The Vexilloid Tabloidis the bimonthly newsletter of the Portland Flag Association, edited by Ted Kaye. Each issue features the What’s That Flag? quiz, Flags in the News (news stories featuring flags), Flutterings (highlights from the last PFA meeting), and Portland Flag Miscellany (news about Portland’s city flag), as well as feature articles on flag-related topics by PFA members and other contributors.
We announce each issue here on portlandflag.org as a blog post, and add it to the online archive (where you can find all back issues). We also send it out to our email subscribers list as a PDF attachment. If you would like to be added to that list, just email email@example.com.
Ted Kaye reporting on PFA’s last meeting in VexTab #49:
David Koski is experimenting with repeating designs derived from flag images, using various transformative algorithms. Every one is based on a component of the full flag. Here are examples based on the United States flag. David has also developed versions based on the Union Jack and the flag of the city of Portland.
He shared these designs at the November meeting. They might be used for wrapping paper or other similar decorative purposes. PFA members applauded his creativity and urged him to pursue marketing the concept. Wouldn’t it sell well in Chicago, for example?
More from Bay Area Flag Report by Ted Kaye, in VexTab #49:
In San Francisco’s Hayes Valley neighborhood, Joe Theisen spruced up his building at 540 Laguna St. with 33 holes in the façade and first famously displayed the flags of all 2014 World Cup countries (plus Ireland). In September new flags went up.
Now referred to as “the Flag Wall” (or, less popularly, “the House of Holes”), the building currently flies 10 flags that spell out “Hayes Valley” (two Ls share a flag) and 23 flags designed by artists affiliated with the nearby Hayes Valley Art Coalition.
…asked Time Magazine in its “Answers Issue”, Sept. 8–15, 2014.
After downloading images of 196 national flag from Flagpedia.net, Time added up the number of pixels of each color, simplified them, and grouped them into categories of white, black, red, blue, green, and yellow using a simple algorithm.
Time thus determined the frequency of colors by area in national flags. Although perhaps flawed in detail, overall it is a sound analysis.
From Bay Area Flag Report by Ted Kaye, in VexTab #49:
In Sausalito, Hanson Gallery Fine Arts offers owner Scott Hanson’s American Flag with License Plate Slogans. Made from real license plates and 100-year-old barn wood, and measuring 52” x 84”, it sells for $17,500.
Due to the expected SNOTASTROPHE on Thursday the 13th, we are meeting a week later than usual this month. Join us at 7 p.m. on Thursday, 20 November 2014, at Michael Orelove’s home in Gresham. For directions, see the next meeting page.
Our very own Ted Kaye sat down with popular design podcaster Roman Mars to talk flag design and tell the story of the Portland flag: how a good design was botched by bureaucrats, and many years later — with some activist vexillology on the part of its designer Douglas Lynch and the PFA — ultimately restored. For this work, Lynch received the Vexillonnaire Award from the North American Vexillological Association (NAVA) in 2003 — and Portland received what has become one of the most loved municipal flags in the country.
Everyone who drove on S.E. 39th Avenue opposite Laurelhurst Park knew the Flag House. Portlanders enjoyed the changing daily display of three flags—all flown for some special reason—by John Hood. There, with his long-time companion Vivian Jackson, he built a collection of over 600 full-size flags and enthusiastically shared them with passersby based on a database of flag-flying days he’d built over several years.
John, who died at age 77 after a battle with cancer, was a charter member of the Portland Flag Association, a group which had grown out of the organizing committee for the 1994 annual meeting of the North American Vexillological Association. After his friend Harry Oswald moved to Texas, John took over the “central coordinator” role for the PFA, and created and published its occasional newsletter, The Vexilloid Tabloid. In it he chronicled PFA meetings, challenged members with flag quizzes, and documented local and national flag doings. He famously wrote, “If you wish to compliment the editor, contact John Hood. If you wish to complain, call your mother.”
He was the first and most gracious host of the now-bimonthly meetings of the PFA, catered with bountiful sweets baked by Vivian. In his living room in 2002, the group hatched a successful effort to redesign the 1969 flag of the City of Portland. After PFA members arranged political support, testified before city council, and watched the redesign ordinance pass unanimously, Mayor Vera Katz asked them to replace the council chamber’s old flag. John attached the newly-adopted flag to the pole, becoming the first person to raise Portland’s current flag.
John was raised in Idaho, served in the Navy, and had a career with the telephone company in San Francisco. A generous soul, John especially supported up-and-coming vexillologists, recently giving his entire collection of flag periodicals from around the world to young members of the PFA.
His colleagues will miss his jovial spirit, expansive knowledge of flags, and commitment to inclusion and conviviality.
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. Continue reading “Notes on the September 2011 meeting”