Flag Quotes

In Vexilloid Tabloid #37 Ted Kaye wrote:

When I assumed the interim editorship of this publication after John Hood died, I found that the most difficult task wasn’t writing up the “Flutterings” after each meeting, or gathering and formatting photos, or soliciting and editing submissions from other members, or laying out the issue. The toughest part was finding a good flag quote for the lower-left corner of the front page!

I don’t know where John came up with them, but his selections were always spot-on. My challenge has been to match his resourcefulness—while I’ve done so by turning to Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations and occasional web searches, my best source is the randomly-generated quotes that appear at the end of e-mail messages from former NAVA president Dave Martucci.

One problem I recently resolved: how to avoid duplicating quotes? (I’ve done so once—a prize for whoever names the two VT issues with the same quote!) A simple author-name database fixed that.

Many quotes in Bartlett’s are patriotic, advancing a particular flag, as opposed to those that would interest us, quotes about flags and their use and meaning.

The authors of the 30+ quotes that have appeared so far are mostly American and English, as might be expected, but with some other nationalities (French, Welsh) thrown in.
However, I look to the readers of this newsletter—PFA members and others alike—to suggest quotes (and perhaps illustrations) for future issues.

Here are selection of quotes from recent issues.  (Please do comment or email us to suggest others!)

  • I don’t judge others. I say if you feel good with what you’re doing, let your freak flag fly. (Sara Jessica Parker)
  • …awe-inspiring as an army with banners. (Song of Solomon 6:10 [CSB])
  • Flags are a brave sight but no true eye ever went by one steadily. (Emily Dickinson)
  • The flag should fill this primary condition: … it must … be a flag. And it must be a simple design, recognizable at a distance, a bright, clear note in the sky. A balanced and harmonious composition which will carry its meaning unfolding or fluttering in the wind. (Guy Viau, Québec Arts Council, 1963)
  • A true and complete history of the flags of the world— of national symbols—would be nothing less than a history of the aspirations of men and nations. (Edward S. Holden)

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