NAVA is the North American Vexillological Association, the world’s oldest organization devoted to vexillology, the study of flags. It publishes the peer-reviewed journal Raven, as well as a newsletter and the periodical Flag Research Quarterly (FRQ); and holds an annual meeting, the “largest conference of vexillologists (flag scholars),vexillographers (flag designers), vexillophiles (flag collectors and hobbyists), flag conservators, and flag dealers on the continent.”
NAVA has probably had its greatest impact by publishing in 2006 Good Flag, Bad Flag (GFBF), a booklet of practical advice to flag designers. Drawing upon the writings of over a dozen vexillologists,† Ted Kaye distilled five basic design principles and illustrated these with positive and negative examples. GFBF has been translated into French, German, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish, and formed the basis for Roman Mars’ TED Talk this year that has garnered over one million views! (Inexplicably, NAVA removed GFBF from its website last year; we’re happy to report that it’s back, though somewhat buried.)
If you are interested in flags, NAVA needs your support.
The most important support you can give is your participation — by presenting at or attending the annual meeting (this year’s is in Ottawa, 16-18 Oct), submitting to Raven or FRQ (or even to the design contest to create the annual meeting’s flag‡), or becoming a NAVA member to receive its publications (and access to its Digital Library).
Your financial support is also critical, as NAVA is a non-profit, donation-supported organization. Annual, tax-deductable memberships cost only $40 ($20 for students). Registration for NAVA 49 (through 15 Sept) is $200, $175 for first-time attendees, and $25 as a non-attending supporter (you’ll get swag). And if you would like to donate additional money, contact the treasurer.
† Philippe Bondurand, Frederick Brownell, William Crampton, Michael Faul, Jim Ferrigan, Richard Gideon, Kevin Harrington, Lee Herold, Ralph Kelly, Rich Kenny, David Martucci, Clay Moss, Peter Orenski, Whitney Smith, Steve Tyson, Henry Untermeyer, and Alfred Znamierowski,
‡ For NAVA’s 50th annual meeting (San José, CA, 14-16 Oct 2016), the deadline for submissions to the flag design contest is the end of this month, 31 August 2015.