Thursday, January 6, 2011

Flag Friday XX

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.


Parsons: Citing "graven images" and a design that is "too busy," he gives it an "D", 41/100.

Michael5000: The images on the flag of Kiribati -- incidentally, are you pronouncing it right?  Better check. -- are not all that graven.  Only four colors are in play, with even the seagull being a simple cut-out shape.  I can't deny that it's a bit on the busy side, though, with those ocean-wave squigglies seeming less and less of a good idea the longer you look at them.  Certainly distinctive among the world's banners, the flag of Kiribati is nevertheless just a little too representational for my tastes.

Grade: C


Parsons: Calling it "original," he assigns a "B-", 65/100.

Michael5000: Wait -- Jordan is "eyewatering" and Kuwait is "original"?  They're the same four colors, with Kuwait subbing in a trapezoid for a triangle (slightly original) and ditching the seven-sided star (slightly original).  Bit of a wash, really.  Except Jordan's is a little better.

Grade: C


Parsons: Disliking the look of a "corporate logo," he gives Kyrgyzstan a "C", 57/100.  "Is that a tennis ball on this flag?" he asks.

Michael5000: We have to be generous to Dr. Parsons, who wrote his flag assessments nearly nine years ago, a primitive time when you still had to wonder about things, before there was the Wiki.  For of course that isn't a tennis ball on the Kyrgyz flag.  It's a red ring crossed by two sets of three lines, a stylized representation of the tündük or crown of the traditional Kyrgyz yurt, a symbol replicated in many facets of Kyrgyz architecture.  Duh.

I like it.  It's got a two-color boldness to it, and although I can see where Parsons is coming from with his "corporate logo" complaint, well -- it that were a corporate logo, it would be a damn fine corporate logo.  Especially for a yurt manufacturer.

Grade: B+


Parsons: Praising "good colours," he gives it a "B," 71/100.

Michael5000: It's a very simple design, yet one that Laos pretty much has all to itself.  Easy to recognize, eminently flaggy, it's a whole new take on the good old red, white, and blue.  Although one can't help but lament a little the loss of the prior flag, which featured a three-headed elephant.  

Grade: A-


Parsons: Disliking "bad colours" and a "bad shape," he assigns a "B-", 65/100.

Michael5000: I like a good old 3:2 ratio myself, but the 2:1 ratio of the Latvian tricolor is common as can be.  The dark hue of the red is pretty much unique, this side of Georgia, and I guess that could make the Latvian banner seem unflaglike to some.  To me, it is simply very distinctive, as is the 2:1:2 ratio of the stripes.  It's not the most beautiful flag ever sewn together, but you'd have no trouble finding it in a pitched battle and, if you saw it flying above the post office, you'd know you weren't in Estonia or Lithuania.

Grade: A-

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