28 Nov 2016

Kiribati

I've recently learned something new about this country in Pacific Ocean: it's the only country that extends into both North and South hemispheres and into both Western and Eastern hemispheres — its antipode is no land.

This curious fact inspired me to design a hypothetical flag for Kiribati, just for fun.

The real flag of Kiribati is the following:


It's a simple banner of the colonial arms of then-British colony Gilbert and Ellice Islands, that also comprised current Tuvalu.

My frst proposal is the following:


The division in four quarters is now obvious. The three stars represent the three main island chains of the country, from left: Gilbert Islands, Phoenix Islands, and Line Islands. Kiribati also contain an isolated island, Banaba, but I don't know the best way of include it.

My second proposal is a rework of the previous, avoiding the light blue shade so common in Oceania:


Which proposal do you prefer?

Comments and suggestions are welcome.
So sorry for long absence. I was having problems uploading images on Blogger.

29 Sep 2016

Buenos Aires Province (Argentina)

Buenos Aires is the biggest and most populous province of Argentina. Since the 1880s Buenos Aires is an autonomous city, and the capital of the province is La Plata.

After a request by reader Bruno Rodolfo, I decided to make a new flag for the province, with more references to provincial history.

This is the current flag:


It was adopted in the 1990s. I think the design has some merits, but the color clash is problematic.

My humble take on this thread is the following:


The diagonal layout remembers the map of the province. The medium blue fields represent the sky — "buenos aires" means "good airs" in Spanish —  and the sea, respectively. The white stripe is not only a nod to Argentinean flag, but a reference to Plata river — "plata" is Spanish for "silver —, fundamental for the development of the province and the whole Argentina. The golden color represents province's wealth, and the red demi-sun is a symbol of federalism and appeared in earlier Buenos Aires flags.

Comments and suggestions are welcome.
Many thanks for reader Bruno Rodolfo, for his valuable theme suggestion.

14 Sep 2016

Paraíba (Brazil)

A commenter called Bruno Rodolfo asked about designs for a new Paraíba state flag.

When I had a series for new Brazilian flags, I argued that Paraíba hasn't one of the best flag designs, but I'd keep it for its important link to history. However, this link to history is being strongly desconstructed last years.

This is current Paraíba flag:

It was adopted in 1930 to mourn the murder of João Pessoa, then-governor of Paraíba and running candidate for vice-president of Brazil. For similar reasons, the state capital was also renamed "João Pessoa".

Many argue against the flag currently, because: it represents only negative feelings; the murder had more passional than political reasons; his death was catalyst for a coup d'etat that gave birth to dictatorship.

Some of those favor new designs, but it seems that most of them favor the previous state flag:

The design is certainly lighter. The shield is pointless, especially the text, but it seems to have inspired state coat of arms. My first design was mere simplification of current flag, emphasizing Republican symbolism:

My next design used the colonial arms of Paraíba, often found in the heraldry of the state, on a fancy-shaped shield:

The second design is symmetrical, simple, apolitical and has all the colors of national flag. The coat of arms supposedly contains six sugar breads, representing the historical importance of sugarcane in state economy.

Bonus: a tongue-in-cheek design I once design, just to prove a point. Hint: the text in current flag reads "I DENY" in Portuguese, even though current ortography is identical to a N-word. It wasn't made for serious purposes, but still better than current design.

Comments and suggestions are welcome.
I'd link to thank Bruno Rodolfo for his precious suggestion.

31 Aug 2016

Bryansk Oblast (Russia) [II]

In previous post, I suggested a new flag for Russian oblast of Bryansk. As I said then, I had other ideas, but hadn't my editor available... Now I have!

This is the current Bryansk flag:


And this was my first proposal:


The idea I was then brewing is the following:


As you can see, it has many elements in common with both current flag and previous proposal, but I think this one is much better thought.

The yellow pall divides the flag in three parts. Top blue, bottom blue and burgundy parts represent, respectively, Belarus, Ukraine and Bryansk, like a moderately accurate representation of their geographical locations. Blue color represents Slavic union. Bryansk territory is represented by the burgundy color, from the troops that liberated the oblast during WW2, and the golden spruce, representing local flora.

