Friday, August 5, 2011

Flag Friday XXXII

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.

Saudi Arabia

Parsons: Doesn't like "Weapons," "Writing," or "Graven Images" on this flag, but gives it a "C+," 60/100.

Michael5000: Well, there's writing and there's Arabic calligraphy.  Placing a highly stylized rendition of the Islamic profession of faith packs a rather different spin on a flag than does, say, just sticking the word "Kansas" on that sucker.  Although it is a busy pattern, or at least a complex one, it is just a white-on-color pattern, and this lends it a bit of restraint.  And, it's easy to pick out of a lineup.

Grade: B


Parsons: Pulling out the "Plagiarism" accusation, he gives it a "B", 70/100.

Michael5000:  For some reason, the fact that the center star is green is throwing me a little bit here.  I think it's just that the sample flag I found here is ratty and a bit off-specs.  It looks pretty good in other photos I've seen.

Grade: B+


Parsons: says "(see Yugoslavia)"

Michael5000: When Serbia and Montenegro split the sheets in 2004, Serbia took its basic red, white, and blue tricolor and slapped a regal double-headed eagle on it.  This is, to say the least, kicking it old school.

Although busy, the eagle is certainly bad-ass, in the parlance of our times.  And the busy-ness is not completely out of control; there are only six colors (including white and two distinct reds) in use here.  But the crown seems like an odd choice for a country that, as far as I know, has no plans to reinstate a hereditary monarchy.  And the shield-on-red-white-and-blue-horizontal-tricolor gambit would seem more distinctive if Croatia, Slovakia, and Slovenia hadn't all got there first.  This look didn't even exist when I was a lad; now Eastern Europe is choked with 'em.

Grade: B-


Parsons: "Urrgh... ohhh... feel sick..." writes Parsons. This flag has "Bad Colours," it's "Too Busy," and it "Makes [him] Nauseous," which adds up to a "C-," 50/100.

Michael5000:   I too have a strong aversion to the radial heptcolor of the Seychelles flag.  It's distinct, yes; it's simple, yes; but it just doesn't look like a flag.  Does it?  I wanted to see it on a pole:

Well, it's festive, and maybe not as bad in motion as it is in diagram.  But still, I've got an instinctive aversion that I can't quite shake.  (I had forgotten that there was a different pre-1994 flag of Seychelles, but as soon as I saw it it was immediately familiar.  Funny how that works.)

Grade: C-

Sierra Leone

Parsons: It has "Good Colours" but it's a "Bad Tricolour."  Don't look at me, that's what he says!  "B," 70/100.

Michael5000: I am very, very fond of the Sierra Leone flag.  It has good colors, and unusual ones, and since they combine felicitously it produces a good tricolor.

I imagine that it's hard to hit the mark on those light colors, and this bit of photographic evidence suggests that the colors may be a little deeper in practice than on the drawing board.  But still.

Grade: A


Eric said...

Another great edition of my favorite Michael5000 feature. That Saudi Arabia flag is pretty intense.

Chuckdaddy said...

I love the Seychelles' flag. I feel like it's taking me to a different dimension. A+!

UnwiseOwl said...

Yeah, the Seychelles flag kicks quite a bit of ass. C'mon Seychelles!

Voron X said...

Writing is writing. Saudi Arabia loses major points for being essentially two-sided. Your picture is actually of the reverse. I was going to say D+, but then I learned/remembered they had a flag that was a Crescent Moon on Green, and nothing else, from 1744 to 1902. So I'm lowering them to a solid "D" for pure boneheadedness.

Senegal is Mali-with-a-Star, (or backwards Guinea with a star) and easily confused with Ghana, & Cameroon, but they used to be united with Mali, so it can slide somewhat in that regard. Do with is was easier to remember. B is for barely.

Serbia has a valid Civil variant, so it passes my rule of seals. Not the most original, but, they have history on their side. B+.

Seychelles. So unique. Instantly identifiable. Festive and Islandy. The only thing that might be better for this country is a flag with 3 seashells on it. j/k
Admittedly, they use 5 colors, which is not ideal, but gain on originality. A- to A. Oh, and look at their old flags - they've always been good at this.

Sierra Leone. Such a beautiful, peaceful flag for a country with such a violent, bloody history. Guess they've had enough "red". But as flags go, this is very nice. A

Michael5000 said...

Mr. X -- Good to have a third set of grade for these puppies. That will help with the tournament seeding.

Voron X said...

Guess I better get cracking on the other 29 installments, huh?

Andrew Heenan said...

If the Seychelles flag was upside down, it would look much better on the pole, as gravity would match the folds with the design elements - as it is, it looks even sillier flying than flat on my screen.