Not being a vexillologist [on flag design]

Going on a hunt for city flags, I found that Tiermaker has a bunch of flag-ranking pages, including this —

U.S. municipal and city flags Tier List Maker

Make your own ranking —

The monarchy isn’t a purely symbolic issue for the Commonwealth countries. A few years ago we had a lengthy thread discussing the topic: “Getting rid of the monarchy is the easy part. What do you replace it with? That’s the hard part.”

Much different than changing a flag.

Forgot to add linky-link-link:

A lot of the best ones are both calligraphic and representational. This one uses the Latin letter A but is also a sailboat on the waves. A lot of them are both kanji and imagery.

Arlington gets a C and Plano gets an F- but the two flags are (seemingly) conceptually the same:

  • White background
  • Stylized blue-and-red letter enclosing a star
  • City’s name adjacent in blue

Not really seeing that huge a difference there, myself. I suppose Plano’s flag seems a little more dated?

I wonder if some zoomorphic or figural calligraphy could work well as elements on a flag, but there is a danger of making it too intricate.

I think it’s a lot easier with kanji and katakana than with Arabic. Blockier shapes make it easier to abstract while still recognizeable at a distance. Arabic calligraphy is lovely, but you can’t make out individual characters on a flag. Even such formal forms as tughras don’t hold up nicely in flag format, I think.

Like any other fashion, it changes by era.

This makes me think of the wordmark for Washington State University, which has the letters W, S, and U stylized into the shape of a roaring cougar.

I mean that’s one guy’s opinion. You’re free to make your own tier on that website.

And judging flag designs isn’t always necessarily about concept only. Why shouldn’t execution matter?

In my view, if there is any verbal element, that’s a knock against it. To the extent that a representation presents largely as a non-verbal symbol, and its verbal aspect is less prominent makes it less of a detriment.

You can say that’s a letter A, but I didn’t perceive it as such. To the extent that my perceiving it as an A is necessary to understanding the symbol, I deduct points.

It’s completely not necessary. They almost all work just as pictures.

That’s the fun of it - layers of meaning.