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!

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