Friday, February 24, 2012

Finite Flag Tournament: Round 1, Left Bracket

Israel v. France

Vietnam v. Namibia

Austria v. China

North Korea v. Mauritania

Finland v. Laos

Denmark v. Botswana

Somalia v. the Netherlands

Japan v. Estonia

Polls close at noon Leap Day: Wednesday, Feb. 29. Vote in the comments.


PB said...

1. Hmmm... I think Israel
2. Vietnam
3. Austria
4. North Korea
5. Finland
6. Denmark
7. the Netherlands
8. Estonia

pfly said...

France: Can't resist *the* tricolor.
Vietnam: At first I docked Vietnam for copying China's flag, but apparently Vietnam's flag is a slightly older design.
China: Sorry Austria, China has a good one.
Mauritania: Couldn't decide--I like them both, for different reasons. Finally Mauritania's upside-down fermata look won me over.
Finland: Okay, I admit I'm half-Finnish.
Botswana: But I could go either way.
Netherlands: Somalia's flag is a lot like Vietnam's, but the colors--sky blue seems a bad idea for a flag's field (I know, I let Botswana get away with it).
Japan: But I'd have picked Estonia over Botswana or the Netherlands.

Nichim said...

N. Korea

Cartophiliac said...

France: tough one right off the bat. I love the colors and symbolism for Israel, but I cannot pass on the THE most iconic tricolor.

Namibia: as long as the sun doesn't include a happy face

China: red flag makers of the world, unite!

North Korea: Mauritania looks like a smiling cyclops

Finland: It will get tougher when we have classic cross vs. classic cross

Denmark: Not a christian... but I guess I have a thing for those crosses...

Netherlands: I'm starting to get bored with stars

Estonia: hardest choice of the day, but love that color combo

Voron X said...

1. Israel - easily. Sorry Tricolore.

2. Namibia- just don't like that red.

3. This is a toughie. Maybe if China's stars were bigger, but it's just too much red, even if it's a much better red than Vietnam. Austria is classic and vibrant. Austria wins.

4. Too bad Mauritania is backlit. But that's not why North Korea wins. I just can't get past the smiling cyclops. And NK has a damn classy flag.

5. This too a toughie. Actually, this whole mini-bracket is tough (the winner of this goes up against either Denmark or Botswana) It's hard to argue with the Scandanavian cross, but unconventional as it is (no fimbriation), I'm loving Laos at the moment.

6. It's too bad that's a cheap Botswana flag. I'd like to see a thicker one where the black and white don't have sky-bleed-through. But I don't know if even that can topple the mighty Dannebrog. That red really pops against the sky. Denmark wins.

7. Overused as Red-white-Blue may be, here's the fellows that started the trend. Somalia needs to treat sky-blue as a metal, not a color. That star gets lost. Netherlands, no contest.

8. Curse Parsons. If he hadn't (with no reasoning) graded Estonia so low, She would have been seeded much higher, and this heartbreaking matchup wouldn't have to come so early. These flags are both very strong. If this were the Japanese military flag, there's be no question - it would win, but it is not. Also, Estonia uses a darker shade of blue here, which works better against the sky than Somalia or Botswana. Also, I love the symbolic picture of a stand of trees in shadow behind a snowy field under a clear blue sky. ( (
This is one tricolor that really works.

Japan has lovely symbolism too, but the big red dot, while a wonderful, classic design, just isn't doing it for me. Estonia for the upset.

Voron X said...

In my own personal tournament, The top contenders are Israel, Estonia, Denmark, Turkey, UK, and Iceland. (In spite of the fact that Turkey and Iceland are likey to get an unfortunate early matchup. Much like Canada/UK...and UK/Norway)

Morgan said...

1. Close! I'll go Israel because the shade of blue is nice; also, the red-white-and-blue tricolor is a bit overdone.
2. I'm usually not a fan of yellow in a flag if yellow is not a primary color, but both of these flags do yellow well. Vietnam does it better.
3. Austria looks neat!
4. Another close one! North Korea, for the more interesting variation of Red-White-And-Blue, Stars-And-Stripes that we've seen.
5. This one is way close; I'm going to vote Laos.
6. The picture you have of the Batswana* flag is less flattering than the flag itself. Might that have to do with the poor choice of color with the sky? Whatever, I'll vote for Botswana anyway.
7. Somalia for being distinguishable from Russia and Luxembourg.
8. Gah! These are both really good flags! It's a shame they had to go up against each other so early. Estonia wins easily, though.

