Saturday, July 07, 2007

Word of the day: Vexillology.

Vexillology is the scholarly study of flags. (So says Our Lady of the Wikipedia.) I love logos, and flags are like logos. It's corporate identity for a nation's government. In fact, there are five basic principles:

1. Keep It Simple: The flag should be so simple that a child can draw it from memory.
2. Use Meaningful Symbolism: The flag’s images, colors, or patterns should relate to what it symbolizes.
3. Use 2–3 Basic Colors: Limit the number of colors on the flag to three, which contrast well and come from the standard color set.
4. No Lettering or Seals: Never use writing of any kind or an organization’s seal.
5. Be Distinctive or Be Related: Avoid duplicating other flags, but use similarities to show connections.
The related part of #5 explains all those crazy Scandinavian flags I can't tell apart.
(Shown is the glorious banner of my Nation States nation, a proud member of the region of Decipheria, known as Shocho. Oops, I broke #4.)


Kathy said...

When I was a kid in elementary school, we all drew names of states from a hat and we were to draw that state's flag on a big piece of construction paper. Then the flags were going to get hung at the top of the walls near the ceiling around the room, like a big wall border.

I got California. Just go look at that. I was about eight, I think, and not so good at drawing stuff. I had to draw a goddamn bear! And then do lettering so that it was even across the length of the flag.

I think I just burst out in tears when I got home with my piece of construction paper that night. I was a little perfectionist, and if I thought my flag sucked, I was gonna have to stare at it EVERY DAY until my teacher took them down. At least a month.

We lived in a small town at the time, and my mom had my teacher's home phone number. She called, and I got reassigned the Arizona state flag, because no one had picked it and it's easy as pie to draw.

I still got mad looking up at the Arizona flag, because I knew the only reason it was up there was because there was no way I could possibly draw a bear that didn't look like I'd drawn it with my feet.

I'm not sure what the moral of that story is supposed to be, but there it is.

Shocho said...

I had exactly the opposite experience. Any time they wanted me to draw something, I loved it. Maps? Sure. Flags? No problem.

When I got to Geometry, it was drawing stuff for Math class. Whee!

I drew maps for dozens of my classmates.

Of course, if I had to sing, that would be a complete disaster. :P

Allen said...

Try drawing the Canadian flag - all those little points always screwed me up.

George Haberberger said...

"This is not a pipe," from Scott McCloud's Understanding Comics. Correct?

Shocho said...

No, that's Rene Magritte, a painting by the famous surrealist. I bet Scott gives him credit somewhere.

George Haberberger said...

Yes, Scott McCloud uses that painting in his book. Magritte's point was that it was a painting of pipe, not a pipe. McCloud went another level saying was a printed image of a painting of a pipe