Forum - National flag discussion thread

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Overview > Collaboration > AR120 - Federal States > National flag discussion thread

Options for the national flag of AR120 are displayed here. Feel free to discuss below.


Please note —

  • On the voting ballot, you will be able to vote for as many options as you like.
  • Before you vote, take some time to follow the discussion — votes cannot be changed after they are cast.
  • Anyone may participate in the discussion, but only AR120 state owners and coordinators may vote. A tie result may be broken by OGF admin.
  • When you're ready to vote on all three questions in the first round of voting (country name, flag, and motto), you can cast your vote at SurveyMonkey.
  • The first round of voting will close at 11:00 AM UTC on Wednesday, May 23.
Posted by Isleño (administrator) on 17 May 2018 at 06:22.
Edited by Isleño (administrator) on 18 May 2018 at 15:58.

When you look at the flags, there is one question, you will always have to fight about.

To which extent has AR120 to be exactly like the USA? Where will you draw the border? What will be flexible, what must be US-like?

Does it have to have a red-white-blue flag? With white stars on blue background? If yes, should it have 50 of them, or whatever the number of states it will have? Shouldn't there be red-white stripes representing the number of original states?

If that aspect is not copied, why copy red-white-blue-stars-stripes at all. Why not green instead of blue?

I am disappointed that nearly all options have red-white stripe and white-blue stars. My option 12 is mostly an attempt to inspire others to get mor creative. So I am not at all disappointed if it is not chosen, but I would have liked if it had triggered more creative ideas from others.

2,3,6,8,15 and 16 look too US-ish to me. 10, 13, and 18 have blue and red touching without enough white between them. 4 and 5 look like explosions.

From the remaining options I like the white-ish ones (1 and 14) most. 14 reminds me of D.C. somehow. So that leaves me with No.1 as a favourite, as it does not instantly bring the US to your mind when looking at it.

Anyway, this is just my opinion. It's yours to vote.

BTW: Is it a single round of voting? Without any runoff between the most popular ones? Might encourage tactical voting. But that's how US politics work anyway, so that would fit.

Posted by Toadwart on 17 May 2018 at 13:29.

Most of these flags appear anachronistic from a "graphic design" perspective. If we assume the flag was adopted more than 200 years ago, a lot of the graphic stuff going on in these proposed designs is too "avant garde" to be culturally pluasible. I would urge other participants in AR120 to think hard about what the world looked like to the "founders" of AR120, and what kinds of flags existed in their world that they might alter or adapt. The US flag is rooted in the 18th century flags of the British East India Company. The stripes were also related to the Stuart Family Ensign, perhaps. Regardless, the AR120 flag doesn't need to resemble the US flag. But it should have a plausible history, including a graphic design appropriate to the era. Most of these designs are not. The one design here that shows any kind of historical awareness vis-a-vis US history is #12. I like the idea, too, that it's the only one brave enough to break with the Red/White/Blue "assumption".

Posted by Luciano on 17 May 2018 at 13:45.

The voting method used is approval voting, so the option that is the most broadly acceptable to the AR120 community will win.

Despite being a horrible flag snob, I have to say I'm actually impressed with the submissions, and I think it's great that so many people took the time and effort to create these designs. Congratulations to all the artists.

It's true that many of them don't look 200+ years old, but the flag doesn't necessarily have to be that age. For example it's possible that AR120 ended up with a "colonial" style flag after independence, and adopted its current design in the 20th century. The claim that only one design here shows any historical awareness is somewhat baffling — I can see numerous references to classic American flags throughout the submissions... Chicago, Texas, Ohio, DC, etc. There are several designs here that I hope will be considered for state flags, city flags, etc, if they don't win the vote for national flag.

Good flags often use similarity to express identity. Because AR120 is supposed to resemble the US, it's right that the flag should resemble the US flag... and color is one of the most powerful design tools to show that resemblance, especially when viewed at a small size. (Why not red-white-green? Because that would suggest a different resemblance, and a different identity.) I think the designers did a great job of coming up with a range of options balancing similarity to the US flag with uniqueness and originality. The question of exactly what balance to strike doesn't need to be a source of fighting.

