Friday, November 26, 2010

Flag Friday XVIII

Flag Friday is a periodic discussion of the world's national flags; the project is explained and indexed here.

These discussions are about graphic design, and perhaps about nationalism and national symbolism in general. They should not be taken as critical of the countries, ideals, cultures, or people that the flags represent.


Parsons: Without comment, he gives it an "B", 70/100.

Michael5000: The first of three vertical tricolors today, the flag of Ireland is -- hoo boy.  It's certainly one of the most symbolically explicit of the tricolors, with Catholic green and Protestant orange unified by peaceful white.  It was originally conceived as the flag of the island of Ireland, but functions as the flag of the Republic of Ireland.  And, it's distinctive and attractive!

It's a 2:1 flag, but those seem to work pretty well with vertical tricolors, where things don't look all stretchy.

Grade: A-


Parsons: Again without comment, he gives it an "A", 85/100.

Michael5000: Last Flag Friday, I conceded that I might not be too crazy about the flag of Iran if I were a religious minority in that country.  Too, I probably wouldn't love the flag of Israel if I were a religious minority in that country.
As things stand, though, I think the two-color framing of a distinct but simple nationalist symbol realized on the ol' Degel Yisrael to be among the real triumphs of Twentieth Century flag design.  There are few sharper-looking flags.

Grade: A+


Parsons:Again, no comment.  Just a "B", 70/100.

Michael5000: This isn't just a tricolor, it's il Tricolore!  It seems to have a nutty, complex history, which boils down to it being the compromise version of a bunch of far more complex predecessor flags.  It can be confused with the flag of Ireland under certain light conditions.

Grade: A-

Ivory Coast

Parsons: With an accusation of "plagiarism" and calling it a "bad tricolor," Parsons gives it a B, 70/100.

Michael5000: Now some people say that the flag of the Ivory Coast is just the flag of Ireland backwards, but that's just crazy talk.  Ireland's a 2:1 flag!  Ivory Coast is 3:2!  So, We've busted that myth.

Apparently back in the days of independence there were hopes that Ivory Coast and Niger might be able to unify or at least be very good pals, and this got reflected in the green/white/orange motifs of their respective flags.  I have to say, though, that as much as I don't like calling a national symbol "plagiarised," and as unlikely as it is that the similarity would ever cause much trouble, the Ivory Coast flag committee of 1959 really probably should have avoided adopting a banner quite so close to that of another recently independent country.

Grade: B+


Parsons: It has "good colours," but still gets only a "B", 70/100.

Michael5000: Now that, my friends, is NOT a tricolor.  Well, except in the sense that it has three colors, I suppose.  Jamaica became independent at the same time as many of the African countries (three years, in fact, after the Ivory Coast), and as a country with a population largely of African descent, it employed some of the colors of pan-Africanism that we've talked about before.  Instead of green, gold, and red, Jamaica went with green, gold, and black

It is not, to my eye, the most attractive banner ever, but it is certainly very recognizable and distinctive.  As a symbol, it is somewhat compromised (here in the North American home of the L&TM5K, anyway) by a common application of this formula:
Jamaican flag = Jamaica = Rastafarians = Pot = Groooooovy
Which is kind of a shame.  Mon.

Grade: B


Rebel said...

Yeah, I think Israel ranks up there with Canad for clean lines & easy to interpret symbols. I like it a lot.

Rebel said...

that would be "Canada"

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater said...

That Jamaican one is pretty awesome. The black and green kind of give it a Green Lantern vibe. A stoned Green Lantern.

Cait Turner said...

Ireland...all the way,