St. George's cross, but probably there isn't connections between that and the St. George, even though he's patron saint of Genoa.
  • The Amalfi's is very similar to Maltese cross (but with blue background instead of red), and it's possible that the former predates the latter: merchants from Amalfi founded the hospital where the Order of St. John (Knights Hospitaller) was based.
  • The cross of Pisa was granted by pope Benedict VIII to the fight against Saracens in Sardinia.

While the anverse of the flag shows St. Mark's lion's head, the reverse shows his tail...

Additionally, the merchant vessels politely flies a jack without the sword. The open book reads "Pax tibi Marce, evangelista meus" ("May peace be with you, Mark, my evangelist"), what, following the tradition, an angel said to Mark when pointing his burial place at Venice.

Comments and suggestions are welcome.

Sep 21, 2014

United Kingdom without Scotland [fictional]

September 18th, 2014. That day, Scotland had the change to vote for its independence from United Kingdom, in a referendum. In the breakfast of the next day, the votes count confirmed the "No". However, in the upcoming weeks, there were many predictions about a hypothetic United Kingdom without Scotland, including the flags.

Among those flags, one of the most commonly found was the following:

How is this design done? Pick the current flag and remove the blue. But, differently from popular knowledge, it's not 100% free of "Scottishness".

As I antecipated in this article, the strange look of St. Patrick's cross (the red saltire i.e. diagonal cross) is due to its merge with Scottish St. Andrew's cross. What a parcel of media forgot was that, without Scottish saltire, the flag would look like this:

This layout is, by far, bolder and more equilibrated. Obviously, many other design could be taken into consideration, and media did it; some of them kept the blue, others added elements to Wales and, more rarely, Cornwall.

Comments are welcome!

Aug 31, 2014


If you had to choose a flag to be used forever, unchanged, how would it look like? Tonga made its choice already.

This is the flag of Tonga:

Since the 1840s, European missionaries arrived in the islands with the goal of converting the natives to Christianity. They were successful: according to last census, more than 90% of the population profess a branch of this religion.

When the first king of Tonga converted to Methodism, he adopted a flag consisting of a red cross on a white field, representing purity.

The flag was changed in 1866, putting the old flag as a canton of the red field, representing the Blood of Christ shed on crucifixion. A reason commonly attributed to the change was the fact it was identical to the White Cross' flag, adopted by the Geneva Conventions two years earlier. It's not clear if the similarity with a British red ensign was intended or not, since Tonga was then a British protectorate.

According the current Tonga constitution act, from 1875, this flag "can never be altered" and "shall always be the flag". Obviously, the flag could be changed after a new constitution. As this flag doesn't have political signs, the only reasons I can think to replacing it is either Christianism losing relevance on the country or people bore with this bold and elegant design. None of them seems near to happen, so it's a good bet if this flag lasts forever...

Comments are welcome!

Aug 19, 2014

Gibraltar (United Kingdom)

The flag of Gibraltar is one of most curious cases of symbolic transfer. It's currently carried as a strong symbol of loyalty to the British crown (as you can see on these photos), what strongly contradicts its historical origins.

This is the flag of Gibraltar:

This flag is a banner of arms (a rectangular version of a coat of arms) of Gibraltar. Although confirmed by the College of Arms after the English conquest of the rock, the original grant of arms was made by Queen Isabella the Catholic, of Castile, commemorating the Spanish "re-conquest" of the place.

And the coat of arms and, consequently, the flag, is emerged in Spanish symbolism: the castle is pun on "Castile" and the biggest symbol of that kingdom, now part of Spain. The key represents the nickname of "key of Spain", although this metaphor has its origins at the time the Arabs still controlled the rock.

The most ironic thing on this flag becoming a symbol of loyalty to the British crown, in my opinion, is the fact that the Spanish never stopped using it as their own symbol. At the English takeover of the rock, most of Spanish residents of Gibraltar moved to a recently-established city called San Roque (notice the pun on "St. Rock"). As most of San Roque's earlier government was strongly linked to Spanish Gibraltarian one, they kept using the coat of arms, and now fly this flag:

A "Gibraltarian" flag with a Spanish crown. Yes, this is something that would cause much confusion to an unsuspecting.

Comments are welcome.

Jul 28, 2014


How many persons in the world had the luck of designing not one, but two national flags, from two different countries? Frederick Brownwell, that served for almost twenty years as South African state herald, had this privilege and used it to create two of the most awesome national flags around the world.

Apart from being the chairman of the committee that chose Namibian national flag (the public submitted hundreds of entries), Brownwell designed the current South African flag. Clicking here, you can see my review about it.

