What’s in a flag

Daniel SharpeFlag, Project, Share, Video

I am a huge fan of flags, I love how the majority of them are constructed from the same basic of colours and shapes. Yet with only slight variations the results are drastically different. Results which not only create a symbol for the country, but quite often symbolise something of the country (I hope that sentence makes sense). This can often regionalise a flag, so for example you can easily recognise a flag from Scandinavian due to the presence of the Nordic Cross, or a West African nation because of the choice of colour. Obviously prior knowledge is often required to understand the choice of symbolism, but the symbol it creates can be something that people want to identify with.

Croatian Flag

The Croatian flag with its coat of arms in the centre and three bands of colour representing its three kingdoms.

So it was no surprise that when I finally got around to catching up on some TED Talks I really enjoyed Roman Mars’s talk ‘Why city flags may be the worst designed thing you’ve never noticed’. Which I’d recommend watching whether you’re into flags or not, because the principles he describes are relevant to any designer, plus it’s quite entertaining.

[ted id=2253]

My plan is to accept Roman’s challenge and try and design my home city of Peterborough, UK a city flag (not Peterborough in Canada, which actually has an awesome one). As to the best of my knowledge and with a little research doesn’t already have a city flag. The aim is to make regular blog posts as I develop my research and ideas and hopefully create something relevant to the city that also complies with the 5 basic principles of flag design.