Saturday, February 20, 2010

A wave of a flag

The winter Olympics is upon us, a season I do like. We get to see sports we usually wouldn't watch no matter what. It also gives us time to get the vibe on other athletes from around the world and a bit of background. Another stirring moment is the national anthems played for the gold medal winners. Here in the States we usually only see those ceremonies for the Americans. One aspect I do like is to see the flags of other countries as they are hoisted.

There are many fewer countries in the winter games than the summer and many are from the older established elements of the world, Europe, Eurasia, Scandinavia and the like. As a rule, they tend to have some of the more boring flag designs. I'm sure not all countries had a Betsy Ross sitting around coming up with a fabulous design for her Napoleon. Most of the older flags are uninspired designs, often just three bands of color either horizontal or vertical (France, Italy etc.). Some I can't distinguish from one country to the next. All the Scandinavian countries use a version of an off-centered cross with varying colors. I had heard it was a St. George's cross. I don't know however if that is factual. It is however the central element of the flags of the United Kingdom (and virtually any country they ruled throughout their long history of colonization.

Some of the 'newer' countries have flags of much more interesting designs. As a major country Canada's flag is very new having come about in the sixties. I like it's design. And of course the US has a very unique and powerful design. (OK, so I'm a homer). Zambia and Zimbabwe have colorful and unique designs. They are however not in the winter games. Not much snow there I guess.

Surprisingly, the web site has a very neat page on world flags with a description of them. I was quite surprised. So if you ever want to know why the Isle of Man has three feet on it, its there.


  1. I was not aware that Betsy Ross sewed a flag for Napoleon. Must have missed my history class that day.

  2. No, no, no, Mr. History. "A" Betsy Ross for "her" Napoleon. Of course, she could have been the original Mata Harri but not been discovered. What's a girl to do?