Thursday, February 23, 2012

Finite Flag Tournament: Round 1, Right Bracket


Pakistan v. Albania

South Africa v. Greece

Iceland v. Slovakia

Turkey v. Hungary

Canada v. Suriname

Norway v. United Kingdom

Sweden v. Sierra Leone


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

The left bracket will appear in tomorrow's post.

31 comments:

Morgan said...

1. Tough one right off the bat! Albania by a hair.
2. Greece, without hestitation
3. Iceland
4. Hungary
5. Canada
6. Norway
7. Another close one! Sierra Leone
8. Gambia. I like the white striplets between the colors.

Voron X said...

Indeed it is a close tournament:

Albania vs Pakistan: In a close-fought clash of titans, Albania delivers the decisive blow in sudden death overtime.

South Africa vs. Greece. Greece has better fundamentals and looks to be the stronger contender, but South Africa has a better fighting spirit and ingenuious moves help them pull this one out.

Indomitable Iceland knocks the seal off of a talented Slovakia, while Russia chuckles to herself.

Turkey soundly trounces Hungary in a punishing display of by-the-numbers dominance.

In the Great American battle of the piles versus fesses, Canada is able to pour more energy in its two colors, while Suriname is stretched thin, and falls late in the match.

In the Great battle of the North Sea, vicious Vikings clash against the Great British Empire. It is a remarkable battle of agressive offence, with the tables turning time and time again. The UK seems to have the favor of the crowd, however, and having watched the previous match against Iceland, manages to counter one of Norway's more predictable moves with a unique twist on a classical counterattack, and secures the victory in the final seconds. UK over Norway.

Sierra Leone never seems to get into this match, and Sweden gains an early lead, which they manage to hold on to until the end. Though the outcome of the match is never in question, the score remains close.

Gambia comes out confidently and puts a hurting on Cuba, who falls far behind, but they manage to rally, and come back from the break with a renewed vigor. Little by little, they chip away at the Gambian lead. Some very daring moves pay off and Gambia's conservative play finds them on their heels. They never recover their initial energy and Cuba pulls ahead and never looks back in this stunning upset.

In summary:
Albania
South Africa
Iceland
Turkey
Canada
UK
Sweden
Cuba

Voron X said...

Btw, in proper flag terminology, the thin white dividers between the colors are called fimbriation. Only M5K gets to call them striplets. ;-)

mrs.5000 said...

Pakistan
Greece
Iceland
Turkey
Canada
um...you know, I'm going to stick with my first impulse, which is UK
Sweden
Cuba

Nichim said...

What Mrs. 5000 said, except I like Albania better because of the two heads. Did it have one head and then the great culture hero cut it off and two more grew back in its place?

Edward Mooney, Jr. said...

1. Albania
2. Greece
3. Iceland
4. Turkey
5. Canada
6. Norway
7. Sweden
8. Cuba

Anonymous said...

Albania
South Africa
Iceland
Hungary
Suriname
UK
Sweden
Gambia

dhkendall said...

Albania (though I agree this is a toughie)
S. Africa (and will be sad if it lost)
Iceland (just by a hair, both are equally great, but I think my Scandinavian heritage (as demonstrated in my personal flag (my avatar)) wins out)
Turkey (ah, two once-important empires. ;))
Canada (and will be VERY surprised if it loses, I predict it going to the semi finals at least!)
Norway (partly because of my Nowegian heritage (the flag has a spot in my heart) and partly because I don't care for the UK flag that much, and partly because I know everyone else does love the UK flag, so I don't want to give it a unanimous buy into whatever its next challenge is. ;) )
Sweden (by a long shot)
Gambia (can't beat a stylistic map on a flag. ;) )

Eric said...

Pakistan
Greece
Iceland
Turkey
Canada
UK
Sierra Leone
Gambia

Lord Dunhavn said...

1 Albania
2 Greece
3 Iceland
4 Turkey
5 Canada
6 Norway
7 Sweden
8 Gambia

chuckdaddy said...

Wow, well I wanted to vote for Albania and its crazy 2-headed monster bird, but really, that Pakistan flag is exquisite, might be my favorite.

