Yeah, I like flags. To some they’re symbols of misplaced national pride or a banner to wave over the down trodden. But we mustn’t blame the flag for that. It is the flag waver that is to blame, not the patterns on a bit of cloth. That’s like blaming the milk for lactose intolerance. Don’t blame the milk, blame your guts and/or the evolution of inappropriate gut flora.
Anyway. As I was saying: Flags are misused and misrepresented. I would never have a St George’s flag outside my house because ti many it symbolises football thuggery and casual, taxi cab racism. I don’t subscribe to either of those notions. And it’s a shame. I mean, the St Georges flag is pretty dull compared to this lot below, but it’s still a shame that a bit of red and white material has such potent overtones.
So, ladies and gentlemen, if you will: please leave nationalistic skin-headery and bigoted ‘them and us’ thoughts at the door. I want you to enjoy the flags for what they truly are: patterns and pictures. OK?
So we’ll start with (as far as I know) the only continent with it’s own flag – Antarctica. It’s a bit of a rubbish flag really, not all that much work gone in to it. It’s basically a map. But then there’s only 5,000 people living there as a maximum and they have science etc to do, so I guess the ‘flag issue’ is taking a bit of a back seat. It’s not like they’re going to need a standard to bear when they go off to war next is it?
Antwerp – Belgium
This flag is a ZX Spectrum close up. Snazzy yet understated. Although, if you look at the Wikipedia page this doesn’t look like it’s Antwerp’s official flag, some other substandard piece of linen takes it’s place (it is dull). So maybe this isn’t even a flag? But, hey, I like it.
Benin Empire – Nigeria
The Benin empire (not to be confused with the modern country of Benin) is in the area now known as Nigeria and was in action between 1440 and 1897. The original founders of the Benin Empire, the Edo people, initially called their land Igodomigodo, which is, as I’m sure you’ll all agree, a lovely word to look at written down. If you want to buy the image on a T-shirt, and it does look pretty cool, CLICK HERE. I am sorely tempted.
I’ll be honest, I didn’t know anything about Bhutan until today. Here’s a brief info storm: landlocked state bordering India and China. Business Week named it the 8th happiest country to live in the world. It’s mostly Buddhist and there’s about 750,000 people living in 18,000 square miles. Flag, boom:
Friesland – Netherlands
I know the red things look like badly drawn hearts but they are in fact pompeblêden, or leaves of the yellow water-lily. Something to do with their maritime history blah, blah, blah…. pretty…..
Guam is a US owned island in the Western Pacific. The USA saved them from the Japanese who occupied them for a couple of years in the 40’s and gave them a bit of a hard time, beheading and things. They have an annual national holiday called Liberation Day to celebrate their freedom thanks to the States. They could have put a bit more effort into the flag though tbh. Looks like a child did it in Paintbrush.
Lombardy – Italy
Lombardy is the richest area in Italy, in fact one of the richest in Europe. That’s how they could afford such a banging flag. It strangely looks like regional Japanese flags, if you haven’t seen those bad boys CLICK HERE. The shape in the middle is called a “Rosa camuna”, it’s supposed to be a representation of a prehistoric drawing made by the Camuni people who lived in the Camuna Valley in Lombard and were prolific rock artists. The valley is now UNESCO protected as there are over 140,000 prehistoric figures and symbols. Some of the scrawls date back to 1,200BC.
It’s cool that the flag looks so modern yet the design is based solidly in prehistory, there’s something that satisfies me about that.
Pernambuco – Brazil
In 1817 a republican revolution attempted to put an end to the monarchy in the region of Pernambuco. The revolutionaries used a blue and white flag, the blue symbolising the sky and the white the land. The cross was for religion, the rainbow signaled the beginning of a new period, the star symbolised the state and the sun lighted the future. Nice…….