1. United Kingdom (civil flag), 1930s proposal
    Civil Defence Service
    , 1943-1945 (top)
    National Fire Service, 1943-1948 (middle)
    Western Australia Fire and Rescue Service, since 1979 (bottom)

    Sir Gerald Wollaston was a British herald who was of the opinion that the Union Jack was strictly a royal flag, and that there needed to be an equivalent of the civilian red ensign for use on land. His idea was a flag divided into blue and white quarters with a Union Jack in the top left.

    In 1943, Wollaston was called on to create flags for two new wartime agencies: the Civil Defence Service and the National Fire Service. He reused his old civil flag idea with different colours and some added badges. The organizations were dissolved after the end of the war and their flags were retired.

    Some 30 years later, long after Wollaston had died, the Western Australia Fire and Rescue Service went searching for a flag in advance of its sesquicentennial celebrations. Assistant Chief Officer Noel Stephens hit on the idea of combining the Western Australia blue ensign with the old NFS flag, which he mistakenly thought had red in the bottom right corner instead of blue. The flag was approved

    (designers: Gerald Woods Wollaston, Noel Stephens)

  2. United Kingdom (minus Scotland), 2012 proposal 

    Okay just for the record: the idea that the rest of Britain would have to stop using the Union Jack if Scotland separated is just silly. Flags aren’t like automatically updated by a computer whenever the size of the country changes. If the people of the United Kingdom want to keep their flag they are entitled to do so, protestations of the deputy chairman of the parliamentary flags and heraldry committee notwithstanding.

    If you want to see this principle in action, look to the dissolution of Czechoslovakia. Before the split the Czechs and Slovaks had both agreed that neither would use the old Czechoslovakian flag, but then the Czech Republic decided to keep the old flag anyway and there was nothing Slovakia could do about it. Or look at the Comoros. They have a star and a stripe on their flag representing Mayotte, an island which has never even been a part of their country.

    Bottom line: if Scotland declares independence, the UK will be allowed to keep St Andrew’s Cross on their flag, just like Newfoundland was allowed to keep using the Union Jack after it became a Canadian province and New Zealand was allowed to keep the Union Jack on its flag after it became fully independent. So don’t worry about it.

  3. (Source: majorlazer.com, via majorlazer)

  5. These are postcards! Embroidered silk postcards.

  6. I don’t know what happened here but you probably shouldn’t try and repeat it.

    (Source: openlibrary.org)

  7. Hawaii, since 1845

    The classic story about the Hawaiian flag is that it was a combination of the American and British flags, designed to appease both countries during the period when the kingdom had informal relations with both. But according to contemporary news articles, the red white and blue stripes actually pay tribute to France, which along with Great Britain recognized Hawaii as an independent state in 1843.

    (designer: Henry Samuel Hunt)

  8. (Source: recolonist)

  9. Wiltshire, since 2009

    Most of the recenty-adopted English county flags have been fairly traditional, but this one goes a bit beyond the standard heraldry toolkit. The curved stripes repesent the green downs of the country with the white chalk underneath them.

    That bird in the centre is called the Great Bustard. What a name!

    (designer: Helen Pocock)

  10. tierradentro:

    Allies Day, 1917”, Frederick Childe Hassam. (via)

  11. spherical-harmonics:

    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.

    via smithsonianmag.com

  12. St. Patrick’s Flag (since the 19th century)

    If you know much about flags, you probably know that the Union Jack is a combination of the St. George’s cross of England, the St. Andrew’s saltire of Scotland, and the St. Patrick’s saltire of Ireland. What you might not have known is that the St. Patrick’s flag was practically invented for the occasion.

    The first organization to associate the red diagonal cross on white with Ireland’s patron saint was the Order of St. Patrick, established in 1783 as an Irish counterpart to the English Order of the Garter and the Scottish Order of the Thistle. Before then the cross associated with St. Patrick was usually upright, and was often a cross pattée (a cross with flared arms). The colours could vary but green and red (sometimes on a yellow background) were common. 

    Contemporary Irish opinion was against the Order’s badge, saying that their saltire was too Scottish. But it was this version of St. Patrick’s cross that made its way onto the new Union Jack in 1801, and it was only after then that it began to used as a flag on its own. There’s some evidence of red saltires on white being used in Ireland before 1783, but none of them have ever been definitively linked to Saint Patrick or Ireland itself. 

  13. Gold Coast, 1877-1957
    Sierra Leone, 1889-1914
    The Gambia, 1889-1965

    The British were not the most inventive flag designers in the world

  14. Isles of Scilly, since 2002

    The orange and blue halves of the Scillonian cross represent a sunset over the ocean. The stars make a kind of map of the islands, and the white cross shows their link to Cornwall. There’s a great blog post about the design process here.

  15. moarrrmagazine:


    Make up by Anastasia Parquet