I guess this flag captures well Bryansk's location and landscape.

Comments and suggests are much welcome.
I am curious: which one do you prefer, first or second proposal?

24 Aug 2016

Bryansk Oblast (Russia)

Bryansk is a Russian oblast bordering Ukraine and Belarus.

Its flag, with clear Soviet look, is the following:

















The burgundy background represents the color of the banners Red Army and guerrilla fighters carried during Bryansk liberation during WW2.

The shield is divided in three parts, representing the triple border, while blue represents Slavic unity. The shield contains a smaller shield, of Bryansk city, capital of the oblast.

This flag is boring an busy. I decided remix it on a more appealing way:

















The flag is more paisagistic. The three spruces represent Russia, Ukraine and Belarus.

It's just a thought. There are many other ways of recombining the elements, and I'd show some if I had my editor available.

Comments and suggestions are welcome.
More ideas for Bryansk oblast flag? Show me on comments, please.

29 Jul 2016

Buffalo (NY, USA)

Buffalo is the second largest city of New York state, just after NYC. I think Buffalo flag is almost nice, but I think the seal just ruin it:


I think the basic pattern is very interesting, specially for a 1920s flag. The bolts represent the city as "City of Light", due to its early widespread adoption of electric lighting. The seal shows city's harbor — very generic, actually.

After looking a bit for city's symbols, I think I found a winner: buffalo, the animal. Yes, the American bison, not related to African or water buffalos. A bison appears in University at Buffalo's coat of arms as such, for example. Here's the result:


I considered using a brown buffalo, but decided for adopting strictly the original flag scheme. I think the result is amazing, and a much better contender among American best city flags.

Comments and suggestions are welcome.
I'm very sorry by absence last week.
The buffalo design is based on "Buffalo Embassy Project", by Mike Wozniak.
By the way, do Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo?

14 Jul 2016

Bangkok (Thailand)

Bangkok is the capital and most populous city of Thailand.

It's flag looks more or less like that:


The flag shows city's seal, consisting of Hindu god Indra riding Erawan (or Airavata), his three-headed white elephant, above the clouds. The seal itself is based in a drawing by Siamese prince Naris (1863-1947).

The seal itself looks good. However, something as complicate as that has no place in a flag. Indra himself is usually depicted in very complex ways, so I decided just for Erawan, on a green background.


Erawan is more often associated with Laos, but it's also very significant on Thai monarchy symbolism, being even present in royal coat of arms from 1873 to 1910.

I'm not sure if it's too synthetic, but I think it's very elegant.

Comments and suggestions are always very welcome.
I'm not expert in Hindu mythology. If I made some mistake, please correct me in comments area.

8 Jul 2016

Hacker culture

The "hacker culture" is a subculture that emerged in 1950-60s among computing academia. Nonetheless, the word "hacker" is negatively associated in media with the "black hat crackers" (in hacker slang), usually seen as against true "hacker" spirit.

As a computing major, I was always interested by the hacker ethic. Searches for "hacker flag" will only return pirate or Anonymous flags, that, in my humble opinion, doesn't embrace the whole hacker culture.

So I decided to make a flag by my own. Unfortunately, my flag is not a "hack", but a repurposing of Eric Raymond's proposal for a hacker emblem: the "glider", an interesting pattern often found in Conway's Game of Life.









From now, I'm sorry if that all that's Greek to somebody. Flag is coming next!

Based in that proposal, I designed the following flag:

















I've rotated the table, making a cleverer use of space, in my opinion. I've chosen an exclusively black and white pattern not just for chromatic minimalism, but also because it's nearer "glider's" most common representation, and permits many different associations: 0s and 1s, black and white hats, the often-seen link with anarchism, and probably many more.

Said that, variations could be made replacing background colors, or even using a national or rainbow flag as background.

I've tried different rotations and common representations of the "glider" pattern,but I guess it's by far my favorite.

Comments and suggestions are welcome.
Any corrections or clearance in hacker culture is also very welcome.

23 Jun 2016

League of Nations

A blog reader nicknamed "Mestre Luiz" suggest a post about a flag about the League of Nations. I'm not sure, but I guess he means that League of Nations.