I do think the flag should show potential state owners that this is clearly the "USA of OGF." In other words, if we want to attract more US-style mappers to join this project in future years, the flag should instantly and unambiguously convey the "USA of OGF" message. But I think almost all the designs succeed at this. Another important thing to keep in mind is that the flag will often be viewed at a tiny size (like at Portal:Countries and other lists) so ideally its message should also be crystal clear at that scale:

Ar120SampleFlag001.png Ar120SampleFlag002.png AR120 flag proposal.png Proposal astrasia1.jpgProposal Astrasia 2.jpg Ar120flagproposal.png Ar120 flag 7.png AR120 option8.png Ar120SampleFlag009.png AR120 flag proposal 2.png AR120 option11.png AR120 option12.png AR120Option13.svg Ar120SampleFlag014.png Ar120SampleFlag015.png Ar120SampleFlag0016.png AR120-Option17-flag.png AR12-Option18-flag.png

In any case, congrats again to all those who submitted designs and many thanks for your efforts!

Posted by Isleño (administrator) on 17 May 2018 at 15:16.

To me 12 faces two issues- it's too close to the American "Don't Tread on Me" flag and it's too close to Jefferson's existing flag. But I do appreciate the general idea of having it have some historical context. I lean towards 1 as well- it seems to have enough detail to it to be sort of iconic yet could have some historical context and doesn't immediately look like the US flag. Though like you guys have mentioned I don't think it needs to be red white and blue to work. Part of me wonders if some of the colors from 12 would work on 1... but that's more just me wondering than anything.

Also the number of stars may not have to correspond exactly with state numbers- I could easily see it standing for something else symbolic, like the number of people who signed the constitution or for like various groups of people coming together. Some kind of numerical historic context could work really well with 1.

14 seems a little blank to me. 4 is nice (reminds me of AZ and has colors that break from the Red White Blue) but seems a bit too modern to be feasible unless the flag changed again later.

9 and 10 to me seem like with some color tweaking they could work well (maybe introducing yellow/gold like 4)

11 seems way too modern (even though I kinda like the design- I just don't see it working all that well for this), and 5 is sorta all over the place (no offense meant)

I suppose 17 also accomplishes older flag that could (with modifications to the seal) have historical context and doesn't yell USA (almost seems kinda European to me)

Posted by Ernestpcosby on 17 May 2018 at 15:26.

I guess if I was to look at it more from a resemblance perspective instead, I'd say the ones that feel the most unique and also channel the most USA resemblance are 1, 2, 4, 9, 16, 17 with 12 having good historical context.

Posted by Ernestpcosby on 17 May 2018 at 15:30.

@Isleño, Good that you mention the motivation, that the flag should somehow instantly create a US feeling for new users. On the other hand, I wonder if we should target new users whose only source of information is a flag...

Anyway, motivations are important for a qualified decision. So, in case you or anyone else have more of them, make them public, they shall not remain a secret.

Also, don't take me too serious when I say "fighting". But I guess this "how far should it resemble the US" will be a recurring thing on various topics.

Posted by Toadwart on 17 May 2018 at 15:45.

Thanks, @Toadwart. Hopefully the flag will not be someone's only source of information, but we can safely assume that it will play a big role in establishing the country's image. The name/acronym will also be pretty important, which is why I'd prefer to see a "US-sounding" name, something involving "states," "federal," etc. So I guess I should post that in the other thread...

Posted by Isleño (administrator) on 17 May 2018 at 16:35.

@Isleño: Actually, the "Don't Tread on Me" or "Gadsden Flag" is just my user profile picture on OGF. Jefferson's flag is a simple three stripe flag.

I really like option 12, but not for an American style country. The real-life United States is more divided politically than being able to stand behind a flag of that kind, and if it represented the US I think we would have at least one-third of the country out protesting to change it.

I like option 2 the best. It looks to me like it is derived from the republican party logo, which feels more appropriate for what the AR120 project is all about. The other options, while incorporating aspects of the US, don't do the whole job I feel.

My vote is for option 2.

Posted by Thunderbird on 17 May 2018 at 17:42.

I agree with Luciano that these flags strike me as very anachronistic. That doesn't mean one can't be used, but it's not likely to be the original if chosen. Flags 2 and 14 are probably the most historically plausible as far as design (the curvature in 14 is a bit more modern); 1 and 10 could be variations of some type of naval ensign that might have existed. I also believe that 12 is the most historically plausible, as it is a direct take on the Gadsden flag. I appreciate that it is there from a variety standpoint, as others have expressed. The only objection that might come up is that this flag could be viewed as associated with a modern political movement. So, my preferences are strongly toward 1, 2, 10, 12, and 14; 2 is the slight front runner for me right now. I think the others, while interesting, don't work.

Posted by Alessa on 17 May 2018 at 17:47.

@Thunderbird — Haha, it's true there's a resemblance to the Republican (and unofficial Democrat) logos, but the actual inspiration for #2 is the coat of arms of the Washington family and (by extension) the flag of Washington DC.

Posted by Isleño (administrator) on 17 May 2018 at 18:04.
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