Mars (and Kaye) Bring Vexillology To TED

This March design celebrity and charismatic podcaster Roman Mars gave the first ever TED talk on vexillology (the scholarly study of flags and their design), entitled Why city flags may be the worst-designed thing you’ve never noticed.   This marked a milestone in visibility for vexillology.  Mars calls his design podcast 99% Invisible, and “99% Invisible” is actually not a bad characterization of vexillology. […]

New Wave: Facts About Flags [book review]

By Ted Kaye Originally published in The Vexilloid Tabloid #31, December 2011 Many of us like to give flag books as gifts to those who don’t yet fully understand why flags appeal to us.  Here’s one that merits a place in the “present drawer”. New Wave is not the typical flag book—a compilation of flags of the world […]

The Vexillum: The Original Vexilloid

Vexillology: The study of flags.  Coined by Whitney Smith in 1957, as a combination of the Latin word Vexillum and the Greek suffix -ology. Vexillum (pl. vexilla):  In ancient Rome, a square military banner hung from a crossbeam carried on a staff.   It’s the diminutive of velum (“sail”), itself derived from Proto-Indo-European *weg- (“to weave a web”) or *weǵʰ- (“to ride”), thus […]

Ted Kaye on the air

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 […]