The Vexillology Version of "If They Mated"
September 20, 2019 10:53 AM   Subscribe

@FlagsMashupBot is a twitter bot that randomly takes two flags, combines them, and invents a new country based on the flag. Sometimes the results are interesting, such as Geoouti (Georgia + Djibouti). Sometimes there's no apparent change, such as Ausada (Austria + Canada). Sometimes you just get France, as in Itana (Italy + China (1912-1928)). And sometimes they're inflammatory: witness United Ireland (UK + Ireland) or Islamic Republic of Israel (Iran + Israel). As the creator of the bot has said, "Seriously thinking of turning off the bot while im sleeping".
posted by Cash4Lead (27 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
 
The United Ireland flag is simultaneously radically ugly and still the best solution to Brexit I've heard yet.
posted by Quindar Beep at 11:34 AM on September 20, 2019 [10 favorites]


Ok, the Republic Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic + Republic of Texas) is comedy gold. And not that bad either, from an aesthetic point of view.
posted by Hactar at 11:51 AM on September 20, 2019 [5 favorites]


These are wonderful but a bot did not “randomly” create United Ireland or Islamic Republic of Israel. That’s just trolling.
posted by not_the_water at 11:56 AM on September 20, 2019 [6 favorites]


Though I must say, Wallis and Turkmenistan is one of my favorite stop-motion animation series.
posted by Quindar Beep at 12:01 PM on September 20, 2019 [5 favorites]


Have to appreciate this reaction to United Ireland.
posted by epersonae at 12:07 PM on September 20, 2019 [9 favorites]


This is really addicting to scroll through
posted by COBRA! at 12:11 PM on September 20, 2019




There's probably an article worthy of being written about the arguably troubling acceptability of Irish republican sentiment nowadays as expressed through memey bullshit (and I guess how it is expressed by different generations and as part of some sort of weird ironic dirtbag masculinity/internet culture) but by god that obscene 'United Ireland' flag deserves everything it gets.
posted by ocular shenanigans at 12:38 PM on September 20, 2019 [2 favorites]


These are wonderful but a bot did not “randomly” create United Ireland or Islamic Republic of Israel. That’s just trolling.

Enough of the rest of the output of the bot is stupid and/or pointless that there's got to be a pretty significant automatic element to it all. Maybe they set up a few obviously controversial matches and threw them in there to seed it or something, but no actual human would sit down and consciously work on stuff like this mash-up of Argentina and Guatemala that's just Argentina's flag with very, very slightly lighter blue stripes.
posted by Copronymus at 12:53 PM on September 20, 2019 [3 favorites]




These are wonderful but a bot did not “randomly” create United Ireland or Islamic Republic of Israel. That’s just trolling.

They're all just the dominant colours from one flag on the pattern of the other flag, and then, if the country names are more than one word, it splices those phrases together, otherwise it splices the syllables from the names together. That's all it took.

The Republic of Kingdom flag that's the complement of the United Ireland flag would just be a Tricolour in the colours of the Union Jack, so basically a Tricolore with a slightly darker, purpler red and a noticeably darker blue.
posted by ambrosen at 1:34 PM on September 20, 2019


Damn, looking at some of those flags and stirs they've caused, I think this guy is less of vexillologist and more of a vex-ologist.

...

I'll show myself out. ...
posted by lord_wolf at 2:17 PM on September 20, 2019 [8 favorites]


I think a human would do a better (and more vexing) job. Take the Israel+Iran one: Surely you'd want to put Iran's green stripe on top.
posted by clawsoon at 3:29 PM on September 20, 2019 [1 favorite]


Mixed 🇺🇸 (United States of America) + 🇨🇦 (Canada), and created this new country called United States of Canada

Ummm....


Best I can figure is that they replaced the shade of red on the Canadian flag with the shade of red on the U.S. flag? I probably would have made either the leaf or the sidebars blue, myself.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 4:08 PM on September 20, 2019


Oh, almost forgot: U.S. Virgin Islands + Chad = Virgin Chad
posted by Cash4Lead at 5:55 PM on September 20, 2019 [7 favorites]


Hm.
posted by brook horse at 5:57 PM on September 20, 2019 [1 favorite]




There's probably an article worthy of being written about the arguably troubling acceptability of Irish republican sentiment nowadays as expressed through memey bullshit (and I guess how it is expressed by different generations and as part of some sort of weird ironic dirtbag masculinity/internet culture)

There's an element of Ireland being a more accepting and diverse country than it was in previous decades, and the Scottish referendum/Brexit, that makes reunification a more achievable prospect. The Troubles ended a generation ago, so there's some forgetting over just how bitter it got, but Irish Catholicism has taken one hell of a beating over that generation and millennials aren't as religious as previous generations, so it's hard to say whether Irish Catholics and Northern Ireland Protestants could live in the same country these days.
posted by Merus at 6:50 PM on September 20, 2019 [2 favorites]


There's probably an article worthy of being written about the arguably troubling acceptability of Irish republican sentiment nowadays as expressed through memey bullshit (and I guess how it is expressed by different generations and as part of some sort of weird ironic dirtbag masculinity/internet culture