The League of Nations (1920-1946) never adopted an official flag, Between 1939 and 1941, it seems, it used the following unofficial flag:

I actually like the basic design, but remove the letters, please. The number five represents the five inhabitated continents (Americas was then usually taught as a single continent) and five "races".

I tried to think with the mentality of those times. Here's a humble attempt:

Five smaller rings are arranged like a Borromean cross, representing the association of the five continents — notice the similarity with Olympic rings —, in the sense that all of them are important. The larger ring represents our planet and the whole humanity, embracing the League of Nations. The blue represent our common skies.

Coincidently, it shares similarities with a 1930 proposal. I guess it's not a very original design, but I think it could have been viable at the time.

Comments and suggestions are welcome?
To "Mestre Luiz": If you are meaning a different "League of Nations", feel free to correct me.

2 Jun 2016

NEWS: Denny and Dunipace (Scotland, UK)

It will be a different kind of post, because today I have some great news to share!

Weeks ago, I wrote about my proposals to the flag of Denny and Dunipace, and noticed that a proposal very similar to my design was among the finalists.

What I didn't know is that that finalist design was a merge between my own design and the one by a Spanish man named Fernando Álvarez Martín. And it won! Therefore I'm technically co-author of first town flag of Scotland!

That's the winner design:

For comparison, one of my proposals was like this:

(I currently don't know Fernando's exact proposal. If I obtain it, I'll submit it here.)

I'm very excited! Firstly, because I'm very proud about contributing someway to the final design. Secondly, because it's an important precedent to other Scottish towns adopting their own cool flags, specially due to support by the Flag Institute and the Court of Lord Lyon.

Comments are welcome!
Greetings to Denny and Dunipace, from Brazil.

11 May 2016

Oslo (Norway)

I like very much Norwegian local flags. But, unfortunately, the capital has one of few questionable flags there.

The flag of Oslo looks more or less like this:


Between 1924 and 2002, Oslo used a more interesting flag, whose symbolism is unknown to me. This flag was substituted by the flag above, because the previous flag was supposedly too similar to Greek similar, what I disagree.


However, avoiding the same discussion, I'll propose a fix based on current flag, not the previous one. My proposal is, basically, adapt the current flag into Norwegian subnational flag style, that includes minimalism and respect for heraldic rules. Here it is:


This flag, like Oslo seal, with medieval origins, represents patron saint St. Hallvard, holding arrows and a millstone, the instruments of his martyrdom. I've added the throne with lions, that can be associated with the role of Oslo as capital of Norway. I've removed the stars, whose symbolism, if any, is unknown to me, and the naked woman, that seem to be a later addition.

In general, I like very much the result, and I modestly think it could be adapted into a coat of arms.

Comments and suggestions are welcome.
Sorry for the absence last week. I've made stuff, but I've had no time to post it.

27 Apr 2016

House of Orléans-Braganza

The house of Orléans-Braganza are descendant of princess Isabel, heiress to last Brazilian emperor, and her husband, count of Eu. They are current claimants to the Brazilian (extinct) throne.

The current coat of arms of Orléans-Braganza is that of former Empire of Brazil, with inescutcheon of house of Orléans:


On a previous post, Rodrigo Sales asked me for a remake of this coat of arms. It's the kind of creative exercise I've never done, but nonetheless I'll present two suggestions. I've used "french modern shield", because that's the escutcheon shape historically used by Brazilian nobility.

My first attempt:


It's, basically, a simplification of current coat of arms. I've removed the stars that, apart from being too busy, should be updated every time a new province was created. This design uses the room much better, and diminished the contrast-problematic clash of green and red.

It's better to design a family coat of arms with some usages in mind, like impalement, quartering and lozenge (for ladies).
Impaled
Marshalled
Lozenge

My second attempt is my favorite:


In Brazilian imperial flag, the green represents House of Braganza (emperor Peter I of Brazil), while yellow represents House of Habsburg-Lorraine (empress consort Maria Leopoldina), so it can work as genealogical arms. The inescutcheon of Orléans adds the blue and white, similar to current flag and a homage to Our Lady, patroness of Brazil.