Here is the current Namibian national flag:

At first sight, you can see some similarities with South African flag that Brownwell designed years after. One is use of many colors, all of them very contrasting with the neighbors. Other, more subtle, is that it incorporates colors from the flags of political parties, what's not uncommon in African continent: its basis is the flag of SWAPO, the main liberation party and that have ruled the country since its independence, but it's visible the similarities with the logo of a traditional opposition party, the DTA.

The colors can also be associated with common symbolism: red for the heroic people, white for peace and unity, blue for the sky and the waters, including Atlantic Ocean, green for the forests and agriculture. The yellow sun represents life and energy.

Long live Brownwell!

Comments are welcome!

Jul 19, 2014

Bonaire (Netherlands)

The island of Bonaire is a special municipality of Netherlands located in the Caribbean Sea. Its flag is possibly, one of the most successful created by a committee, that included, among others, the famous vexillologist Whitney Smith.

The final proposal of the committee, however, was other:

The compass rose represents the inhabitants of Bonaire, that came from the four corners of the world, and its navigators. The six-pointed star represents the its six "vicinities": Antriol, Nikiboko, Noord Salina, Playa (also known as Kralendijk), Rincon and Tera Cora. The top stripe was originally red, like the flag of the Kingdom of Netherlands but, because even the earlier proposals had a red emblem in the middle, it was substituted by yellow for avoid repeating colors, by a suggestion of committee leader, Franz Booi. This helped to fix the symbolism of the stripes: yellow for the sun and the nature (it's the color of many local flowers), white for peace and tranquility, and blue for the sea.

That flag, however, wasn't accepted by the government. Then, Whitney Smith suggested a public contest. More than a thousand entries were received. Neither one of the three finalists nor a combination of them was accepted by governement. But, when the original committee was reformed, the white-blue diagonal stripes, present in one of the finalists, was used to design the flag as we know today:

Even though yellow and white don't use to live well together on a flag, it's clearly a very appealing flag, with a very tropical look. I like the way that, despite the diagonal layout, the compass rose and star have a nice size and position, transforming them in a remarkable symbol.

And it's the way a committee, with a little help from the public, made this great flag!

Comments are welcome.

Jun 30, 2014

Netherlands [football]

Every time world turn its eyes to football (also known as soccer in North America), some questions arise: "Why Italy use blue?", "Why the Netherlands use orange?", etc. As the Netherlands are still alive in competition, I'll focus today on them.

The Netherlands use orange on his home jersey, and on the official KVVB (Royal Dutch Football Association) online shop, you can find a supporter flags similar to the image below. So, why the orange?

The answer is: this is the color of the House of Orange-Nassau, the royal house of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Although the Princes of Orange seems to have used the orange fruit as one of their symbols, orange was, curiously, the livery color of the House of Nassau. The original flag of Netherlands was orange-white-blue, but the first was gradually substituted by red along the years.

Several members of the House of Nassau appears on portraits with a orange bend, like this, representing Henry Casimir I of Nassau-Dietz, painted by Wybrand de Geest:

With the foundation of the House of Orange-Nassau, the orange color became a symbol of Dutch royal house. On the royal birthdays, for example, the national flag should fly with a orange pennant above, as a sign of allegiance:

With time, orange was turning from a royal color to a national color, and became a symbol of Dutch pride. Its use was specially remarkable during WW2, when the country was occupied by the Nazi.

You can return watching the World Cup now... Comments are welcome!

Jun 17, 2014

León (Spain)

In many posts from this blog, I've written about flags inspired by coats of arms. On this review, we'll look how curious can be the opposite phenomenon: a coat of arms based on a flag!

The kingdom of León's name comes from "legion", but the pun with "lion" was quickly noticed. While many European kingdoms were fughting the Crusades, the kingdom was fighting against the Moors in its own homeland. For use on the battlefields, the legions used a flag with a purple lion passant on white or light gray cloth, something like this:

As the use of the purple lion by León (first half of 12th century) predates the adoption of the fleurs-de-lis by France, lions by England and the pales by Aragon/Catalonia, it may be, possibly, the oldest royal symbol documented.

With the birth of heraldry, the purple lion would, naturally, fill a coat of arms. And here comes the most interesting part of this story! According to a study by Ricardo Chao Prieto, the Mediaeval idea of horror vacui ("fear of the empty") made the lion passant be rotated 90º degrees, what eventually made it a lion rampant. Look at the image:

Prieto's thesis has some merit: while the lion passant roughly feels one third of the escutcheon, the lion rampant occupies the full shield; England addopting three lions passant guardant may not be coincidence. And, although it may sound unintuitive, a lion rampant looks a lot like a lion passant rotated.

