Friday, January 27, 2012

Flag Friday XXXX

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.

Western Sahara

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

Michael5000: The star-and-crescent is a nice touch that overcomes the monotony of the red/green/black/white school somewhat.

Grade: B+


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

Michael5000: Well, it's hard to say much about a tricolor this late in the alphabet.  It's a perfectly respectable flag, in a set of colors that I do not happen to find very inspiring.

Grade: B


Parsons: "Serbians will have a chance to change this flag when Montenegro secedes from Yugoslavia. I suggest they take it."  They did!


Parsons: With "graven images" and "bad colours," but being "original," it gets a "D+", 45/100. Interesting layout doesn't redeem the bad colours on this one," says Parsons.

Michael5000:   It's certainly original, but the interesting colors don't redeem the bad layout on this one.

Grade: D+


Parsons: " Features a hawk sitting on a toilet," says Parsons. It has a "bad shape," is "too busy," and makes [him] nauseous. "D", 40/100.

Michael5000: The line about a hawk sitting on a toilet is kind of unfortunate, because it's fairly apt.  It's actually a representation of the Zimbabwe Bird, an artistic motif found in the ruins of Great Zimbabwe.  But once you've got Parson's one-liner in your head, it's kind of hard to get it back out.

Otherwise, we're looking at an intense but harmonious range of colors laid out in an aggressive, symetrical design. 

I kind of like it!

Grade: B+


Cartophiliac said...

I suppose this is the end of Flag Fridays. Vexillophiliacs of world are in mourning.

Voron X said...

There's a whole lot more flags out there! Subnational Flags! Who's in? US, UK, Canada, Australia, Russia, Brazil would be good for starters. (Though for the US version, you'd need to add F-, F--, F--- and F---- to the list of grades...)

Michael5000 said...

Aw, well, we'll do some kind of retrospective....

Libby said...

Wait, zed already?? Say it ain't so...

Michael5000 said...

Those two years flew by like the wind!

dhkendall said...

@Cartophiliac: You bet! However, now that Parsons is done, and M5K is done, maybe someone else can do it? ...

@Michael5000: I greatly anticipate the retrospective!

I noticed that your standards seem to change from week to week as exactly what is meant by each letter grade. You seem to have given generally blase reviews to W. Sahara and Yemen this week (even saying that you're not fond of Yemen's colours (when really that's the only thing the flag of Yemen has going for it)), and yet you rated them both higher than Serbia (used for comparison purposes thanks to handy link) whose review contains the phrases "kicking it old school" and "bad-ass", which would make one thing that you generally liked Serbia (although the next sentence in the Serbian review does mention its downside: that its neighbours are all alike). Am I right in that what each grade means changed from week to week? (Because I can guarantee you if I was doing it, it would because I don't have very much internal continuity.)


I'm in-maybe we can divvy it up and do guest critiques?

As for this week's flags:

Western Sahara: great Pan Arab usage, but that sharp triangle seems a tad aggressively close to the too-small moon/star.

Yemen: fine

Zambia: So many good parts, such a horrible result. Green with yellow hawk might be good or green on fly with Belgian tricolor next to it?...

Zimbabwwe: Has that Uganda busy-ness but good use of Afro colors. Ditch the bird but keep everything else.

dhkendall said...

Dennis, good idea, but it works best when one person does the whole set, as you have the same opinion all the way through. For example, I disagree with a lot of your critiques you said right there. ;)

Jenners said...

Do you watch Big Bang Theory? I thought of you while watching it the other day -- Sheldon had a podcast called "Fun With Flags with Dr. Sheldon Cooper." One of the first flags he talked about was the Oregon flag. Some of the stuff just reminded me of you! You should see if you can track it down.

Eric said...

This is the end of an era.

I look forward to the retrospective - a "best of / worst of" would be interesting.

UnwiseOwl said...

To my mind, a fitting conclusion would be the flags facing off in a great big elimination tournament in the finest M5K tradition.
This has been a great little project that I've greatly enjoyed in the last couple of years, Michael. Thanks a lot.

Michael5000 said...

@dhkendall, with an "a": I feel like I was pretty consistent throughout. In any event, as we say, I called 'em as I saw 'em.

@Jenners: I don't know what Big Bang Theory is, but the less said about the Oregon flag, the better.

@Owl: It does seem kind of inevitable, doesn't it. And with March coming up and all. I hope I can talk myself out of it.

Voron X said...

Western Sahara- Still better than 70% of the US State flags. Not the most original flag, and yes, that red triangle does overpower the crescent/star, but still deserves a B to B+

Yemen- I love me some red white and black, (upside down) Imperial Germany notwithstanding. The tricolor every goth wishes they could have for their fictional country. B+ to A-

Zambia- A disaster, with good ideas. I made a nice alternative, but this flag doesn't "fly". D

Zimbabwe- I tend to agree with what you said. Lively and vibrant, despite the unfortunate iconography. B - B+