Other usages of coat of arms:
Impaled
Marshalled
Lozenge

That inspired to make this dinastic flag:


Comments are welcome.
This post was a request. Feel free to do your request, too.

21 Apr 2016

Denny and Dunipace (Scotland, UK)

Denny and Dunipace is holding a contest to decide its new flag (more info here). I've submitted two entries, that didn't made the final list (even though similar entries did), but I'll show them here just for entertainment.

The burgh used to have a beautiful coat of arms, before it was incorporated into Falkirk, even though it's too busy for a flag:

My first entry adapted it into a more flag-friendly design:

The entry was followed by this rationale:
The flag resembles burgh seal and coat of arms. It contains a landscape, with river Carron and the bridge joining Denny and Dunipace. The white color remarks the important treaties signed in this place. The bar engrailed represents the connection with the Sinclair.
My second entry was less derivative but, I have to admit, more generic:


It was an improvement over a previous design, that took "twin towns" too literally:


I've submitted it with the following rationale:
The flag shows River Carron, with Dunipace in north bank and Denny in south. The white color remark the important treaties signed in this place. The black color represents coal and iron. Apart from Denny and Dunipace, the two fortified buildings can represent the forts on its banks dividing Roman and Picts — "Carron" may come from Latin "caer avon", i.e. "river of the forts".
None of them made the final, but designing them was nonetheless some fun.

Comments and suggestions are welcome.
To know the finalists, click here.

8 Apr 2016

Gatineau (QC, Canada)

Gatineau forms, together with Ottawa and smaller communities, Canada's National Capital Region.

Its current flag is the following:


Until 2002, when it was merged with four other townships, it used the following flag:


Both flags use a stylized "G" and, in some way, represent sustainable development.

My attempt is a mix of both and, hope I, better than both:


The blue part represents clean water. The green part, whose shape may remark leaves in the wind, represents nature; it's also an arrow point towards future. The overall design resembles a "G" just like former flag.

A variant on same theme:


Another variant shows five stars, representing the five merged communities:


Comments and suggestions are welcome.
Sorry for recent absence. I had professional compromises.

22 Mar 2016

Harvard Law School (USA)

Harvard Law School, a college of Harvard University, decided to drop his former coat of arms, because it displayed prominently the family arms of Isaac Royall, the first backers of the college. The issue: Royall was a slaveholder and a slave trader, so the coat of arms was considered "racist".

This is the former coat of arms of the college:


I don't know any replacement proposal, apart from what seems to be a parody and a professor's suggestion to add "Iustitia" ("Justice") below "Veritas" ("Truth"). My proposal is not for total rupture:


I'm defacing Royall's arms with three gouttes de sang ("blood drops"), not forgetting his importance to the school, but denouncing that his wealth was gained in exchange for slave blood.

This way, it gives those black lives the credit for helping build, even though without their will, one of most prestigious law schools in the world.

Comments and suggestions are welcome.
I'm an outsider here. Do you think it avoid racist connotations of former coat of arms? Or should Royall's arms be dropped completely?

16 Mar 2016

My "mon"

Long time followers of my blogs may know I'm fascinated by the aesthetics of mon (Japanese family or individual emblems). I decided to design a mon-like emblem for me.

Unlike flags and "Western" coats of arms, mon don't have fixed colors. Here I'll present them black in transparent background.

I think the ideal starting point would be my coat of arms. But I'd like something that remarked it, not a direct translation.

Looking at some Medieval and Tudor-age armorials, I noticed how the negative area of cross moline (the kind of cross in my coat of arms) resembled four hearts. With that in mind, I designed my first kamon:


Heart-like shapes are present in Japanese mon: examples are the petals of sakura (cherry blossom, five petals each) and katabami (wood sorrel, three petals each).

I improved the previous putting it on an octagon:


Eight is a very meaningful number, specially for a computing geek like me.

I think this look much better than previous attempt. However, I made one final design: make it look like a flower (obviously, in Japanese style), with the hearts being petals.


I think it's a lovely design, and I would surely adopt it, for instance, if I lived in Japan. (As living near the biggest Japanese community outside Japan wasn't enough...)

Your comments and suggestions are mostly welcome.
Sorry for absence. I had some urgencies last weeks.