United Kingdom (proposed), 2013
This one comes from a BBC News article about the fate of the British flag if Scotland secedes. (Short answer: probably nothing.) It doesn’t seem to be a proposal for a post-Scotland UK though. Rather it combines the crosses of St. George, St. Andrew, St. David, and St. Patrick into a crazy new pinwheel design. Kind of like a modern reinterpretation of the process that created the current Union Jack. I can’t imagine it would ever become a national flag, but wouldn’t it be rad if it did?
(designer: John Yates)
Colunga, since 2012
Nothing to say about this flag except that I like it. Spanish municipalities killing it lately on the vexillology front.
The coat of arms of Leipzig combines the arms of two of its medieval rulers, the Margrave of Meissen on the left and the Margrave of Landsberg on the right. The three largest cities in Saxony all have variations on this design. Dresden’s used to be identical, but at some point the blue bars were changed to black. Chemnitz has the lion on the right instead of the left.
Pittsburgh and Philly have some of the oldest city flags in America, and both of them also have designated ensigns for use by riverboats. The Philadelphia version has the city’s full coat of arms, while the Pittsburgh version just has the castle from the crest.
Pittsburgh’s flag is clearly a copy of Philadelphia’s template, but it’s interesting that no other American cities saw the need to have an ensign. I guess it’s a Pennsylvania thing.
(designer: Henry Christopher McCook [Philadelphia])
Ambrym, c. 1983
In 1994, Vanuatu’s 11 island councils merged into six new provinces. One of the old councils had been for Ambrym, a volcanic island in the centre of the country. The council flag had three plumes of smoke in the colours of the national flag. In the lower left corner was a boar’s tusk, a popular symbol on Vanuatu. Tusks were traditionally worn as pendants throughout the islands, and can be found on the national flag, the coat of arms, and several other provincial flags. Here they symbolized the unity of the island. The three stars above stood for the three local districts.
The Albanian Declaration of Independence was 101 years ago today, on 28 November 1912. The two-headed eagle didn’t take on its current form until 1929, and until 1914 it was usually topped with a white star.
King of the Belgians, since 2013
Today is the King’s Feast in Belgium. I have no idea what that means, but I assume it involves the King having some kind of feast? Anyway, the royal standard changes with every new monarch, as it has the royal cypher in each of the four corners.
This island has one of the darker flags I’ve seen. The blue field represents Chesapeake Bay, the black bar represents the Virginia-Maryland state line, and the green circle represents the island sitting just south of it.
The island’s original settlers were from Devon and Cornwall (represented by St. Pirian’s Cross in the top left corner), and their descendants speak a peculiar dialect of English, which some have described as unchanged since the 17th century. It’s quite a trip to listen to. Doesn’t really sound American at all.
Flanders, since 1973
The Flemish lion dates all the way back t the 12th century, but it didn’t have any official legal status until the Dutch Cultural Community (the predecessor of the current Flemish Community) adopted it as a flag in 1973. Flemish separatists fly a version of this flag where the lion’s tongue and claws are black.
The current flag of Libya was based on the black flag of Cyrenaica. When the country was unified and made independent under King Idris, red and green stripes were added to the top and bottom of the flag, standing for Fezzan and Tripolitania.
Recently the flag has been taken up by separatists and federalists in Eastern Libya, who would like to see an autonomous or independent government in Cyrenaica (or “Barqa” as the locals call it.)
In heraldry, a yellow circle is called a bezant, and it’s supposed to represent a gold solidus coin from the Byzantine Empire. So basically this flag is saying, “I am a very rich person.” Show off.
Happy Independence Day, Zambia! The Zambian flag often strikes people as weird because of how everything is shifted off to the right. But when you compare it with the old colonial flag you can kind of see where that arrangement came from. Take out the Union Jack, switch some colours around, and turn the wavy lines into vertical stripes, and you’ve basically got the Zambian flag.
Oh, and I guess you also have to get rid of the dead fish.
(designer: Gabriel Ellison [Zambia])