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.