Currently, the flags most commonly used by Leonese nationalists have the coat of arms (the one with the, usually crowned, lion rampant) in a purple or crimson background. This flag arrangement wasn't used during Middle Ages, what points to a more recent origin. Similarly, the Spanish province and city of León currently use the silver shield with the purple lion rampant on background from red to purple.

Comments are welcome!

May 30, 2014

New Russia / Novorossiya, Russia (naval jack)

A new unrecognized nation, Novorossiya (literally, "New Russia"), appeared on Ukraine, claiming territories from Donetsk and Lugansk oblasts. According to current reports, it's unlikely to exist an official flag, but interesting proposals appeared on internet. I'll talk about two.

The first is from somebody nicknamed "arcktick". The photographs skillfully edited on Photoshop may have confused distracted Western sources, that often record them as widely used flags.

According to artist's page, the colors were chosen due to their wide use on Ukrainian oblast flags. Moreover, the flag can be obtained from combinations of Ukrainian and imperial and current Russian flags, as you can see below:

The second is the flag of New Russia Party, a Russophile Ukrainian flag behing the Novorossiya idea. Its flag, backed by many photographs, consists only of the white-blue-red of current Russian flag.

I've saw many Americans noticing the similarity between the flag above and the contemporary Confederate flag, but its most probable origin can be other: the Russian naval jack, below.

This flag consists of the union of St. George's and St. Andrew's cross, like the Great Britain flag, but on reverse order of colors. The naval jack was part of a set of flags designed by czar Peter I the Great himself. At the time, Peter I travelled to many European states, with the goal of forming an anti-Ottoman alliance (he failed) and modernizing Russia, and, on his stay on England, the Union ensign may have inspired him to create the Russian own jack.

But the flag, anyway, has a strong significance to Russia: St. Andrew, having preached along the Black Sea and region, is Russia's patron saint (curiously, Ukraine's, too), and St. George have been Moscow's city patron saint for centuries. The two saints also names important Russian military orders.

Comments (critiques, suggestions, corrections, additional info) is welcome.

May 19, 2014

Book Review: Flags Through the Ages and Across the World (Whitney Smith)

I've recently acquired the monumental Flags Through the Ages and Across the World (1975), by Whitney Smith, Ph.D. considered the founder of the "vexillology" (by the way, this word was created by him), the study of flags. It has more than 350 pages, 2257 artwork pieces made exclusively to the book, , featuring the masterpieces by Franz Coray, and many selected deluxe illustrations and photographs.

It's certainly among the best vexillology books ever written, and, although out-of-date and with minor errors, it's worth any money you can invest on it. The books excels both as a guide to vexillology and as a reference book.

This book is divided in some sections, and I'll describe them one by one.

Introduction (pages 7-31). Contains a brief introduction to the vexillology, and a very complete glossary of terms related to flags and heraldry.

Flags Through the Ages (pages 32-203). For its historiographic valor, the highlight of the book. This section tells the history of the flags since its ancestors ("vexilloids") from five millenia ago until the current usage, including sub-sections related to some historically relevant flags (like the standards of Charlemagne and Joan of Arc), the evolution of flag etiquette, the usage in many contexts (religious, military, naval, etc.) and timelines to some of most famous national flags.

Flags Accross the World (pages 204-303). Describes and explains the flags and coats of arms of all independent nations (and some subnational entities, when relevant) at the time of book conclusion. In the course of time, many of them became obsolete, but this section is yet a relevant text for reference. The section contains appendixes about international flags (like the United Nations and Red Cross) and flags of some ethnic and cultural minorities.

Symbols (pages 304-348). In a very original and intuitive layout, the section cites many flags with common symbols (geometric shapes, animals, plants, etc.) and patterns (the crescent and star, for example).

Apr 29, 2014

Alaska (USA)

Hey, Hollywood, what about a movie about the history of Alaskan flag. It has a rare history for a flag, and it happened on American territory... Well, I did my part.

The history of Alaskan flag starts with Benny Benson, a 13-years old boy with Aleutian blood. When he was three years old, his mother had died, and his father was forced to send his brother and him to orphanage. The year is 1927, and American Legion government is holding a government to decide the first Alaskan flag; more than 700 children from 7th to 12th grades submitted entries.

