Monthly Archives: May 2015

Wombat’s top ten bonkers flags and one awesome one

Welcome to my wacky world of vexillology. Who doesn’t love a flag, and the dafter the better? These are my favourites. I’ve also added one awesome one at the end because JUST LOOK AT IT. Thanks to @sjcoltrane for the Benine Empire dialogue.

1. The Benin Empire. The putative flag of the Benin Empire is a real West African flag that was brought to Britain after their successful campaign against the Benin Empire in 1897. The original flag is currently in the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich (see a picture of the original flag here).

“O hai.”
“No do not come closer for I hav a sharp thing.”
“But…”
“There I said so. Now look what u hav done.”

01 This was the flag of the Benin Empire, that was situated in modern Nigeria. A pre-colonial African state, it lasted from 1440 to 1897

 

2. The North Caucasian Emirate, Russia (1918-1921).

“We need a crescent moon and three stars. We should arrange them carefully.”
Look, the pub’s open, lets finish designing it there.”

02 The North Caucasian Emirate, Russia (1918-1921) 

3. The Sicilian flag bears three legs in the shape of a triskelion which, according to my beloved Pliny the Elder, is supposed to represent the three corners of the island. The winged head is that of Medusa. I don’t know why you’d insert wheat there, no.

“We have so much wheat in Sicily that we’ve thought of another use for it.”

03 The Sicilian flag bears three legs in the shape of a triskelion which is supposed to represent the three corners of the island. 

4. The Seychelles. Apparently the radiating bands are meant to symbolise a dynamic new country moving into the future, and not that the designer let his eight-year-old daughter do the job.

“Daddy, my red and blue crayons have run out.”
Just use yellow and green instead, Jocasta.”

04 Seychelles 

5. Irkutsk – when devised in 1690 this was described as a tiger (“babr”) with a sable in its mouth. In 1870 a heraldist mistakenly assumed that ‘babr’ was a mis-spelling of ‘bobr’, meaning beaver. Confusion has reigned since, and with the depiction now is of a fabulous half-beaver half-tiger.

“What’s wrong with your tiger-beaver’s EYES?”
“It’s just seen what the Sicilians do with wheat.”

05 Irkutsk 

6. Friesland, in the Netherlands. The seven water-lily splots are a reference to the Frisian “sea countries” in the Middle Ages. I imagine.

“Eerm, what is this, Frogger?”
“Guess again.”
“Arses?”
“Nope.”
“Fortune cookies?”
“FFS, pompeblêden! They’re pompeblêden! Obv!”

06 Someone from Fryslan in the Netherlands must love Frogger. Or Chinese fortune cookies. Either way, they made this flag odd and ugly enough to be our first on the list 

7. Zheleznogorsk, a closed Siberian city founded in 1950 to develop weapons-grade plutonium, chose this design of an angry hula-hooping bear trying to peel an enormous hard-boiled egg.

“Hang on, why do we need a flag if we’re a closed city?”
“So that 65 years from now someone can make fun of it in a blog post.”
“What’s a blog post?”

07 Why is that angry hula-hooping bear trying to peel that enormous hard-boiled egg Because he’s the symbol of Zheleznogorsk, a closed Siberian city founded in 1950 to develop weapons-grade plutonium  

8. Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, a province of central Ukraine.

“I can’t decide between stars, waves, curly things or a bloke in a nightie.”
“What the shazbat, bung ‘em all in.”

08 Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, a province of central Ukraine 

9. Pskov, yet another Russian city. Those Russians love their daft flags.

“Why have you added the karate chop from God?”
“I have NO idea, and Googling didn’t help at all.”

09 In western Russia’s version of the Sistine Chapel, God’s hand extends from its ruffled cloud-sleeve in order to pat a prancing leopard on the stomach. 

10. Anadyr, yet another Russian city – the easternmost, fact fans. In Russia’s tough political climate it really is heartening to see a flag that celebrates the tender, non-traditional love of a smiley bear and a fish.

“Let us design the BEST FLAG IN THE WORLD!”
“Start with a smiley bear. Everybody loves a smiley bear.”
“I think that’s just you, Oleg.”

10 In Russia’s toxic political climate it is heartening to see a flag that celebrates the tender, non-traditional love of a smiley bear and a fish. Well done, Anadyr, an oasis of tolerance in distant Chukotka.

 

And finally, as relief against the silliness, one final flag of complete awesomeness. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the magnificence of THIS from Bhutan, featuring features Druk, the Thunder Dragon of Bhutanese mythology clutching four magnificent jewels. Because wow.

Bhutan is a small, landlocked country in South Asia, close to India. In 2012 it had an estimate population of 700.000 people.

#SUNDAYPIXcliche – Sunday 24th May

As cool as a cucumberAfter a few weeks of comparatively simple themes (which have, don’t get me wrong, sparked massive responses and some stunning photography), I thought it was about time we had a slightly thinky one. Our old friend @captain_doodle suggested:
“Howsabout #sundaypixcliche at some point? Recreate a verbal or visual cliche. Examples: stepping on a rake, slip on banana…”
And so it shall be! Picture me a cliché. Your new theme is:

        Cliché

Take a photograph that represents a cliché. Post your pics to Twitter on Sunday (including the hashtag #SUNDAYPIXcliche in your tweet) and enjoy the hashtag. As ever, photographs must be yours (or your family’s or your powder monkey’s) – nowt just nicked off the internet. Yes, you can post an old pic you’ve previously taken, or even one from your family history. Follow the hashtag (click on it in any tweet or add a column to your app) on Sunday to see what others have made of the theme. You are encouraged, nay ordered, to comment on other Sundaypixers’ tweets and admire.

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