23 Dec 2015

Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (USA)

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is a NY-NJ interstate compact that administers a large hub of airports, seaports and other facilities.

They use the following flag:

This design mixes elements from the flags of New York and New Jersey states. It's indeed a curious flag, but they only make sense if those flags never change.

I decided to use geographical references in the flag: buff color for NJ, orange for NY and blue for water borders, including Hudson River, all them arranged more or less according to the map. As a distinctive element, I've put the Statue of Liberty, located near the center of Authority's jurisdiction area, where, like Emma Lazarus wrote, it serves as a "New Colossus" for the harbor.

A curious sidenote: here, the Statue is in buff field and, although part of New York city, the Liberty Island is an enclave inside New Jersey.

I live the resuly, but I think the white circle has not enough contrast with buff background, so I moved it to the center, also enlarging it:

This adds a different bit of symbolism: that Statue of Liberty is more or less in the center of Authority's area.

Comments and suggestions are welcome.
If you're interest in flags with a "colossus", look at my proposal for Rhodes.

3 Dec 2015

DROPS: São Paulo (São Paulo, Brazil) [II]

São Paulo is the biggest city of South America. Less importantly, it's the place where I was born and lived since then. The screen of the computer I'm using right now has color issues, so I had to rely on something whose colors I was used; then, I chose re-redesign São Paulo's flag, as I already posted about it here.

This is the current flag of São Paulo:

It's not the most horrible flag in the world, I have to admit, but it's surely a complex design, what's not a good thing when we talk about flags.

The two proposals I made then:

So I was thinking: What if I simplified it, but not as much as my first proposal? Here's the result:

The very same flag, but with a tiny red border around the inner circle:

I made the coat of arms fit in the circle, even though I'm not sure if the shoulder is anatomically correct now. I specially like the proportion of red and white in the flag as a whole.

Even though I think this design appealing, I'm not sure if it's such a big improvement over current flag. But it was funny doing it, and seeing the final result, anyway.

Comments and suggestions are welcome.
If I'm correct, it's blog's 200th post! Thanks for helping it keep alive for such a long time.

23 Nov 2015

Southern USA (USA)

A personal opinion of mine is that flags should be a symbol for unite peopl, not divide them. But it can't perfectly happen if the feelings about a flag occupies a vast range, from pride to shame.

Currently, the most used flag to represent Southern USA pride is a modern reimagination of a Confederate battle flag, never really used as a national flag:

However, series of happenings is making it become more and more politically incorrect. Another flag that surfaced recently is the so-called "Southern Nationalist Flag", but its racist symbolism has no place in a plural South.

One initiative to re-think Southern flag was made by 70kft, a design studio from Dallas, TX. One think that I liked about it is the imaginary arrow pointed to the South. But its admittedly "quilt" look is not quite effective.

My idea is using the basic 70kft's idea of multiculturalism, represented by crossing red and blue bends. I'll use the saltire, not only because of its familiarity with previous flags but also because "X" is punning of Dixie, as dix is French for 10.

I didn't like the result that much, so I applied a "fretty" treatment:

I liked the final result the most.

Comments and suggestions are welcome.
I know it's a sensitive issue, but I tried to keep it flag-related. Be civil.

11 Nov 2015

Palmerston North (New Zealand)

Palmerston North is one of New Zealand's biggest cities. However, its flag is far from impressive, being boring and against many vexillological rules:

The eagle is inspired in the family coat of arms of Lord Palmerston, that gives the city its name. The origin of the tower is currently unknown.

Using a banner of arms, maybe removing the bordure, was too easy, to I took it a step further, keeping only the colors and the identifiable symbolism.

Now I think Palmerston North could have the flag it deserves. I made a variant version with a punning palm tree:

I think it breaks a bit of flag's charm, that's simplicity and symmetry. So I made another variant, incorporating the shell, a badge of the palmer (i.e. pilgrim). As can be seen, the golden shell is also present in current crest.

I think options 1 and 3 are beautiful and distinctive and both could be used. Which one do you prefer?
Comments and suggestions are welcome.
Next week, a very polemical flag issue.

2 Nov 2015

27th International Congress of Vexillology

When I designed a flag for London borough of Greenwich, I was looking for designing a flag for ICV 27, that will at University of Greenwich Old Royal Military College at August 2017.