Benny didn't have doubts about what putting on the flags. The Big Dipper is the constellation that he looked at the sky every single night before sleeping, during all those years in the orphanage. The ratio of the flag, on his original words:
The blue field is for the Alaska sky and the forget-me-not, an Alaskan flower. The North Star is for the future state of Alaska, the most northerly in the union. The Dipper is for the Great Bear—symbolizing strength.
Benny's original design was quite similar to current flag, but had the "1867" inscription on it, that corresponds to the year of the American purchase of Alaska Territory from Russia. A modern reconstruction:

Winning the contest, he gained a US$1,000 prize, a watch and a trip to Washington, DC. He would only waste the money prize some years later, paying a professional course in diesel engines repair. Years on, he moved to Kodiak, Alaska to work as airplane mechanic; city's airport now holds his name.

Hope the history is worth the ticket... I mean, the reading. Comments are welcome!

Apr 18, 2014

World Heritage Convention

You may have seen the today's flag yet. No matter in what continent you live. There's a flag granted to all the UNESCO's World Heritage sites, occasionally also used by the entities that protect te sites.

There are many variants of the flag, but you'll find more commonly these two:

The first, red on white, the second like UNESCO flag (white on UN blue). The inscriptions in English ("WORLD HERITAGE") and French ("PATRIMOINE MONDIAL") are always present, but the writing in Spanish ("PATRIMONIO MUNDIAL") can be replaced by the national language of the country where the site is located.

The square stands for the result of human skills (the cultural heritages), while the circle represents the Earth (the natural heritages). The circle also remembers a bell jar, representing protection (the World Heritage Convention itself). The fact the circle and the square are intrinsically united represents the link between cultural and natural heritages.

The logo of the design has a strong simplicity that combines with a flag. The text, however, could be dropped without extra thought (as in some variants of the flag), because the wind would be too strong or too weak to the text be read on the biggest part of time.

Hope you knew more about this flag. Comments are welcome.

Mar 31, 2014

Union of South American Nations

The Union of South American Nations (UNASUR in its Spanish acronym) is an organization formed by the 12 independent nations of South America (with Mexico and Panama as associate members).

Although apparently unofficial, a flag appears on most of the meetings of the organizations (like that, that occurred this month).

The flag is blue with a white logo. The use of logos on flags is common between international organizations, but may result in bad results, specially if the logo is too abstract or two complex; what's not UNASUR flag's case. The logo, similar to a whirl, remembers the shape of the South American continent. Reported variants have the "UNASUR" word either above or below the logo.

The flag is considerably different from the proposed flag given by Peruvian then-president Alan García to the president of Chile and then pro-tempo president of UNASUR, Michelle Bachelet, on its constitution summit.

The flag presented by García was red, with a golden silhouette of South America inscribed in a golden ring. That flag was inspired by a design by his party's founder, Victor Raúl Haya de la Torre (1895-1979). Haya's design, however, had the map of the whole Latin America instead of South America only.

Comments are welcome.

Mar 16, 2014


The flag of Crimea has appeared on many newspapers on last days. This post will not discuss the politics related, but the flag itself.

If you read or watch news recurrently, it's very possible that you have saw this flag:

If you look carefully, the design is rare and curious.The central stripes is too wide compared to whole flag. The reason is it isn't an untouched flag. In 1992, five flag proposals were presented to the Crimean parliament, that chose proposal #5, by A. Malgin and V. Trusov, that was identical to current flag, except for a detail...

Yes, the coat of arms. The white area was originally destined to it, but Crimean parliament decided not to use the arms on the flag, leaving it blank. Vexillology is also made by intentions and should-bes...

I don't know any documents containing the rationale of each of the submitted proposals at the time. While the colors are the same of the coat of arms, it's not clear if the use of Pan-Slavic (or, more specifically, Russian) colors were intentional.

Comments are welcome.

Feb 28, 2014

Asano clan (Japan)

I've recently watched the 47 Ronin (2013) movie, and some flags that appeared on movie attracted my attention. Don't worry, no spoilers!

One of the patterns that appear more often on the movie is, as I was found on my research, the mon of the Asano clan. Asano Naganori was the daimyo of the samurais that would, during the movie, became the forty-seven ronin (masterless samurai) of the title; it was usual to commoners without mon to use those of their patrons or organization. That mon consists of falcon feathers in saltire; falcon feathers were a popular pattern for being used in arrows, and in decoration for some special occasion.

Many flags with this mon appear on the movie, for example on this scene (don't know about historical accuracy). Here's one of those flags I reconstructed:

Japanese mons are used even today as symbol of a family, organization or clan (similarly to Western coats of arms and badges), and are very simple and monochromatic. They commonly appear in architecture, personal marks and, on the age of the samurai, flags, specially during the battles.