There's probably an article worthy of being written about the troubling drive to defend colony and empire in the face of slight shifts in public sentiment. To pretend that anyone with opinions about the shape and course of history that divulge from the liberal consensus is a wild, deluded angry young man, and continually erase the long history of socialist solidarity with Irish Republicanism and the serious political beliefs of socialist women.
posted by Acid Communist at 7:09 PM on September 20, 2019 [5 favorites]


At one point the bot mixed up Nigeria and Germany to create a country named after a certain racial slur and they deleted the tweet immediately and apologized. I'm not saying anything about the bot or its creators here. But I thought it was worth mentioning.
posted by mightygodking at 7:10 PM on September 20, 2019 [2 favorites]


Ah yes, United Ireland, or as I call it, about 3 years after Brexit.
posted by ckape at 8:47 PM on September 20, 2019


To pretend that anyone with opinions about the shape and course of history that divulge from the liberal consensus is a wild, deluded angry young man

I’m Irish, see that bullshit liberal consensus every day, am fully aware of the socialist history of Irish republicanism and didn’t do that. If you think that noting that there’s a weird intersection between 90’s nostalgia, a memey appreciation for charming/dirtbaggy symbols of working class/northside teenage masculinity (I should know, that was my childhood and teenage years), and a sort of depoliticised use of symbols of Irish republicanism that comes out on Twitter and in stuff like the Irish simpsons memes fb page, one that while hilarious does very rarely dip into being pretty shitty (cf Gerry Adams as a cuddly Hank Scorpio palette swap around the time when he’s not answering to questions about Jean McConville)... amounts to ignoring a genuinely admirable radical tradition that was systemically betrayed/suppressed over the course of the 20th century in Irish politics and amounts to defending the British Fucking Empire and colonialism... Fuck, dude.

You don’t have to be a point scoring, hand wringing Fine Gael member/Irish Times writer to identify that despite having a vastly better and less centrist discourse than it’s UK equivalent - ‘bag of cans, bash the tans, defend the trans’ however ironic is better than a lot of political slogans around - sometimes Irish fb/twitter occasionally displays some slightly troubling tendencies re: depicting the Troubles. It’s not the end of the world, it’s not even dominant but it’s there.

Perhaps I should I have prefaced this with a note that I find the image of Stephen Rhea from Michael Collins with his notepad of targets gets a laugh out of me every time.
posted by ocular shenanigans at 11:29 PM on September 20, 2019 [2 favorites]


It's the casual meme-y references to fertiliser bombs that get to me. Galaxy brain Collins is funny, guys in balaclavas with guns... less so.

I suspect this is a lost cause, rather like folk from the former Soviet Union not appreciating ironic tankie memes.

(I am as guilty of laughing at the Belfast Efficiency line as anyone.)
posted by hfnuala at 2:37 AM on September 21, 2019 [1 favorite]


I'm picturing someone outfitting a black limo with a couple of reproductions of one of these flags, putting fake diplomatic plates on it with the name of the fake hybrid country, and driving around Manhattan, parking wherever they like (diplomatic immunity), and seeing how long they can count on American ignorance of geography and world affairs to get away with it. I wonder which would work best...
posted by Philofacts at 2:41 AM on September 21, 2019 [5 favorites]


ocular shenanigans
Apologies for being a little harsh then. I still find it odd to call 'Irish republican sentiment' in general 'arguably troubling', but I won't deny that there are problems with uncritical support for everything that happened during the Troubles.

As hfnaula refers to, it's sort of messy in that I feel it serves as a sort of shibboleth, it's less about being wildly in favour of anything Irish Republicans or the Soviet Union did and more about making clear that you're not showing up as a defender of England or the US. With the historical links to other movements, I was probably a little quick off the mark in my assumptions about what was meant by the original comment.

I agree that there actually could be an interesting book written about what casual references to the IRA and the Troubles mean, but for me that would be a book about solidarity and shared experiences of resistance against occupiers. I think a lot of global support for the IRA is actually about pushing back against other expressions of empire rhetorically far more than it's about any interest in the specific experiences of Ireland.
posted by Acid Communist at 5:15 AM on September 21, 2019 [1 favorite]


Then I probably should have qualified that 'Irish republican sentiment' with something to indicate that it was referring to shit like hfnuala mentioned, nasty hardman jokes about semtex and kneecappings and killing informers as opposed to riffs on 'Come out ye black and tans' or any actual political engagement. I've zero interest in defending the US or England, though to some degree I get what you mean about it being a shibboleth.

RE: global support for the IRA, sure, though frankly I've seen a lot more American support for the IRA coming out of some misty-eyed sense of nostalgia from folks who in every other aspect are full-throated supporters of empire and white supremacy. i.e. the bad kind of capital-R Republican or anyone who has ever expressed admiration for the Boondock Saints. So did Bernadette Devlin.
posted by ocular shenanigans at 8:59 AM on September 22, 2019 [2 favorites]


I'm not exactly arguing for the revolutionary prospects of Irish-Australians as a group over here either, I don't doubt Devlin's call there.

By that same note though, it's not really mostly Irish-Australians who I see promoting Irish Republicanism. But we stray into proscribed topics.
posted by Acid Communist at 11:43 AM on September 22, 2019


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