One of my designs for Greenwich:

Then, I designed many doodles mixing this flag with vexillological themes, but none of them was satisfactory. My next idea was using the flag of Flag Institute, organizers of the congress, as a base. This is the charming flag of FI:

So I came up with this design:

The visual references for FI flag are obvious. I took advantage of the triangle that represents the letter V of "vexillology". The tiny red line represents the world-known prime meridian of Greenwich (traced using the Greenwich observatory as reference), where East and West are joined. The globe represents our planet, as the congress will be attended by people from all around the world, without division (the red line doesn't cross the circle).

Comments and suggestions are welcome.
Design an imaginary flag for a ICV is very funny. I invite the fellow vexillologists to have a try.

28 Oct 2015

Valencia (Valencian Community, Spain)

Valencia is the capital and biggest city of Valencian Community and former Kingdom of Valencia. It uses the same, historical flag of Valencian Communtiy, so I thought about a design only for the city.

This is the flag:

It the senyera of former Crown of Aragon (nine yellow-red horizontal stripes) with a stylized crown, a privilege dating from the second half of 14th century.

My proposal takes the crest from current coat of arms — probably originary from belief that Crown of Aragon's crest contained a bat instead of a wyvern — and puts it on a cairó, a rotated square associated there with civic heraldry. This is the result:

This crest, being golden and black, is very hard to contrast. In my second attempt, I used a more pan-Catalan color scheme:

I'm more inclined towards second scheme, but I think Valencian people would be proud of both.

Comments and suggestions are welcome.
Which one of designs do you prefer?

20 Oct 2015

Orlando (FL, USA)

Orlando, Florida is one of main touristic destinations of the world, being known as "Theme Park Capital of the World" for hosting World Disney World Resort, Universal Orlando Resort, SeaWorld, Gatorland and Wet'n'Wild.

Last week I was travelling there (hence my absence from this blog), but I rarely saw city's flag:

I was wondering if a more emblematic flag would help spreading its usage. Orlando has many iconic postcards, like Cinderella Castle and the Universal Globe, but the flag should countain a neutral symbol that could be flown by any Orlando company without embarassment, so I decided for the fountain of Lake Eola Park, also present in current Orlando flag. It's the result:

I kept the white-blue bicolor for being a distinctive background. The blue ring forms the letter "O", the initial of "Orlando". Giving the due credit, the fountain drawing was based in a logo by Frank Rodriguez (from MUDSHOCK).

Comments and suggestions are welcome.
I'm sorry for not posting last week, but I hope that this week's inspiration pays off.

5 Oct 2015


Nepal is the only non-rectangular surviving national flag. Its oddity gathers legions of fans; I'm not one of them. It's an expensive, non-aerodynamic (what makes it inevitably short-lived) flag, and reproducing it in accordance to construction sheet can be a formidable challenge. Proposals of amendment seems to have happened very recently.

This is Nepalese current flag:

My initial sketch for a Nepalese flag is more than two years older. This is it:

I think that, since all elements are relevant (including the triangles, that, in popular lore, represent the many and notable mountains of the country), I should keep them. I've used the symmetry of flag elements in my favor, arranging the triangles to form a rectangle.

I didn't like the result, because the flag lacked contrast. So I decided to give another try in last days. My first new result was the following:

This flag is, from a vexillological point of view, much more effective. For a minor detail, I've added a border outside the crescent moon.

But it didn't shouted "Nepal!", so I inverted the blue and white diagonals.

This flag may not be as contrasting as the previous, but I think it's more truer to Nepalese history and more similar to current flag.

Comments and suggestions are welcome.
I want to know: Do you like current Nepalese flag?

29 Sep 2015

Miskito people (Nicaragua / Honduras)

Miskito people is a Native American people native from Caribbean coast of Nicaragua and south Honduras, historically called "Mosquito Coast" (not related to the insect).

Sparsely inhabitated by Spanish colones, the Mosquito coast was twice in its history a British protectorate. In the second time (1844-1860), this flag was used:

From 1860 until 1894, where the area was finally annexed by Nicaragua (Honduras would only gain its piece in 1960), this flag was flown:

In that flag, the British flag was substituted by a version of Nicaragua flag, but with Miskito royal coat of arms instead. Until today, Miskito people use variations of these flags (you can find more about their flags here).

I imagined a hypothetical flag without British or monarchical symbolism, to avoid misinterpretations. I opted out for Nicaraguan symbolism for its busyness, nor plain stripes, as their are already often used. The result was this:

Eight stripes were common variations of these ten stripes flags. The symbol with a spear, shovel and canoe is used by the Council of Elders, among other Miskito entities. The two stars represent Honduras and Nicaragua, respective to their geographical locations. I think the colour palette represents the jungle and the coast very well.

Comments and suggestions are welcome.
So sorry for not posting nothing last week. I had technical issues.