Pakistan
Greece
Iceland
Turkey
Canada
UK
Sweden
Cuba

And I just looked through the comments, and Mrs. 5000, I believe we are 8 for 8. Do we share the same flag aesthetic? Do you also share a distaste for the tri-color?

pfly said...

Albania: Pakistan's is nice, but I have a weakness for double headed eagles.

Greece: South Africa's looks a bit too "corporate".

Iceland: Slovakia's coat of arms just doesn't quite do it for me.

Turkey: Simple star and crescent beats simple tricolor, I guess.

Canada: What's not to like??

UK: More distinctive than those Nordic flags, which are all so confusingly similar.

Sweden: Except Sweden's!

Cuba: Gambia's stripelets, or whatever they are called almost got me, but a "corporate" aftertaste lingered--a very mild aftertaste, but just enough to tilt in favor of Cuba.

Voron X said...

@Nichim- the double-headed eagle is from the flag of the Holy Roman Empire - One head is the Church, and one is the State.

Cartophiliac said...

Albania: like the simplicity of the Pakistan flag... but the two headed eagle rocks!

Greece: SA has too many colors

Iceland: classic

Turkey: Hungary just looks like too many other similar tricolors.

Canada: tough call, but the maple leaf is so much more iconic than just another star

UK: Union Jack. Yeah, baby!

Sweden: both classic... yellow cross stands out

Gambia: Its a map! A river runs through it.

vexivaness said...

Albania
South Africa
Iceland
Turkey
Canada
UK
Sweden
Cuba

Elizabeth said...

Pakistan
South Africa
Slovakia
Hungary!
Suriname
United Kingdom
Sierra Leone, poor raggedy thing
Gambia

DENNIS BOLT said...

These are evenly matched teams! There are some winners here that will go down too early!

Albania. I love crisp green/white, but that white fly stripe is offish, while double eagle rocks!

Greece. Close one! I love South AFrica but like simple complexity of Greece.

Slovakia: While I love the Scandi crosses, this is one of the best "shield" flags.

Turkey. Islamic cross vs. Christmas.

Canada. Suriname might beat many others, but not Canada.

UK. One of my all time favorites.

Sweden. Good colors and I've gotta give some scandinavian love after having voted them down twice.

Cuba. They are a real dark house contender!

PB said...

1. Definitely Albania - that thing is awesome.
2. Greece
3. Iceland - I like Slovakia's, but I'm a sucker for those nice crisp crosses in good colors on a flag.
4. Hmmm... don't dislike them, but neither does a whole lot for me. When in doubt, go for the upset - Hungary.
5. Canada, I guess. Still not enthused.
6. Tough one - like both of these, but we'll go with the UK.
7. Sierra Leone
8. Cuba

mgliberman said...

1. Pakistan
2. South Africa
3. Slovakia
4. Turkey
5. Canada
6. United Kingdom
7. Sweden
8. Gambia

Michael5000 said...

Here's a vote-by-email: Albania, Greece, Iceland, Turkey, Canada, UK, Sweden, Cuba.

lamanyana said...

1) Pakistan
2) Greece
3) Iceland
4) Turkey
5) Canada
6) United Kingdom
7) Sweden
8) Cuba

UnwiseOwl said...

Albania! South Africa! Iceland! Hungary! Canada! United Kingdom! Sweden! Gambia!

Lis said...

1. Pakistan
2. South Africa
3. Iceland
4. Turkey
5. Canada
6. UK
7. Sweden
8. Cuba

G. H. Steuart said...

It's fun to do a flag match off again. I can tell this 'season' is going to be much better than the last one, on account of the world having more creativity than most American states. Okay, here we go...

Pakistan vs. Albania
This one is hard, no question. White and Green go very well together, as do black on red (though technically black on red doesn't fit the medieval rules of color on metal or metal on color, since red and black are both colors). Both flags don't really work vertically, and both are simple and bold. I'll go with Albania, because a double-headed eagle is far more ubiquitous than a star.

South Africa vs. Greece
This isn't as hard. The South African flag is very well designed, and incidentally looks a lot like the Jamaican flag smashed into the Dutch flag. It manages to integrate both the settlers' heritage with colors more appropriate to Africa. Greece on the other hand, has a fairly unique bicolor flag. However, unlike the South African flag, there's nothing that really screams 'Greece!' from the design. Maybe if it had a lightning bolt, or something likr that. South Africa has my vote.

