A periodic table showing which countries are associated with which elemental discoveries made by James Gallagher
“Before written history, people were aware of some of the elements in the periodic table. Elements such as gold (Au), silver (Ag), copper (Cu), lead (Pb), tin (Sn), and mercury (Hg),” were the elements of antiquity, according to Brewton-Parker College‘s history of the elements. In the mid-17th century the search for the myriad elements we know today really got going with Hennig Brands’ discovery of phosphorus.
Every element has a story, and talking to Smart News Gallagher recounted one of his favorite tales of elemental discovery:
One of my favourites has to be polonium, though, the first element to be discovered by Marie and Pierre Curie. They were working in a modified shed with substances so dangerously radioactive their notes are still too active to be handled safely.
Working together they isolated this element and later named it Polonium after Marie’s home country. (A country, I may add, that turned her away from her pursuit of education as she was a politically interested female). It was her hope that by naming the element after Poland she could generate interested in the independence (from Germany) campaign for the country. Yet the victory comes in under the French flag where the work was carried out.
It remains to this day the only element to be named after a political cause, and a wonderful tribute to a phenomenal woman.
Soccer Nations Dogs -Dogs wearing their countries football jersey with the colors of the flag in the background.
Sure, why not.
Mayor Graziano Delrio of Reggio Emilia present Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe of South Africa with the flag of the Cispadane Republic, 2012
(Source: Flickr / governmentza)
Lucca (merchant flag), 1819-1820
The Duchy of Lucca’s merchant flag looked like this for a short time. The red and gold cross doesn’t really look like any other flag or coat of arms that the Duchy ever used, so I’m not sure where it came from or why it was abandoned so quickly.
Parma and Piacenza, 1851-1859
After the Revolutions of 1848, the traditional blue and yellow colours of the Duchy of Parma were always arranged in a simple geometric pattern. The last form of the national flag was this blue and yellow gyronny with a red border. After 1859, the state became a part of Sardinia-Piedmont, which two years later would become the Kingdom of Italy.
Topps “Flags of the World” trading cards, 1950’s.
The scene for the Philippines is a bit grizzly.
Aosta Valley, since 1947
This Italian region has a kind of intimidating red and black flag. The colours come from the coat of arms of the town of Aosta.
King of Italy, 1880-1946
Nowadays blue is most commonly associated with the Italian soccer team, but it used to be the colour of the House of Savoy, which ruled Italy until the end of World War II. This was the second Italian royal standard, and they both had blue as the main colour. This one also included a variety of royal doodads and whatsits.
I did this myself so cute love em great for summer
Italy (civil ensign), since 1947
Though it may look like a coat of arms, the shield on Italy’s civil ensign is not actually the national emblem. Instead it’s a quartering of the arms of the four great maritime republics of Italian history: Venice, Genoa, Amalfi, and Pisa. The flag of the Italian Navy has the same shield topped by a naval crown.