Friday, March 23, 2012

Finite Flag Tournament: The Finals

Well!  I was certainly relieved when I saw that that Fair and Balanced seeding process of this March Madness tournament had placed Israel and Canada in separate brackets.  Obviously, everybody has their personal favorites -- and let me give a shout-out here to the Kazakh sun-and-eagle, yo!  But when you look at flag designs that most people admire (and, perhaps importantly, that they can articulate a reason for admiring), there are almost two categories: Canada and Israel, and all of the other ones.  

Was I right?  Let's count the votes!
  • Israel 14, Japan 6.
  • Canada 14, Albania 5.
For the curious, I would have voted with the winners in both.

Which brings us to 

The Finals!!

Israel v. Canada

The Sideshow!

Including the play-in round, we've gone through the best 43 flags in the world according to the 5000/Parsons combined scores.  But what about the worst?  It turns out that there are two flags tied for the worst score, both having received a "D" from each crabby critic.  Which is the worst flag of all?  Let's decide it once and for all right here, right now.

Belize v. Fiji

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.  In the Belize v. Fiji action, you'll probably want to clarify whether you are saying that one is BETTER or WORSE than the other.

Next Week: On the last Flag Friday -- unless! some brave soul takes up the eternal quest on their own, to follow the brave trail forged by Parsons and 5000, and contributes a third voice to the important business of critiquing the flags of the world!  But as I was saying, next week we will be able to establish with all due confidence the BEST flag in the world, the WORST flag in the world, and the BEST statement to the effect that "the so-called worst ones are just as good as the so-called best ones," or "I'd choose (Belize/Fiji) over (Canada/Israel) any day," or "there were a lot of bad calls in that game," etc.  It'll be quite a week!


Elizabeth said...

Canada, eh?

Also, if Fiji is the one with the light blue background, that is by far the worst. I'll take an infinite number of fiddly bits over such a horrid color combination.


Israel by a whisker, but both have similar designs but with different colors and symbols.

I like Fiji better than Belize mainly because I am one of the few who don't hate the red and blue ensign variations in former colonies. At least Fiji used light blue which makes it instantly recognizable compared to the 15 other ensign children. Belize is just fiddle and hard to remember.

Jordan said...


Canada's flag might be distinctive but it's proportions still bother me, and as I said before, it fails to pull off those odd proportions like it's southern neighbor does. Plus I like Israel's center symbol and use of tripes more.


Belize's flag may look like a US state, but Fiji's eye-burning blue field along with another one of those horrible shields on the field makes it the worst.

Voron X said...

I agree pretty much exactly with everything Jordan just said. Israel is Best, Fiji is worst.


I wonder if Fiji and Belize hired the same Coat of Arms designer, since they seem to share almost identical tropical foliage clipart. But come on guys, that Fijian aqua field combined with the Union canton-just makes me feel like I'm somewhere maritime and tropical! Belize literally could be any of 25 U.S states.

Morgan said...

Canada vs. Israel is a tough one... Israel has better colors, Canada has a better symbol, and both have interesting and aesthetically pleasing stripe placement. Can I just vote Kazakhstan? That's my favorite flag.

If I must, I think I'll go for Israel. Horizontal stripes beat out vertical stripes just slightly. Although either of these flags could win, and I will be happy with either of them crowned with the title of "Second place to Kazakhstan."

As for the worst flag: Belize would be the worst, except that those red stripes are quite nice. And Fiji's colors are really terrible. My vote is Fiji for Worst.

Anonymous said...


I'm going canada, but both are great. Fiji and Belize are hilariously bad. I'm going to go with Belize being worse. Fijis color kind of calm me. And I really feel like they're trying, just maybe a bit too hard.

pfly said...

Canada. I mean, does Israel even *have* a hockey team? But seriously, I want to dock Canada's flag for the 1:2 size, and Israel's for the religious symbol. In both cases the docking is minimal. Israel *is* a Jewish state, after all. And somehow the Canadian flag rarely looks too long to my eyes. The length and the side bands cancel out, or something. In any case, both flags are good in the same basic way--white field with a simple central symbol and a pair of stripes/bands. Israel's stripes might be slightly more attractive but Canada's bands are bold. In the end it almost feels like it comes down to which color you prefer, blue or red. I guess I prefer the bold brightness of the Canadian red.

