Friday, March 9, 2012

Finite Flag Tournament: The Elite Eight

After the first round, some of the flag rowdies requested a tally of the votes, as well as the disposition of my own votes.  Well, I'm not voting, since my grades over the last two years were half* of the criteria that seeded the brackets.  But sure, I'll tell you how I would have voted.

The results of the Sweet Sixteen matches were:
  • Israel 13, Namibia 3 (I would have picked Israel)
  • China 12, North Korea 4 (I would have picked North Korea)
  • Finland 9, Denmark 7 (Finland for me)
  • Japan 14, Netherlands 2 (A wash)
  • Greece 8, Albania 8 (A wash)
  • Turkey 10, Iceland 6 (I would have gone with Iceland)
  • Canada 9, the U.K. 7 (I was all for Canada)
  • Sweden 11, Cuba 5 (I was all for Sweden)
The trouble in the Balkans was solved in the traditional manner, which is to say browbeating Niece #2 into making the call.  Her tie-breaking vote goes to Albania, and thus we advance to:

The Elite Eight!

Israel v. China

Japan v. Finland

Turkey v. Albania

Canada v. Sweden

Votes go in the comments, or however you like getting them to me.  As always on this interactive online entertainment, purely anonymous votes are not counted.  Specific votes that are explicitly based on extravexillogical factors are cheerfully tossed out as well.  

* I know, I know, somewhat less than half if you do the math.  Parsons was here first.


lamanyana said...


Albania surprised me. I really like the Turkey flag and I actually voted against Albania the last time, but somehow this time around it was more appealing.

Morgan said...

1. A close one. Both are instantly recognizable and have aesthetically pleasing designs. The decision will have to be made with colors, and Israel wins there by a hair.

2. The two simplest flags face off! Japan wins because of reasons.

3. Albania.

4. Canada.

Thom said...


pfly said...

1. Israel
2. Finland
3. dark horse Albania
4. argh, must I pick one? ok ok...Canada


My final four picks got blown of the water, even though it looked like the voting would end up differently. I didn't vote for most of these teams last round, so its kinda odd now.

Israel: Crisp and cool vs. hot and eye watering

Japan: Is that the new beige version of the flag?

Albania: very close though

Sweden: I wanted UK anyway, and the swedish flag looks better vertically or limp.

Cartophiliac said...

Israel: in the battle of stars v. stars... 6 points beats 5

Japan: Big red dot beats blue cross. But the photo makes Japan's flag look very dirty...

Albania: Can't stop loving the double eagle

Oh, Canada!

dhkendall said...

Israel - mentioned before how you can never have enough white on a flag. (And no, I'm not French ;) ) It makes for a better background than the other 5 colours that are mainly used on flags that could be used).

Finland - not only does it look nicer, it's more indicative of its country as well (you get a "brr, chilly northern country" vibe from it. :) )

Turkey - tough call, but, if forced, the history of and influence in the area of Turkey's flag gives it the upper hand

Canada - kind of a no brainer here. :) (There's a reason it's the favourite (or one of the top favourites) of every vexillologist I know. Besides, only one Scandinavian flag at a time, please. :)

Nichim said...

Turkey (I voted for Albania last time, but this time I'm thinking, is that crazy creature actually a little bit right of center? I'm not into that. Also, it's more of a banner than a flag.)

David said...

Israel vs. PRC
Both flags are excellent on design grounds alone. Two good colors, simple, memorable, utilizing strong national symbols, one recalling Jewish pride, the other communist solidarity and power. The Chinese stars are meaningfully placed, and work well. That said star of David is a powerful and unique symbol, and trumps the PRC. Israel it is.

Finland vs. Japan
I've actually voted against Finland twice, but I've warmed up to it. Here are two flags with primarily white backgrounds. The blue cross I find a bit more striking than the red sun.
Regardless, either one will fall to Israel.

Turkey vs. Albania
Another similar match-off. Common red background. I find the non-ubiquitous eagle preferable over the generic crescent/star. Albania's looking better and better.

Canada vs. Sweden
I'm rather divided here. On one hand, Canada has a great flag. The maple leaf is a perfect symbol. On the other hand, Sweden's gold on blue really 'pops'. Sweden, but by a fraction of a hair.

Michael5000 said...

We've got a vote-by-email for Israel, Finland, Albania, & Canada.

mrs.5000 said...


dhkendall said...

Would have been really odd to see Turkey vs. Greece anyways - wouldn't want this place to get some of the comments I see on YouTube where a pro-Turk, anti-Greek or a pro-Greek, anti-Turk comment could conceivably (or, often, not even remotely) be shoehorned in. Good that M5K fans (what are M5K fans called anyways, the Teeming Thousands?) stay away from political commentary on geographically related posts.

Elizabeth said...


Rebel said...

Ugly vs. Ugly (side note that the Union Jack would have beaten both of these)

Heatherbee said...

Israel, Japan, Albania, Canada.

I'm trying to figure out if Wales has ever been mentioned on your blog. Is this thing searchable? I know it's neither here nor there, but I am a huge fan of the Welsh flag.

Voron X said...

Hard to pick. Finland, I guess.
Another hard one. Uk and Iceland beat both. Sweden, I guess - the comment about vertical is correct.

Dug said...

I'm not allowed to vote for China because that would make me a "self hating Jew" and we can't have that so Israel it is. Plus the colors are better. Hatikvah!

Japan though I liked their scary WWII era flag better.

Turkey - I don't really like religious symbols on flags yet here I am voting for 2.

Canada - wins the whole thing in my reality.

Lis said...

Israel though this one was hard for me, because I feel that China's flag is very strong. Israel's is stronger with it's symbolism not constrained in the canton.

Japan I like the simplicity of Japan's flag.

Turkey I don't like Albania's flag. The double headed eagle is too complex a shape and the dark on dark coloration just doesn't do it for me. Though I like black and red, it's just not that great on this flag.

Sweden I love the colors and I do not like Canada's flag. I never have. It looks more like a corporate symbol than a flag.

Michael5000 said...

dh: M5K fans are called "the Magnificent Seven." Although now that you mention it, I think "Infinite Artists" would be a good moniker.

E: I, too, am breathless with excitement.

Heatherbee: If you search for Wales, you will find at least a few references to the Welsh flag, and my on-the-record wish that I could witness the dragon-heavy flag waving at a Wales-Bhutan quiddich match.

Lis: Welcome to the show! If you are new in these parts, I encourage you to become one of the new "Infinite Artists"!

UnwiseOwl said...

Israel! Finland! Albania! Sweden!
No hard ones here for me.

Eric said...


Lis said...

Thanks, M5K. :) Happy to be here!

Jordan said...

It's just more pleasing, color and design wise. Both are distinctive but China's just isn't interesting enough.

Simple, distinctive, symbolic, and with a great historic meaning.

Simpler and more effective. I love the freakish hell eagle but turkey has the bonus that a child could draw it and it truly speak "turkey".

Canada's too large center stripe bothers me, the Swedish flag is a classic with wonderful colors.

Unknown said...

You're all wrong anyway. Sri Lanka trumps the lot

Michael5000 said...

If it were just me, Steve, Lanka would at least have had a seat at the table. See

Anonymous said...

Israel, Japan, Albania, Canada


I bet that it will be Israel vs. Canada in the final, which kinda interesting since both are flags with a dominant color stripe on outside edges with a dominant "corporate" symbol in the center.