16 Sep 2015

Flags of Pernambuco towns: Part I

A Brazilian friend requested flags for cities of Pernambuco state. I've once re-created the flag of its capital, Recife (post here; a candidate for a re-fix, by the way). Today I present the flag of his home city, Nazaré da Mata, and Carpina.

This is the current flag of Nazaré da Mata:

I've thought about keeping the green and white triband, but my final design, after some pencil-on-sketchbook, removed it, but has still some similarity with current flag.

The elements of the flag refer to tourist attractions: the golden obelisk; the sugarcane, referring to historical sugar mills and plantations; the standard, used in a local dance called maracatu.

This is the current flag of Carpina:

The first quarter of coat of arms represent the fact that the city had two former names. The second and third quarters represent the bravery and the Christian faith of founding fathers, respectively; the fourth quarters is punning with city's name, related to carpentry.

My first flag proposal contains an abstract saw:

My second proposal adds the second quarter of coat of arms as a flag canton, but just because one of two city's former name was Floresta dos Leões ("Lions' Forest") .

My third proposal is less orthodox, adding green color due to "forest" part of former name.

With some luck, we'll have a part two and many more!

Comments and suggestions are welcome.
Keep an eye in this series: I promise some great designs.

8 Sep 2015

Greenwich (London, UK)

From last August 31st to September 4th, the 26th International Congress of Vexillology happened in Sydney, Australia. The next ICV will happen in 2017, in London, more specifically in the University of Greenwich and the Old Royal Naval College, in the royal borough of Greenwich. So I think designing a flag for Greenwich would be welcome.

My inspiration for this design was the 1903-1965 coat of arms, before the annexation of Woolwich borough (for this specific purpose, I don't think that references to Woolwich are needed). The first attempt was a simplified version of the banner of arms (i.e. with less stars):

The central stripe is tinier in reference to Prime Meridian, also referred by the hourglass. The stars represent the Royal Observatory.

For my second attempt, I removed one more star, to make the flag look more balanced:

I like the result. But I'm not sure if it's better than with reversed colors:

I have a feeling that this version looks more "natural", but less unique.

Comments and suggestions are welcome.
Which of the three is your favorite proposal for Greenwich flag?

2 Sep 2015

Nubia (Egypt / Sudan)

The Nubia region is currently divided between Egypt and Sudan. I've saw a Facebook post about the nonexistence of a flag for Nubian people (even though proposals exist). So this is my take.

I've designed the following design:

A white crescent on blue background is reported as a symbol of Nubia in European medieval maps. The blue color can also stand for the Nile, while the crescent can represent the predominantly Muslim population. I've added a golden-yellow stripe on fly, representing the desert, but also the old glories e.g. Kush.

I'm not a specialist in Nubia, so I can only hope that my vision is correct. As a design, I like it very much.

Comments and suggestions are welcome.
My computer is starting to work again. So posting frequence may re-normalize.

25 Aug 2015

Fernando de Noronha (Brazil) [II]

To read the original post, click here.

Almost three years ago, I proposed the following flags for the heavenly archipelago of Fernando de Noronha:

For sure, it removed most of the nonsense in current flag (look original post for rationale):

However, I now tend to believe that I could have a more effective proposal. Previous ones had too many colors, and the landscape wasn't effective and, possibly, as relevant as I used to think. My new proposal is the following:

My new design kept the link to current flag as well as Brazilian flag, but is much simpler. I decided to focus on the dolphins, major symbols of the archipelago. The arrangement in circle is classic and catching, and better remarks Brazilian flag.

Comments and suggestions are welcome.
As I'm still without computer, I thought a re-fix is what I could offer.

17 Aug 2015


On the post about twin flags, an anonymous commenter on the possibility of redesigning other very similar national flags. It was cited, among others, the Bahrain-Qatar case.

I like the Bahrain flag the most:

The colors, the ratio, the simplicity of the serrated edges... it all looks fresh. But I think the flag of Qatar is the ugly duckling of the family:

I like the diamonds of the 1930s-1949 flag of Qatar:

But I dislike the words (it's country's name in Arab, a really dumb idea). I kept the maroon color, as the region was once famous for its purple dyes. I changed the ratio for more conventional 1:2, too.

Just for curiosity: the nine "teeth" represents the fact that Qatar was the ninth emirate to be "reconciled" with United Kingdom, after the seven United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.

I think the result is striking and more original, but still true to Qatari history.

Your suggestions and comments are welcome, too.
Last week there wasn't a post due to technical issues. I'm so sorry!