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August 4, 2008 1:27 PM   Subscribe

Flag Identifier: Flag Identifying Tool and Vexillologic Database. Search for flags by various characteristics: by area division, by shape of the flag, by main colors on the flag, by device on the flag, by geographic descent, by usage, by history. Each find points you toward the flag's corresponding page on the venerable Flags of the World website. For example, here are the search results for flags with three yellow animals on them. [FOTW previously, but with dead links]
posted by not_on_display (23 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite

 
This is so awesome. From now on, to me, Kansas will be the "only place with more than one Indian on its flag" state.
posted by phooky at 1:33 PM on August 4, 2008


Nice implementation of a complicated query interface, but it would be better if it were more obvious how to short-circuit the drill-down to sub-categories.
posted by orthogonality at 1:43 PM on August 4, 2008


A friend and I once managed to get an entire 25 person party (as in the gathering where people drink, dance and flirt) to discuss vexillology with great passion for over an hour. It's one of my greatest derails.
posted by Kattullus at 2:04 PM on August 4, 2008 [3 favorites]


I'd like a False Flag Identifying Tool. Might save some lives in this war on terror.
posted by grounded at 2:19 PM on August 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


oh god this is like porn to me
posted by jtron at 2:54 PM on August 4, 2008


By device, inukshuk - a mere one result. You vexillolographers need to get on this. We need more inukshuk flags.
posted by GuyZero at 3:10 PM on August 4, 2008


Kattullus FTW.

It's also amazing how many flags are hideously ugly. Part of me wonders how much of that is the result of flags being divorced from the heraldic traditions they largely grew out of.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 3:19 PM on August 4, 2008


dirtynumbangelboy: It's also amazing how many flags are hideously ugly.

Actually, the vexillology party discussion was largely about the aesthetics of flags. My friend and I argued that flags had to satisfy two primary functions:

1) To be easily identifiable from a great distance.
2) Drawable by a 7 year old with below average artistic skills.

Many, many flags fail one of these two. For instance, the US flag, while lovely in the form of a Jasper Johns painting, drastically fails the second criterion and is hard to distinguish from afar. There was dissent, obviously, though the most pointed objections came from Canadians when we made the point that no 7 year old with below average artistic skills can draw that damn maple leaf accurately.
posted by Kattullus at 3:33 PM on August 4, 2008


We should just trade flags with Greenland. Or the Ainu people of northern Japan. They both have extra-cool flags, and honestly ours kinda sorta sucks.
posted by jtron at 3:54 PM on August 4, 2008


though the most pointed objections came from Canadians when we made the point that no 7 year old with below average artistic skills can draw that damn maple leaf accurately.

True.. but your proposed 7 year old could draw a version that would be instantly recognizable to anyone who had ever seen the flag or heard a description thereof.

The USA flag.. ehh, kinda. The Union Jack also fails rather spectacularly on this point, but nevertheless.

The Queen Mother's personal flag was an exercise in hideous. It's perfectly heraldically correct, of course, but wow was it ugly. Prince Philip's, too, is awful.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 4:03 PM on August 4, 2008


though the most pointed objections came from Canadians when we made the point that no 7 year old with below average artistic skills can draw that damn maple leaf accurately.

No arguments from this hoser. The Flag, however, is a bit of a reverse rorschach test for grade schoolers. How they draw the unrenderable leaf gives you some insight into their character: some try to be very accurate, some draw a few dozen points, some draw an oak leaf. It's fun to play match-the-flag-drawing-with-the-kid on parent-teacher nights.
posted by GuyZero at 4:05 PM on August 4, 2008


Uh...
posted by mdonley at 4:53 PM on August 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


Also my previous flag post...
posted by blahblahblah at 5:05 PM on August 4, 2008


I think the best flag would be a piece of clear plastic.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:27 PM on August 4, 2008


No no no no no! Come on, flapjax, weren't you paying attention? A piece of clear plastic would be completely unrecognizable from a long distance away and would drive a 7 year-old to tears. "How can I draw clear, teacher? How can I?!"

Why must you make the children cry, flapjax, why?
posted by Kattullus at 7:12 PM on August 4, 2008


flapjax at midnite: "I think the best flag would be a piece of clear plastic."

***marking checkbox next to flapjaxmasgift***
posted by not_on_display at 7:14 PM on August 4, 2008


flapjaxmasgift

Ha! That link is hilarious, n_o_d, and makes my point for me! That is, the *product image*. There's nothing there! Yet, you can click on it, and get a new window, and... there's nothing there!

Why must you make the children cry, flapjax, why?

I'm a stone cold motherfucker, Katullus. Stone cold.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:49 PM on August 4, 2008 [2 favorites]


Oh, and Katullus, when the confused 7 year-olds demand to know how to draw "clear", just send 'em to n_o_d's above-mentioned link. That's how to draw clear!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:52 PM on August 4, 2008


Hmmm. It includes the Frankston Yacht Club, but not the Aboriginal flag.
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 10:42 PM on August 4, 2008


^Hmmm. It includes the Frankston Yacht Club, but not the Aboriginal flag.

I've emailed the Flag Identifier sysop with the link to the corresponding FOTW page.
posted by not_on_display at 12:11 AM on August 5, 2008


I tried Canton flags, from Switzerland. They only show Zurich. Zurich, Luzern, and Zug (all three are both cities as well as cantons--Which are like county-sized provinces) all have blue and white. One horizontal division, one diagonal, and one vertical. Zurich shows, the other two do not. If they had overlooked the cantons entirely, it might be excusable.
posted by Goofyy at 6:22 AM on August 5, 2008


Goofyy: "I tried Canton flags, from Switzerland. They only show Zurich. Zurich, Luzern, and Zug . . . Zurich shows, the other two do not. If they had overlooked the cantons entirely, it might be excusable."

After Fiasco da Gama's comment upthread, I contacted the webmaster about the omission, and very soon afterward received an email back confirming he'd added the Australian Aboriginal Flag.

Goofyy, you should go to the contact page (or info[AT]flagid.org) and let him know of any errors or omissions.
posted by not_on_display at 11:19 AM on August 5, 2008


Beijing Olympics: Flags showing Cross of St George, Saltire or Welsh dragon banned
posted by homunculus at 9:56 AM on August 6, 2008


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