Dennis's comment about Fiji's flag being tropical and distinctive, over Belize's random US state look is interesting. But still, Fiji is causing me pain! Mein Gott!

pfly said...

PS, I mean, Fiji's tropical blue wouldn't be so bad if it didn't clash quite so much with the Union Jack colors--particularly the English red. Zounds!

Cartophiliac said...

Hardest flag choice, ever.

By the width of a maple seed pod, I'll go with Canada. Both have the best elements of flag design... I guess I just like red better.

Worst? I don't think either are the worst I've seen, but I'll give that honor to Fiji for the whimpy washed out pale blue field.

dhkendall said...

I feel that I'll probably get kicked out of the country if I don't vote Canada, although I can see why Israel is so good. (As it is, I'm a Canadian that can't skate, so my citizenship is on thin ice as it is!)

As to the worst, personally, I've seen a lot worse than either Belize or Fiji, but based on those, I'd have to go with Fiji. Not because of the bad blue that has come up in the comments (I've seen a more appealing light blue as well, M5K just chose a bad picture), or the "clipart" in the COA, but more because inticrit COAs on flags don't do that well, as they're nearly discernible, and I've never been a fan of the UJ on any flag (including the UK's, but at least they have a reason!) That being said, living in a province with a flag that has a UJ in the canton and a COA with hard-to-discern details (made worse by the fact that our neighbour to the east also has a very similar flag) is hard on me.


That photo of Fiji's flag seems much lighter than the official medium blue that seems to predominate on the web. I read somewhere that they are proposing to put their even more complicated full coat of arms on the flag in place of the shield-eegads.

Lis said...

In Israel v. Canada I will break my decision down like this.

Israel has the better color. The richness of her blue far exceeds the nearly orange, sickly red of Canada. The horizontal stripes make much more of an consistent impact when flown since they are always distinct and visible, unlike Canada's thick, vertically divided blocks. Canada maple leaf looks clunky, like a prototype compared to Israel's sleek and well refined Star of David. No matter which way I look at these two flags, Israel wins. So, Shalom!


This has been a lot of fun. :) Thanks!

Nichim said...

Israel's flag is better than Canada's.
Fiji's flag is worse than Belize's.

UnwiseOwl said...

Israel is a better flag than Canada's. I like the way that you've managed to pick a particularly terribly coloured Fijian flag, but I still think that Belize's is worse.
Long live the Union Jack in the Canton!

mrs.5000 said...

Canada for best, Fiji for worst.

Michael5000 said...

An email vote here for Canada best, Fiji worst.

mgliberman said...


Eric said...

Israel and Fiji

David said...

Israel vs. Canada
The Zionist world republic is at hand! Israel. I think Israel is head and shoulders above Canada, and I'm bemused as how some great flags got overlooked. Canada's flag is great, but not in my top 8.

Belize vs. Fiji
I find myself liking the Fijian flag for its light blue field, which means Belize wins the ugly prize in my book. Belize.

Borat immediately came to mind, along with his hilarious parody national anthem. "Kazakhstan, Kazakhstan, you very nice place..."

Dug said...

Canada but if Israel wins I won't lose faith in the judgements of people who post comments on blogs.

I really dig the red stripes of Belize. I'm OK with the seal too but if they replaced it with a simple white circle it would be one heckava flag. So Fiji wins (or loses or whatever.)

I think Israel does have a hockey team.

dhkendall said...

Just so I want to make it clear to M5K that my vote isn't due to any "non-vexillological factors" so that it will count, I do think that both Israel and Canada make very good use of their colours, and their symbols are probably some of the most well known of their lands, a Star of David can only be one country, as can a maple leaf. Canada edges out, though, as the blue of Israel's doesn't contrast as well against the sky as does Canada's red.

Edward Mooney, Jr. said...

I vote for Canada.

kydlt said...

Canada's best. There is just no contest. The 6 point star was already used by a religion, couldn't they have come up with something original ?
Of course, the leaf was already used by a tree.....
I'd say Fiji looses, because the Union Jack has already been used. I agree that Belize looks like a US state flag.

Alan said...

I've always loved the Canada flag. Canada has been one of by fave countries and flags since going over the border at 11 years old. But I like the Israeli flag too. The edge is to the Israeli flag, for its deep historical and philosophical roots in the Magen Dovid.