The North American Vexillogical Association [previously] guides you through the 5 Basic Principles of Flag Design, citing examples of good and bad flags. Badflags, however, focused on the latter -- "the most vexing examples in vexillology."
If the drive for Scottish independence succeeds, what should be done about the Union Jack?
150 U.S. city flags, ranked from best to worst. Top-rated flags are typically tasteful and abstract, like that of Washington D.C. (#1) or subtly representational, like Madison, Wisconsin's flag(#11), which is more or less a glyph of Madison seen from above. The bottom of the list has some that seem stuck in a briefly popular graphic style, like Provo (#143), but most are timelessly ongepotch like the flag of Milwaukee (#147), which features a boat, a skyline, some smokestacks, some grain, County Stadium, a Native American,and a church. And then there is Pocatello (#150), whose flag was memorably profiled on badflags. (Vexillology previously on MetaFilter.)
The November 6th elections saw a lot of historic decisions made in the United States -- the first black president re-elected, marijuana legalized for the first time in two states, gay marriage affirmed by the voters in four, and even the first openly gay senator. But perhaps the most underreported result yesterday came from outside the country altogether: in the commonwealth of Puerto Rico, a solid majority voted to reject the island's current status and join America as the long-fabled 51st state. How the bid might fare in Congress is an open question, but both President Obama and Republican leaders have vowed support for the statehood movement if it proves successful at the ballot box (while D.C. officials ponder a two-fer gambit to grease the wheels). Though it would be the poorest state, joining the Union might bring economic benefits to both sides [PDF]. And politically, some argue the island might prove to be a reliably red state, despite the Hispanic population, although arch-conservative governor and Romney ally Luis Fortuño appears headed toward a narrow loss. But the most important question here, as always, is: how to redesign the flag? (Puerto Rican statehood discussed previously.)
Saturday flag links: Colorful EU flags (and more) and the old national food flags. A natural Canadian flag. Proposed Earth flag. A couple Inception flags. The flag of Oceania. Evolution of the US flag and wikipedia’s timeline of national flags. Dannebrog, the oldest state flag still in use (since 1219) and the flag of Christiania. One of the most famous photos of a flag, Soviet troops raising the flag of the Soviet Union atop the German Reichstag. The powerful flag of the NSDAP. A flag designer, the principles of flag design, and flags by design. 204 pixel art flags made for an Olympics video game. [more inside]
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]
What constitutes a catchy flag design? This site has assigned a letter grade to the flags of the world, with points taken off for bad color combos, trite slogans, and other flag faux pas. Which flags do you find eye-catching, and which are more appropriate as tea towels?