Notes on the September 2011 meeting

We had another lively discussion, this time in the somewhat hard to find Tupelo Alley “Eco-Lounge”. We had decent attendance, though we particularly missed John Hood, who was unable to attend due to health issues. Here are a few highlights, each with an illustration!

Scott Mainwaring and Ted Kaye gave a brief report on their experiences at the Washington Flag Congress (which was both the 44th annual NAVA meeting and the 24th biennial International Congress of Vexillology convened by FIAV, Fédération Internationale des Associations Vexillologiques in the language of international diplomacy, French, or International Federation of Vexillological Associations, in English). Scott and Ted are shown here holding the flag designed for the congress (now part of the Kaye collection). Scott wondered aloud if our own Portland Flag Association, being in fact a vexillological association, might qualify for membership in FIAV; Ted seems to like that idea. More at the next meeting.

Michael Orelove brought the monochrome flag pictured here held by his cousin Gary and his friend Mary, and lead a brief ontological discussion about just what counts as an American Flag anyway? Patrick Genna was reminded of a similar flag he found at Paramount Flag in San Francisco back in the day, that was light green, dark green, and white instead of grey, black, and white. Scott talked about how it was interesting that both the Tea Party and the hip hop community both use this flag (in the latter case, it was prominently featured in the music video for “Put On” by Young Jeezy featuring Kanye West). Poking around a little on the web, here is what urbandictionary.com has to say:

Black and Silver Flag: A symbol of the recession, people taking a stand against the gas prices, unemployment rate, foreclosures. Hip-Hop addressing Political Issues The black and sliver is a call for change. It isn’t defacing the flag it is just a protest against the current political leaders it also is a Plea for more black leaders in the government. Dark times that many communities in America are going through right now. Also of unity showing that no matter how hard times can get, you can still turn to each other for support. We’ve been poor, we have BEEN ready for this. We live this. We will get through this. That is what the black and silver flag means It means that the government has us in the dark. The flag has no color. Black/White, we all suffer the same.

Michael also showed us his newly acquired and apparently freshly manufactured Flag of the State of Jefferson (counties of southern Oregon and northern California which wanted to secede in 1941 due be being “double crossed” by the distant capitals of Sacramento and Salem — but Pearl Harbor put that movement into indefinite haitus). Turns out Ted Kaye is an expert on the subject — anyone interested should contact Ted for a copy his paper “The State of Jefferson” that appeared in The Flag Bulletin, Number 150: Pseudostates and Their Flags (Vol. XXXII, No. 1, January-February 1993, pp. 22-30, published by Whitney Smith’s Flag Research Center).

Michael also updated us on his amazingly successful (and time consuming) project to write to each nation in the UN and state in the US, asking to be sent a flag for him to use in his educational presentations. A full accounting has yet to be written, but would make a great NAVA News (not to mention Vexilloid Tabloid) item.

Finally, we had an extremely interesting presentation by David Ferriday on this flag he designed and had manufactured by Elmer’s Flag and Banner. David talked about how he was personally left cold by the idea of “personal flags” that represent individual people. Instead, he wanted to design a flag for all the people’s of this 21st Century, one that would reflect themes from science and nature rather than from religion and divisive politics. The flag design represents the Four Elements of various ancient cultures (radiating triangles of black for earth, white for air, red for fire, and blue for water) on which is centered a yellow disc, representing the Sun which is the source of the Earth and everything upon it.  David will be writing up as only he can a full description of this beautiful flag and how it came about.

Our next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, November 10th, at 7pm, place: to be determined.

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Author: SDM

Ethnography * Technology * Design

1 thought on “Notes on the September 2011 meeting”

  1. THANK YOU SCOTT

    I would like to say that this means a lot to me for I have come to miss the Vexilloid Tabloid. Much thanks to Scott for Notes of the September Meeting.
    I think that at this time, we can use the website as a de facto Newsletter.
    It provides current information about our own interests in flags and flag-related events.

    Some comments:
    David’s view about personal flags and his flag and his presentation of his world view.
    Michael’s creative gardening as well as his current project: collecting UN Member flags.
    Ted Kaye’s commentary of the State of Jefferson and its double-cross as well the Scott’s and Ted’s report on the Washington Flag Congress/FIAV.
    Dr. John’s presentation of signal flags and so forth and so on………

    The PFA stands for many things but for me it is:
    Vexillology, Flag Education. Flag Politics and Flag Design and Development!

    We are thinking of you John Hood. We have not forgotten you.
    Patrick Genna

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