*Wikipedia says that this is the correct demonym.

Elizabeth said...

France, mon ami
Mmmm .... Namibia
Happy smiling mauritania


This is like Duke vs. North Carolina-some good team has to lose!

France. Vive le tricolor originale. Israel might beat anybody else though!

Namibia. While I like the boldness of Vietnam, I like the colors and complexity of Namibia.

China. Since I dumped Vietnam, I'll make up for it with China.

North Korea. I love green and yellow (I'm a Duck) but that looks like a smiley face with no eyes!

Finland. Laos looks like it had sprinting mistake in the middle. North Korea does a better job with RWB Asian.

Denmark. Light blue not doing it for me.

Somalia. Eventhough I just said I don't like the light blue, I can't keep the horizontal RWB tricolors straight.

Japan. Are you kidding. I don't get the Estonia love around here.

Alan said...

1. Israel Edges out France barely/ Both are great flags.
2. Vietnam over Namibia.
Namibia's meaning is too cryptic.
3. Austria over China.
Austria is easily visible from far away. China not so.
4. North Korea over Mauritania.
Both have meaningful symbols but North Korea communicates in better in a flag.
5. Laos over Finland
The mysterious white sun is appealing
6. Denmark over Botswana
Denmark edges out with simplicity.
7. The Netherlands over Somalia.
The Star gets lost in the blue.
8. Japan over Estonia.
Japans red orb stands out more tha Estonia's great color combination.

Voron X said...

@Alan- The mysterious white sun is the full moon.

Michael5000 said...

Vote by email: France (can't resist the tricouleur), Namibia, China, Mauritania, Finland, Denmark, Netherlands, Japan

mrs.5000 said...


Chuckdaddy said...

Israel Vietnam china Mauritania finland Denmark Somalia estonia

I guess i have a thing for stars and crosses

Eric said...

Japan & Estonia (tie)

dhkendall said...

1. Toughy, but the fact that I've never been a big fan of tricolours, even the quintessential one, gives it to Israel for me.

2. Vietnam is too simple, my vote goes to the cross between Tanzania's design and Taiwan's sun. ;)

3. China (see above re tricolours - extends to tribands too, which Austria's more technically is.)

4. Both have a certain charm to them, and both work their symbolism well (Communism and Islam respectively) in a unique way, so I'm going to have to go to a non vexillological tie-breaker. Being one of the world's leading authorities on anthematology, N. Korea has always had one of my favourite national anthems, and Mauritania's one of my least favourites. So N. Korea gets it in the tie breaker. :)

6. Finland. I like white, I like Scandinavian crosses, and Laos looks like it's trying to rip off Belize. ;)

7. A toughy. Although a friend of mine who is a huge fan of the Dannebrog will kill me, my vote goes to Botswana: I like the pale blue and the symbolism in the black and white stripes.

8. Somalia. I like the light blue and white combination.

9. Another very tough choice; half tempted to abstain and let the group decide, but I'll go with Japan, never been a big fan of black on a flag. (Yes, I know it has almost the exact same colours as Botswana, just arranged differently. That'll be enough out of you. :) )

UnwiseOwl said...

1. As much as it pains me to vote against the Tricoulere, Israel's flag is a goodie. I back it now as the outside favourite to win.
2. Namibia.
3. Austria,
4. Korea
5. Finland
6. Botswana
7. Netherlands
8. Estonia.

Lis said...

1. Israel
4. North Korea (though I would have voted for Mauritania until Voron X. mentioned that it looked like a smiling cyclops)
5. Laos
6. Denmark
7. Netherlands (though this one is a toss-up for me because I don't like either)
8. Japan

Anonymous said...

North Korea

David said...

Israel vs. France
On the left, one of the best flag designs in modern history, utilising clean colors, and a powerful national symbol. On the right, the original Tricolor, the original flag of revolution, and a classic example of red-white-blue done right. Israel’s flag is truly excellent, but France is better by a hair. Vive la France!

