Friday, 31 January 2014


Just a quick post sharing an idea I had for the American state of Vermont. The current state flag fallows a similar unimaginative theme as most US state flags, a blue field with the state seal or arms:
Not only is this flag the usual bad design (ranking 61 out of 72 US State, Territory and Canadian Province flags) but it appears to be unpopular, with various calls to bring back the Green Mountain Boys flag, which was the flag used from 1777 to about 1791, it was also carried by the state Militia from the US was of independence and is still carried by the Vermont Units of the National Guard. It is also used by Castleton State College. So giving the history behind it, and it being something that is uniquely Vermontian my idea is the Green Mountain Boys flag, defaces with a simplified version of the state seal (based on the state flag of 1837 to 1923.)  
I know its not perfect but it is much better than the flag in current use.

Thursday, 30 January 2014

Athonia (Micro Nation)

I seen a post on Reddit asking for someone to design a flag for their micro nation. In the spirit of fun I went a little further and designed a series of flags and emblems, for the Kingdom of Athonia, in southern Florida.
There were some conditions to the national flag, it had to reflect agriculture (the main economy) and the preferable colours were red and black.
So here's the national and state flag:

black, red and some gold, with crossed rake and scythe. Or an alternative variant national flag:

The crossed rake and scythe appear on most national symbols, such as the fire department badge:

The police flag:

 Badge in detail:

 Like every sovereign nation it needs an armed forces so the armed forces flag:
Like the police flag, its based on the national flag but bears a sword as its for the military. The sword also appears in the Defence Forces badge:

 The crown is a unique design that I designed myself, the grain wreath reflects the nation's culture of agriculture.
I also designed a ceremonial military flag:
The national coat of arms:

 the supporters are Panthers the state animal of Florida. The Crest is a half Panther carrying a national standard. The shield reflects the national flag.
As Athonia is a constitutional monarchy it needs a Royal Standard:
Its based on the Florida flag, it features the royal crown and the crossed rake and scythe.  

Hong Kong coat of arms

I don't think I have looked at Asian  Vexillology or Heraldry in this blog. So I think I will start with this post. As Chinese New Year is tomorrow  I think China is an appropriate country to start with. Instead of looking at China as a whole in this post I will focus on it's "Special Administrative Region" of Hong Kong, for two reasons unlike other countries China has little history as far as heraldry is concerned and I don't want to start from scratch as I am starting a new project soon, and Hong Kong had a coat of arms in its colonial days which make a good starting point:
Hong Kong coat of arms 1959-1997
  The official emblem of Hong Kong  today which is featured on its flag is the five petal Hong Kong orchid. Surrounded by the region's official title in Chinese and "Hong Kong" in the Latin Alphabet (Apparently both English and Chinese are still spoken in Hong Kong):
Although this would probably make a good seal and logo its not exactly a good substitute for a coat of arms so I have too proposals:
As you can see it is based on the old coat of arms, I kept the Chinese dragon supporters (and replaced the lion with one) because they're awesome, the base symbolising the island of Hong Kong is pretty much unchanged although I removed the banner say "Hong Kong" (because its not exactly a motto). I did however add orchids to the base. The crest is basically a simplified version of the "emblem" without the text. The shield itself keeps the Junks (a traditional Chinese sailing vessel a design still in use!), symbolising Hong Kong's relationship with the sea. I also removed the naval crown and replaced it with "Hong Kong" in what I hope is traditional Chinese (I apologise if I got the Chinese letters wrong).
If however this is seen as too close to the colonial arms a slightly altered version:

This design puts more emphasis on the Chinese text and only has one junk.
I think both of these designs strikes a good balance between both Hong Kong and Chinese symbolism.
Comments are Welcome and Happy Year of the Horse.

Thursday, 23 January 2014

London needs a flag!

First I apologise that all my last few posts have been British Isles related flags, I have been meaning to take a more wider outlook on Vexillology.
The capitol of England and the United Kingdom has no official coat of arms or flag. Now I know some readers are thinking something like "yes it does" and probably think it is these:
Well that is partly true. These are in fact the arms and flag of the City of London. However the City of London and London are different cities. If you look at a map of London you will see a white gap in the middle. This gap is the City of London:
To avoid confusion in this post I will call the city that surrounds the City of London "Greater London." You can tell when you cross the border between the two cities when you see the Guardians of the City of London. (a dragon statue supporting the City of London arms):

This video does a good job of explaining, despite its misuse of the word "crest":
The governing body of Greater London is called the London Assembly, this governs the whole city and also has some limited powers in the City of London. Each of the districts in Greater London known as boroughs  (some like Westminster even have the title of city) have a local council too. In fact by UK standards Greater London is more like a province or region, (hence the term assembly rather than council)rather than a city, a quick Google comparison the population figure with London (a city) and Northern Ireland (a province) NI's population is about 1.8 million compared to Greater London's 8.1 million.
 So Greater London a UK city has a larger population than a UK country.
Some of the boroughs even have their own flag and arms, for example Westminster:
All of this emphasises that Greater London needs its own emblem. In fact that used to be the case.
Greater London was originally the County of London, and had a county council its coat of arms were:

 The use of the mural cornet or crown while not unheard of is relatively uncommon in the UK. In 1965 the County Council was replaced by Greater London Council (combining the individual boroughs into one city), although it was dissolved by 1986, its coat of arms was this:
The flag was a banner of arms. However in 2000 the Greater London Authority (Office of the Mayor of London and London Assembly). was established, however it was never granted a coat of arms or flag. So I had ago:

My first idea for a flag was based on the previous flag, it feature the waves and lion (although in a different colour), from previous arms. It also features the Portcullis of Westminster normally associated with Parliament. While Westminster is only a small part of  Greater London it has some of the most important national buildings there, and the portcullis is also used on Greater London symbols like the coat of arms and logo of the Metropolitan Police Service:
And the badge of the London Regiment of the Army Reserve, which covers both The City of London, and Greater London:

 My next design features the two roses of England, and English lion along with the Portcullis and cross of St George:
Or alternatively without St George's Cross:
This flag is really a banner of my coat of arms proposal:

 The supporters feature two lions with flag staffs representing London's position as capitol of England (St George's Cross) and the capitol of the United Kingdom (Union Flag) as a whole.
The crest features a mural cornet (taken from the original County coat of arms) and two fish representing steadfastness as well as economy and science.
I hope you found this interesting and useful. If any place in the UK needs a flag and/or coat of arms it is Greater London.

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Irish Presidential Flag

After reading an old post on the Vexillology Ireland, Facebook page, issuing a challenge to design a Presidential Standard featuring the Swans from the Irish mythological tale of the Children of Lir. (as proposed in  early 1940s). This got me thinking, about a possible design featuring Swans.

My first idea isn't strictly keeping with the story as I reduced the Swans to two, and attempted to get the swan necks to form a heart, which is also a common Irish symbol often seen on Celtic style broaches and jewellery. I also included the Harp on the current flag.
My next two designs are more accurate according to the myth, featuring four swans, although two are upside down. Thus giving the impression of a reflection.

The last design features the Harp:
I have to say I like the last two designs, and think they would make a pretty cool President's Office logo if not a flag.

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

UK Government Coat of Arms

You may or may not remember my post about a "Parliament Flag" to be used over the Palace of Westminster when Parliament is meeting:
Well another idea I had around the time but haven't really got round to working on until now is a Parliament/Government coat of arms.
Of course the Government of the United Kingdom does use (and I emphasise use as it doesn't really  have) a coat of arms:
This is a variant of the Royal coat of arms, which is used quite a lot by the government, for example on the front of the British passport (which is technically government property):
and in the logos of government and state departments:

But while the government uses these arms it is not the owner of them. As stated before they are a variant of the Royal coat of arms, and as the government is "His/Her Majesties' Government" and constitutionally  gets its power and authority from the crown, it uses a variation of the Royal Arms. Now I am not disputing that nor saying the UK Government isn't run by the people for the people, nor am I saying it should have a coat of arms. This was really just a heraldic exercise. For example if the Government is granted its own coat of arms by the College of Arms for its own use, what might it look like. My idea is below:
Firstly the shield: The shield is divided into two colours green and red, these are the colours of the house of Commons and the House of Lords (like most democracies Parliament has a senior and junior chamber for example broadly speaking House of Representatives is the US equivalent of the House of Commons and the Senate is the US equivalent of the House of Lords)
The crowned portcullis is the symbol of the Palace of Westminster where Parliament has met since Tudor times at least. According to Wikipedia the Portcullis was common on the arms of English nobility this was adopted by the Tudors for Parliament (adding the crown to symbolise their sovereignty).
The Stars can have duel representation they can represent both the Constituent countries/Home Nations that make up the United Kingdom, or they can represent the three devolved governments within the UK (Scottish Parliament, Welsh Assembly and Northern Ireland Assembly (each of which also has a logo/heraldic badge)) which get their power (and funding) from the central British Government, while the fourth represents the local governments of UK dependencies and overseas territories, which also have devolved powers to run local affairs.  
The Royal Arms of the three historic Kingdoms that are present in the Royal Arms.
Secondly the supporters: the two monstrosities that are crossed are ceremonial maces. Each house of Parliament has one which is displayed in the chamber when the relevant house is meeting, it basically represents the sovereignty of the monarchy in the absence of the monarch. They are also sort of unofficial symbols of the individual house. I think as well as symbolising government of the people, for the people by the people it strikes a good balance as it also represents the sovereignty of the sovereign, via the Royal arms crown, garter ect.
Comments are Welcome