Iceland vs. Slovakia
This one is a no-contest in my book. Slovakia reuses the pan-slavic colors, and tosses a national symbol on top. Iceland pulls off yet another cool variation of the Nordic cross.
Iceland it is.

Turkey vs. Hungary
Both strong flags. A distinct tricolor, and a simple crescent and star. Maybe I’m being unfair to Hungary, but a nice tricolor won’t win this match. Turkey, on the other hand, has the best example of a crescent + star flag currently in existence. Turkey.

Canada vs. Suriname
Suriname actually has an execellent flag for a little South American country that sounds like it belongs in Asia. Canada’s flag is also excellent, strong colors (or colours, if you happen to be Canadian [or Canadien, if you speak French]) and a distinct national symbol, combined with an unorthodox tribar red-white-red. Suriname’s flag, while to be commended for looking much better than a lot of the flags out there, lacks anything that really gives it national character. Canada wins this one.

Norway vs. The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
Disclaimer: I am a rabid Anglophile
Norway’s flag is another great example of a Nordic cross. But Britain’s flag is older by a few years, and manages to incorporate 3 out of 4 of its constituent country flags without looking ridiculous. In fact, it looks badass. Sorry Norway. Maybe next time. Rule Britannia!

Sweden vs. Sierra Leone
Sweden has a strong Nordic cross, Sierra Leone has a strong tricolor with unique colors. I’m going with Sweden, though, because I’ve always liked blue and gold, and because Sierra Leone is a dirt poor little third-world country where the flag is most likely the only redeeming factor.

Gambia vs. Cuba
This one is close. Gambia’s flag is very clean, and the stripelets are a nice accent. Cuba, however, manages to take one of the most over-used color combos out there, and give it a fresh twist. Cuba it is.

Voron X said...

@G.H. Steuart- do you mean "unique" instead of "ubiquitous"? Ubiquitous means "everywhere present", which would be like stars on a flag, or Starbucks in downtown Washington DC. The double-headed eagle, while technically not unique (Montenegro has one too), is far from ubiquitous.
RE: Sierra Leone - we're not supposed to be taking into account or judging the nature/character of the country in question when voting on these flags, except insofar as how effective the symbolism is. Now if you said, "a tranquil flag like that just doesn't evoke the reality of Sierra Leone to me" that might be more appropriate (though still in a bit of a grey area). Or so as I understand the rules.

Anonymous said...

1 Albania
2 South Africa
3 Iceland
4 Turkey
5 Canada
6 United Kingdom
7 Sweden
8 Gambia

G. H. Steuart said...

@VoronX:
I stand corrected. I should have said 'less ubiquitous'. Thanks for pointing that out. I probably would have continued using the word in that improper context.

RE Sierra Leone:
I'm not hating on the country, but I was picking Sweden, so I felt like saying something bad about Sierra Leone, and I couldn't think of anything else to write.

DENNIS BOLT said...

I agree, that the politics of the country should not really be involved with the vexilology contest. Unless the flag does not accurate portray the politics? The irony is that three of the best "flags" in history represent politics that most of us would not want represented on our flag pole or wall: Swastika, Japanese Imperial War flag, and Confederate Battle Flag (X with stars).

Michael5000 said...

I've tried -- with lapses, undoubtedly -- to write up the flags as if the people who live in the countries they represent might see what I was writing. As indeed they might.

Anonymous, I feel kind of bad about not spelling it out in this particular context, but I don't count anonymous votes in the various elections and tourneys here. Feel free to represent yourself with a name or alias if you'd like your votes thrown into the collective hopper.

Voron X said...

@Dennis- I so completely agree with you. Those three are among the best (if not THE best) flags of all-time, STYLISTICALLY. Heh, I could totally imagine a best flags of all time battle with Israel and Nazi Germany in the finals!

Maybe an idea for a future contest, inflammatory politics notwithstanding?

Michael5000 said...

Voting is closed in this bracket.

As an aside: although the skillful deployment of iconography by the German totalitarians is certainly of intellectual and historical interest, it is also something that most of us regard with appropriate loathing. For me, and I would have to think for most of my readers, its presence in the conversation dramatically reduces the fun of the current enterprise.