The mon were excellent during samurai battles, as their simple designs could be easily used to distinguish friends and foes. As explained on a previous post, the Japanese mon is the base of the Japanese flags tradition.

Comments are welcome.

Feb 17, 2014

Sochi (Krasnodar, Russia)

Winter Olympic Games are occurring right now, and it's a good occasion to review the flag of the Sochi, the host city, that's rarely appearing on media coverage. This flag:

The flag is inspired on the coat of arms of Sochi, that has origins on a Soviet-era coat of arms (later re-adopted, without the hammer, the sickle and other ornaments), therefrom the very abstract representation that's considered bad heraldry. It could be a good logo to a resort city like Sochi, but not a flag or coat of arms.

And what all those thingies on the flag represent? Each quarter represents one of four administrative areas of the city: the snow mountains represent the ski resorts of Adler district; the palm tree represent the Khostinsky district, that includes the biggest arboretum of Russia; the sun represents the Central district an its development, but also the beach season that lasts about ten months; the wavy line represents the Black Sea coast on Lazarev district. On the center of the flag, a bowl of flaming water, representing the spa resort on Matsesta river: Matsesta means "flaming water", because of the skin redness caused by the therapeutic factors present on its waters.

Well, the flag of Sochi leaves the good impression that Sochi is much more than Winter Olympics. We all hope it is!

Comments are welcome.

Jan 31, 2014

The Forster Flag (USA)

The today's review is dedicated to a flag that will soon be auctioned: the Forster Flag, also known as Forster-Knight Flag, because of its original owner families.

Here's a reconstruction of the flag (a photograph of original flag can be seen here):

It's a crimson field, with six white stripes on left hoist on obverse, and seven on reverse. A difference piece of fabric on canton proves that the flag was made from a red ensign with Union Jack removed. Its overall state is very good to an American Revolution flag, and cord and tassels have survived!

The flag will be auctioned on Doyle New York on April 9th 2014, and its estimate value is between US$ 1,000,000 and 3,000,000. The value seems too high, but a list of facts about the flag, elaborated by vexillology legend Whitney Smith to Flag Bulletin #205 (3rd bimester/2002), can justify it:

  • It's the oldest known American flag i.e. the first flag intended to represent the country;
  • It's the oldest surviving flag to represent America with thirteen red and white stripes;
  • It was carried on the battles of Lexington and Concord, the firsts of Revolutionary War;
  • It's one of 30 surviving flags used by rebel troops during the war;
  • It's one of two surviving Revolutionary flags to replace a British symbol by an American one;
  • Among the 27 war colours on USA, it's the only one that's not owned by a public museum or institution, and its ownership history since Revolutionary days is well established;
  • It was never restored but is still in good state, including the original cord and tassels;
  • It appeared on a 1999 US Post stamp series in tribute to important flags of American history;
  • And much other reasons that can found on link above.

This flag was originally owned by Samuel Forster, lieutenant of Essex Regiment, and was preserved in his family until 1975, when it was acquired by the Flag Heritage Foundation, a non-profit organization and has, since then, been the most valuable item of its collection. Its authenticity was proved many times.

If it's a so important flag, why is it in auction? Only a very good reason would justify it, and there is one: the money will be reverted in benefit to the collection of the own Whitney Smith's Flag Research Center unique and collection to be incorporated by the University of Texas at Austin, what will be very valuable to vexillology research around the world.

I certainly don't have US$ 1,000,000 to pay on a flag, so I can only wait that the future owner knows how to preserve and have good use of this true treasury of American history.

Jan 21, 2014

Stockholm city (Sweden)

Some flags have a really curious history, and Stockholm, the capital of Sweden and biggest city of Scandinavia, is one of those cases that deserves their own "review".

The flag of the city of Stockholm:

You may be asking: "Who's the man on the flag?".

Well, the answer is not that simple. The banner of arms of Stockholm is blue and yellow (Swedish flag colors) with the head of St. Eric, former king and patron saint of Sweden, associated with many popular legends. The arms of the city is inspired by a mediaeval seal of the city. The combination of colors and charges is excellent to denote the importance of Stockholm to Sweden.

So the man on the flag is St. Eric? Don't be so sure.

During the standardization of Stockholm coat of arms, in early 1930s, inspiration were took from a statue on Roslags-Bro Church, that can be saw below.

The curious history about it all is that, currently, that statue is considered to most probably represent another saint: St. Olaf, king and patron saint... of Norway!

Comments are welcome.