Happy 2015!

A flag for 2015.  By Scott Mainwaring.
A flag for 2015. By Scott Mainwaring.

Actually, it’s a flag for any non-leap year that begins on a Thursday. The boundaries aren’t shown, but it’s made from 53 narrow columns (weeks, running from the first week on the hoist edge to the last week on the fly edge) and 7 wide rows (days of the week, with Sunday along the top and Saturday along the bottom). In other words, it’s a calendar turned into a flag.  It’s a bit hard to read as a calendar since the order of days goes top to bottom, and then left to right — but that’s the logic of flags, not the logic of text!

The Flag of Hawaii 2

The irreverent adult game maker Cards Against Humanity has purchased an island and renamed it Hawaii 2, in order to send each of its 250,000 “Holiday Bullshit” supporters a deed for a square foot, a map, and a small paper flag as a thank-you gift. (They will need to wait until they hear someone boast of owning land in Hawaii in order to chime in “I own some land in Hawaii, two!”.)

The map is not entirely accurate, as comparison to Google’s map shows.

Map (allegedly) of Hawaii 2.
Hawaii 2, aka Birch Island, from Google Maps
Hawaii 2, aka Birch Island, from Google Maps

Also questionable are the “Hawaii 2 facts” listed on the map:

  • Named “best place to masturbate quietly” by Food and Wine magazine.
  • Paul McCartney is buried here.
  • Site of the world’s largest volcano.
  • Home of the world’s longest intestinal parasite, Eupithecia orichloris [actually a Hawaiian moth]
  • Hawaii 2’s chief export is honey mustard.
  • Maine’s ultimate party beach.
  • David Copperfield made this island disappear on live national television in 1995.

The new property owners are admonished not to harm the island, but are encouraged to plant the flag there. Alas, the flag of Hawaii 2 is of the seal-on-a-bed-sheet variety: a white field emblazoned with the crest of Hawaii 2 (a snow-covered shield depicting a pineapple impaled on an anchor, a lobster gripping what is apparently a surfboard, and a hat-wearing snowman on an island with drooping palm trees), above which, a ribbon saying HAWAII 2 (sadly missing an opportunity to call it HAWAII II) and below which, a pineapple  surrounded by leaves and rays. Although a poor design for a flag, it would make a fine page in a coloring book.

The flag design, from the twitter stream of designer Emily Haasch (@emhaasch).

But, wait! It’s double-sided! The reverse is printed with a fill-in-the-blanks template allowing the landowner to write their name and the date on which the flag was placed.

From southerngamer.tumblr.com, an image of the reverse of the flag with its fill-in-the-blank text.

Vexillologically, it is an interesting example of a flag that is designed to be incomplete, inviting alteration before it is displayed.

The flag would also rank highly in any list of Silly Flags.

Barbara Upton’s Waking Planet World Flag

After the 9/11 attacks, New Age artist Barbara Upton created this flag representing “Peace, Justice, Equality and Love”:

Waking Planet World Flag, © Barbara Upton

She describes the symbolism as follows:

The blue earth, glowing with vitality, is surrounded by colorful figures representing the beauty that is possible when people of different colors, tongues and beliefs come together in mutual respect and support. The rainbow spectrum also stands for the integrated wholeness at the core of every individual in this world flag. We access this inner peace by accepting and loving all aspects of our humanness.

The rising sun symbolizes the new millennium and the unlimited energy we are being given to be our best selves and to live our life’s purpose. The sun also represents our male aspect, which must be balanced with our inner female represented by the moon for inner peace to flourish.

The moon above also reminds us that life is cyclical and that every crisis creates a new opportunity of equal intensity—all the challenges facing us today are providing the catalyst for a massive awakening on our planet. The moon also connects us to our intuitive knowing. It whispers to us to act upon the love and wisdom of our higher selves in this precious lifetime.

The Waking Planet new world flag represents a lunar eclipse, a cosmological event in time spanning millions of miles! The symbolism of a lunar eclipse—the time when the earth travels between the sun and the moon and casts its shadow on the moon is key. By accepting and even learning to love our own shadow, with all of our human shortcomings, we experience inner peace — the foundation for peace in the world. Lunar eclipses were once feared, but now embraced, as opportunities for tremendous growth, self-awareness and spiritual awakening.

For more information, visit her website at wakingplanet.com.

Ted Kaye on the air

Ted Kaye’s 15 minutes of fame—  in small portions….
Ted Kaye’s 15 minutes of fame— in small portions….

Your loquacious Vexilloid Tabloid editor has recently been interviewed on Slate (Mike Pesca’s podcast “The Gist”); 99% Invisible (the “tiny radio show about design” by Roman Mars); and National Public Radio’s All Things Considered (“What does its chosen banner say about ISIS”).  In the interviews he discussed the flags of the UK (after Scotland…), New Zealand, Ukraine (and breakaway territories), the Islamic State, and—most importantly—Portland!

To record the 4-minute NPR/ATC segment,  he visited the studios of Oregon Public Broadcasting, and spoke from there to Tess Vigeland, former OPB reporter and now a guest host of All Things Considered at NPR West in Los Angeles.

Flag Wrapping Paper

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?



How did Portland get such a nice flag?

99logoOur 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.

Check out Roman Mars’ podcast 99% Invisible, Episode 140: Vexillonaire (also cross-posted on Slate Magazine’s design blog The Eye as Portland’s Quest for a Better City Flag).  And to learn more about vexillonnaires, jump to the last page (p. 16) of NAVA News Issue 179.

Ted Kaye on South Sudan’s New Flag

Our very own Ted Kaye is on the 7/13/11 episode of Ian Chillag and Mike Danforth’s podcast How To Do Everything, discussing the new flag of South Sudan and principles of good flag design:


Flag of South Sudan
The flag of South Sudan