23 Jan 2013

Twin flags

Many flags are similar between themselves; others are almost identical. Between the national flags, it can be an issue: UN tried to convince Romania or Chad to change their almost identical flags, but both denied. But these attempts can have results: Liechtenstein added a crown to its flag to avoid the confusion with Haitian flag. Here are some unsolved examples:

Part I: Luxembourg and Netherlands

LuxembourgNetherlands

The colors of Luxembourg flag are based on the arms of Grand-Duke of Luxembourg, the head of state. Netherlands adopted those colors during the Batavian Republic, inspired by French revolutionary colors and as rejection to orange-white-blue Prince's Flag. In this specific case, the similarity is even worse because they are very near countries, although don't sharing borders.

But this issue is very near to solution: in 2007, the Luxembourg government approved the use of the banner of arms of Grand-Duchy (also used as naval ensign) as civil flag inside Luxembourger territory along with national flag, and someday it can totally supersede Luxembourg tricolor. It's the banner of arms:


















This flag is much cooler, and much more relevant to the country, the reasons it has gained popular approval last years.

Part II: Andorra, Chad, Moldova and Romania


AndorraChad
MoldovaRomania

Andorra and Moldova at least use to put a coat of arms on it, but it doesn't work that well. Romania used to put their coat of arms, too, but it's a little in disuse. This issue is even more dramatic because Moldova and Romania share borders, so it's harder to know where you're passing to other side of border.

Andorra colors is a French tricolor with white and red changed by Spanish yellow and red, because Andorra is between France and Spain, and the co-princes of Andorra are the president of France and the bishop of Urgell (a Spanish Catholic diocese). It's my proposal to Andorra:

















The yellow and red nine stripes (the senyera) is the arms of Catalonia, the Spanish autonomous community nearest Andorra, and where the See of Urgell is located. It's present in Andorra coat of arms (more above). The blue with the two fleurs-de-lis represent French condominium over Andorra. The number of fleur-de-lis represents the curious case of Andorra and its two co-princes.

The current design of Chad flag is inspired by pan-African colors, but with blue instead of green to avoid confusion with Mali (turning it identical to Romania...). My proposal is based on its coat of arms. See:















Moldova flag origin is exactly the flag of neighbor Romania with Moldovan coat of arms. My proposal is based on its coat of arms — a similar, but more complex flag, was yet proposed. My rendition:















I think this flag is easier to be changed. A flag based on Armed Forces flag or the flag of ancient Principality of Moldova are other options, in my opinion.

To Romania, a horizontal tricolor, used before the current vertical flag, can be an option. See:

















It's OK, but I can come with a design by myself:

















It represents a legend that states that the tricolor is a union of blue and red from Moldavia and blue and yellow from Transylvania. However I think Romania would be last to change its flag.

Part III: Indonesia and Monaco

IndonesiaMonaco

Both countries has excellent alternatives from their pasts and presents, so I don't know why they insist to keep the issue.

For Indonesia, there's the flag of Majapahit Empire, currently used as naval ensign and naval jack, consisting of nine red and white stripes:

















For Monaco, there's other very reasonable flag: the banner of arms of House of Grimaldi (Monaco royal family), used many times unofficially, specially in 17th century, but still present in rare occasions (also unofficially):

















This flag is so Monegasque in origin and use that I can't see why it's not used officially.

Part IV: American seals-on-bedsheet

Many USA state flags use a seal or a coat of arms on a blue background (see), what make them almost unrecognizable in distance. You can see my proposals to USA states on my blog, and by many other authors at Vexillology Wiki. I highly recommend the visit!

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12 comments:

  1. Very interesting. This is a good issue to discuses. I am surprised it is not talked about more often.

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  2. i wonder if the horizontal tricolor would be acceptable for Romania since it may be interpreted as too similar to the flag of Hungary... ;)

    as far as Chad is concerned, i've made another proposal, based also on the coat of arms, but more minimalist than yours. :) what do you think?

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    1. I can't see much similarity between Hungary and Romania horizontal flags, but thanks to the advice.

      Your flag is very original, and I'd say better than mine in many aspects, but I haven't found what those arrows in coat of arms stand for. I consulted FOTW and it's said there that they represent salt. I verified Wikipedia and I verified Lake Chad region is a big source of natron (a sodium carbonate), but salt's alchemic symbol is different, so I still doubt the arrows stand for salt.

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    2. well, due to history, Romanians do not necessary like Hungarians, so the very fact it is horizontal and it has red atop could be a problem, i'm affraid... ;)

      this is interesting about this arrows - i'd guess they stay for progress, but that's only a guess...

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  3. I doubt Romanians consider any horizontal tricolor flag with a red strip atop as Hungarian-like! ;)

    Of course, the real point lies elsewhere. It is hardly by chance that the Moldovan and Romanian flags look so similar. Transdnistria apart, parts of the population in both countries consider that they belong to one and the same people, even though many are not for unification for pragmatic reasons. The north-eastern part of modern Romania is known as Moldova as well, and this is apparently a problem for no-one, in contrast with the ongoing conflict between Macedonia (FYROM) and Greece. History, including linguistic history, is not comparable: Moldovan is basically one of the many dialectal variants of Romanian, while Macedonian is, of course, totally different from Greek. But this relates to a completely different vexillological problem.

    This is to say that Romania is unlikely to change its flag, and certainly not because it so resembles the Moldovan flag. If anything, Moldova might want to change its flag. As for Chad, it is far from the Black Sea and confusions are thus rare.

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    1. Olympics and world cups (in this case, European cups, too): where the most improbable flag confusions happen. Liechtenstein even changed its flag to avoid the confusion with Haiti once each four years. I even explain on blog that Moldovan flag is inspired by Romanian one, as a political statement, but there are some nationalists that are more radical than you or me.

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  4. If Moldova (without independent Transnistria) unites with Romania, it can use this flag. It will differ from Chad.

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    1. I think that, if they unite, they would use the plain tricolor (by the way, I read that Romania may add the coat of arms on its flag soon). There's a precedent, the unification of the Yemen, and history tells that keep the minimum common element is a good option.

      This design is good, but have you noticed that, if you remove the Transnistria lozenge, it's very similar to St. Vincent and the Grenadines' flag?

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    2. Yes, the lozengy flag is too similar to St. Vincent's. But here is another solution: nordic flags for Romania and Chad. Chad has two crosses, because inner cross is symbol of sun. The Romanian flag could be suitable for Moldova too, if Romania kept its tricolour.
      PS: You inspired me to create this flag of Aran. Pity it is similar to flag of Armenia from distance.

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    3. The ideas are really interesting, but I don't see them, specially Chad, adopting a Nordic cross design.

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  5. You should make a post about americans twin flags, such as El Salvador-Honduras-Nicaragua and Colombia-Ecuador-Venezuela. And maybe, another day, arabs, such as Qatar-Bahrain.

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    Replies
    1. I partially handled the Colombia-Ecuador-Venezuela issue in this post. I'll take note of your other suggestions.

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Every comment is greatly welcome!