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)
Zamora, since 1476
Zamora’s “Seña Bermeja” might have the most unusual shape in the world. Officially, those nine stripes you see are actually nine separate pennants, each one just flapping around on its own. The eight red stripes stand for the Lusitanian leader Viriathus’s eight victories over the Romans and the green stripe was awarded to the city by Ferdinand II after the Battle of Toro.
In practice it’s usually manufactured as a single flag, with all of the pennants joined together by thin bands of white. But the official version is still flown here and there, and man does it ever look weird.
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.
As far as Japanese flags go, Onomichi’s is pretty atypical. The city emblem on it is just a pair of horizontal bars, and rather than just being centred, they’re extended all the way to the edges of the flag. The emblem is from 1898, but I don’t know when the flag was adopted.
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.
Uva, since 1987
Sri Lanka has some of the coolest flags. Uva’s is apparently based on one that was granted to the province in the early nineteenth century, during the reign of Sri Vikrama Rajasinha. The bird on there is a swan.
Asturias (ceremonial flag), since 1990
There are actually three different official flags of Asturias, all of which feature the Victory Cross carried by Pelagius in the battle of Battle of Covadonga. On the ceremonial flag, the cross includes all of the ornate decorations and jewels that it has in real life. On the flag for everyday use the cross is plain gold. And on the flag for indoor use, the plain gold flag is centred. Some Asturian nationalists have started to use an even simpler flag, with a plain golden cross covering the entire blue field. Like the flag of Sweden but centred.
Kraków (banner), since 2002
Since 1815, Krakow’s city flag has been a simple white-over-blue horizontal bicolour. But in 2002 a new flag called a banner (chorągiew) was created. It seems to be specially for use by the city government.
President of Georgia, since 2008 (or 2005?)
The Georgian Orthodox Chruch celebrates 23 November as St George’s Day. (That guy sure has a lot of different days.) Georgia’s Presidential Standard has a double dose of St George, with an image of him slaying a dragon laid overtop of the red St George’s Cross from the national flag.
It’s not exactly clear when this flag was adopted. Mikheil Saakashvili was reported as having at least two other flags during his presidency, one of which weirdly had the coat of arms of Georgia’s old royal dynasty on it. You can see pictures of them both at this link. (Scroll down.) The evidence around these flags is kind of murky, and we don’t really know when any of them were adopted or abandoned. It’s possible that all three were even in use at the same time.
Kukurečani, until 2003
The emblem of the former municipality of Kukurečani was a sun with wheat sheaves for rays. A fitting symbol for a Macedonian farming town.
From 1913 to 1957, the country we now call Oman was divided between two centres of power: the Sultanate of Muscat on the coast and the Imamate of Oman in the interior. The Imam’s flag had the words “Victory is from God and the conquest is near” written on it. I like that kind of optimism.