Vietnam vs. Namibia
Vietnam’s flag is a very simple revolutionary symbol adapted into a national flag. Aesthetically, it wins hands down over Namibia’s strange diagonal tricolor. However…
Vietnam’s flag stands for a nation that broke every international law in the book by attacking South Vietnam after the US pulled out. South Vietnam’s flag was excellent, and incidentally is used everywhere in the states to denote Vietnamese heritage, while the current Vietnamese national flag is shunned as a symbol of tyranny, and I would challenge you to find a person of Vietnamese descent outside of Vietnam who likes it. Namibia it is.

Austria vs. PRC
Austria’s flag is old, simple, yet strong. The PRC flag is a red revolutionary flag, featuring a small gold star each to represent workers, peasants, intelligentsia and soldiers. The big gold star represents the Party/State/China itself. While China’s flag is excellent, once again, it isn’t exactly a ‘nice’ symbol, and for all of its little star constellation connotations, doesn’t really have a ‘China’ feel to it. Except that it’s probably made in China. Har har. Austria gets my vote.

North Korea vs. Mauritania
Here we go again. Another communist flag, vs another decent challenger. I’ll pick Mauritania, because I just don’t like the DPRK, although arguably its flag is better. However, flags aren’t all about aesthetics. I consistently voted against all of the communist flags here because I’m not a very big fan of what’s been done under the authority of the regimes represented by those flags. For example, the Nazi flag is, on vexillogical grounds alone, possibly the best flag ever designed. Simple, powerful, utilising a strong symbol, and is positively snazzy looking. However, I’d wager a good bit no one here would actually ever vote for it against another flag, because of the connotations of death, war, and blatant racism it carries. Hence, my vote is for Mauritania.

Finland vs. Laos
Blah blah blah, Nordic cross. Blah blah blah, interesting use of red-white-blue. So close. Really, it could go either way. I honestly want to vote for Finland. But I like what Laos has going. Laos.

Denmark vs. Botswana
Denmark has THE original Nordic Cross design, and incidentally the oldest continuously used national flag. Botswana, while deserving praise for choosing a unique color scheme, doesn’t really match up. The Dannebrog has my vote.

Somalia vs. Holland
Somalia’s flag is a direct ripoff of the flag of West Florida, a powerful American symbol that later became known as ‘The Bonny Blue Flag’. Except, it shrinks the star, and puts it on a UN-blue flag. The Dutch flag wins, but I have a peeve to air about it. It used to be orange-white-blue, a beautiful color scheme, and a completely unused one. Eventually, because their orange die was crappy, and kept fading to red, they changed it officially. Your flag has my vote, Holland, but now in the days of modern printing, do yourselves a favor, and add orange back into your flag.

Japan vs. Estonia
I quite agree with michael5000 about Estonia’s flag. It looks awesome, like a dark sky over a forest, with snow on the ground. Japan’s sun disk gets points, too, for being probably the best flag to come out of Asia. Based on that, I’ll cast my point for Japan, despite never being a huge fan of the sun disk.

dhkendall said...

GH Steuart: I got a minor chuckle that right after you said you never vote for the communist flags, you picked Laos (communist) over Finland (non-Communist). :)

chuckdaddy said...

I think eric should be asked to clarify his vote. A tie? He needs to get off the fence. Flag voting is not for the wishy washy.

David said...

Much like the flag of Cuba, which I voted for, the flag of Laos predates the country's communist government by a few years.

Voron X said...

@G.H. Steuart- as I mentioned in the other bracket, the contest is intended to be based upon aestetics and design principles. I'd vote for the Nazi flag as the more effective flag over most of the country's out there, as well as over the flag of my birth state, Virginia. Sic Semper Tyrannus notwithstanding, it's simply a more effective design.

Michael5000 said...

Voting is closed in this bracket.

Voron X said...

Where are your votes?

Michael5000 said...

I don't get to vote, 'cause my rankings went into the seeding.

dhkendall said...

GH: I could have sworn that Laos' flag used to be the party flag of the Pathet Lao (the Communist guerilla group that became government), whereas the previous regime (the monarchy) used the red flag with the three white elephants standing under a parasol on some steps (well, that's what it looks like to *me*!) Gonna have to check to see when it was introduced ...