Monday, 9 May 2011

Flags of Europe

As a child I was pretty low maintenance. My father knew the best way to keep me quiet and intensely occupied was the gift of a National Savings poster, not some ghastly lifestyle-aspirational thing, but a big poster laying out in neat rows and columns the cap badges of every regiment in the British army, in order of precedence. Or one that similarly depicted the flags of every nation. There was something intensely satisfying to my infant mind about the classification, the diverse symbols, the ordered logic of it all. I would pore over the details, and the symbols or patterns that annoyed me were the ones that didn't follow the rules. It wasn't until much later that I worked out that the 'rules' as far as I was concerned were based on either at least one plane of bilateral symmetry, or a balance of 'mass' about a plane. A lion could be balanced by a unicorn, but not by an acorn. And no, I've never liked Stockhausen's execrable 'music' either. There. That's told you something about me. 


You'll understand that when I pulled up the graphic below this morning my eyes satisfyingly ticked off all the old, well known friends and recognised a host of newer and welcome ones. This is my Europe; a continent of sovereign nation-states at peace, with borders open to trade. One flag however, strikes such a discordant note, so off-scale, that it offends the eye. You'll see which one immediately. Those poor people must cringe in shame every time its hoisted. What's worse, it echoes the colour and symbols of another hated flag, that of an evil and totalitarian regime intent on subjugating the peoples of Europe and destroying the bright diversity of all its nationhood. 


Sir Thomas Beecham was once asked if he'd ever conducted any Stockhausen. "No" he replied "But I once trod in some". I have exactly the same emotion in reaction to any upstart flag that seeks to supersede the bright panoply of the Flags of Europe. 

 

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Unless I'm missing something, what flag ARE you talking about!?!?

Span Ows said...

the EU flag!

Span Ows said...

...oops...I see what you mean anonymous! I jsu presumed he meant the EU flag! Maybe he means the red flag with the back eagle but I don't think so...

TheFatBigot said...

I'd guess Turkey.

Anonymous said...

I thought he'd mean the EU flag but then got very confused when it wasn't there. Perhaps Raedwald can enlighten us??

Woodsy42 said...

Stockhausen wrote music?

Raedwald said...

Tsk you lot. I mean the flag of Bosnia, of course; the Yellow EU triangle on the blue EU background with the EU stars all over it that doesn't look like a flag ...

In fact you won't be astonished to discover that it was designed by Carlos Westendorp, a Spanish EU official, and has no historical significance. It's the sort of flag the EU want us all to have.

Gordo said...

Turkey is Asia Minor NOT Europe.

Dave_G said...

Did the Bosnians get to vote on the flag that represents them?

Raedwald said...

Get to vote? Don't be daft. The new Bosnian flag was decided on their behalf by the UN High Representative, who just also happened to be Carlos Westendorp, the EU official who designed it.

Anonymous said...

Bosnia isn't really a country is it, it's a bit like Belgium with Serbs and Croats and Bosniaks. By the way, the original flags are not allowed any more.. http://www.ccbh.ba/eng/press/index.php?pid=1744&sta=3&pkat=507

Span Ows said...

Thanks for clearing that up! The Bosnia one was one I thought of because of the shape...but then with Macedonia you could have meant like the Japanese Imperial flag too...

Looking at the link in the comment above, the shield of that flag looks OK but the flag looks shit