May 10, 2002
5:39 PM   Subscribe

A possible new retina-burning bar-code "flag" is being proposed for the EU. Surely they will say no, and keep their nice classic version. As one person said, "This is one of those ideas that would seem great around a boardroom table after a couple of Aussie chardonnays, but in practice it doesn't work." On the positive side the star-design would be hard to add new members, while the bar-code is so busy and ugly no one would notice.
posted by rhyax (16 comments total)
Actually, this is a hoax, but I can't remember where I saw it debunked...
posted by darukaru at 5:42 PM on May 10, 2002

Aha, here it is.
posted by darukaru at 5:45 PM on May 10, 2002

And I kinda liked it, too.
posted by gramcracker at 5:50 PM on May 10, 2002

well, maybe not a hoax so much as an unbacked designer with hype
posted by rhyax at 5:52 PM on May 10, 2002

It's important to remember that Rem Koolhaas is an extremely important conceptual architect. However, it's equally important to remember that a "conceptual architect" is one who designs "conceptual" objects which are either impossible to create, useless, or both. In this respect, they're a lot more like philosophers than graphic designers, meaning that they shouldn't be allowed anywhere near a flag.
posted by tweebiscuit at 5:57 PM on May 10, 2002

I saw something similar to what tweebiscuit is talking about earlier this week -- a web site of "photorealistic furniture". It had nice stuff for sure, only none of it was real, kinda like this "flag"...
posted by clevershark at 6:23 PM on May 10, 2002

I took a modern architecture class this semester, only to be let down when I discovered that most famous architects work primarily with "theory," which is quite often bullshit in my eyes. (Not that it doesn't have any value -- I just personally don't care about it. I want to see people buildings, and anything else is boring to me. No, I'm not anti-intellectual or anything -- I'm a frickin' philosophy major -- I'm just not particularly interesting in which architects like Koolhaas have to say.)
posted by tweebiscuit at 6:36 PM on May 10, 2002

It had better be a hoax. If it ain't, y'know what that flag says to me:

"We are Experiencing technical difficulties-PLEASE STAND BY."

Come to think of it that's an accurate description of modern Europe, so maybe it is appropriate.
posted by jonmc at 6:41 PM on May 10, 2002

Isn't that the flag of Absolut Vodka? lol must be the same designer or something, but being a college student, I drew the connection right away.
posted by banished at 6:47 PM on May 10, 2002

posted by ODiV at 8:36 PM on May 10, 2002

Maybe you have to be from europe to appreciate the flag for it's symbolic features. Most Flags in Europe consist of three bars, or other simple patterns like crosses and 'X's (take that Georgia). The flag in the article is a vertical representation of all the EU country's flags.

It starts out with Ireland and the UK on the left. There's France, Spain, Germany Italy right of the middle. Towards the end are Norway and Sweden. As new contries come on the essential flag design stays the same, it just grows by a few colors. I think all the flags are also ordered by their position on an axis located somewhere in the North Sea.

Personally I think it is a cool idea and would not mind seeing somthing like that become a flag for the EU. Anyway, after Georgia's new flag I think the world can stand for some flags designed by an artist.
posted by DragonBoy at 9:20 PM on May 10, 2002

On the positive side the star-design would be hard to add new members, while the bar-code is so busy and ugly no one would notice.

Actually, the number of stars doesn't representate the number of states. Twelve stars is an old heraldic convention. The significance is biblical:

"a woman clothed with Sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars"(Rev. 12:1)

You'll find lots of twelve stars rings in classical art.
posted by cx at 11:25 PM on May 10, 2002

DragonBoy: Norway isn't a member of the EU; towards the end are Denmark, Austria, Sweden, Finland and Greece.
posted by dagny at 12:21 AM on May 11, 2002

Isn't that the flag of Absolut Vodka?

Absolut have invited quite a few European designers to work on their campaigns in the past - couldn't say for certain but Koolhaas could well have been one.

DragonBoy: Norway isn't a member of the EU

Someone needs to tell that to The Independent, the newspaper that first ran with the story in the UK. A note at the bottom of page 2 included Norway as a member, for which they fulsomely apologised a couple of days later.

(FYI: this is the paper has recently relaunched as an expressly pro-Europe-oriented daily...)
posted by CatherineB at 4:11 AM on May 11, 2002

European Commission president Romano Prodi commissioned Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas to create the new design.

I was gonna I'd like a big payday for making a bunch of stripes!
posted by rushmc at 8:20 AM on May 11, 2002

I like that flag. It's much more interesting than the twelve stars, which looks like the flag of a prep school or something. Maybe it's just the blue & gold...

But then anyone who's met me knows I like bright stripey things, so i guess it's a matter of taste.
posted by mdn at 8:26 AM on May 11, 2002

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