Friday, February 17, 2012

NEW SERIES: Flag Day




It's no big secret that I'm a nerd/geek/dork; in fact, I'd be shocked if anyone didn't know that by now. But with this new weekly series, you're going to get a better idea of just how nerdy/geeky/dorky I am. This is the part where I boast that I have a degree in Geography, and you stare blankly at your screen saying either "So what?" or "So ... like, what, state capitals and stuff?"

Geography is so much more than state capitals! But how would you know if you didn't already know what the discipline was? Anyway, even though my focus in college was on human geography (the study of how humans exist in spaces), my two since-childhood hole-up-and-nerd-out-on topics have been cartography/maps, and the flags of the world. I have always wanted to memorize every single country's flag on Earth, and believe it or not, I'm still trying.

Anyway, I thought it would be cool to try to share some of this with you, because flags are fascinating! Not just nerd talk, this is real talk. Try it, you might like it. ;)

This week, I'm going to start off with two flags that I think are particularly cool for very different reasons, and that have both been on my mind lately:


Brazil



First up, I present the flag that inspired me yesterday to go down this path of nerd joy. I'm a lifelong lover and student of flags, but I didn't actually know the full story about Brazil's flag until yesterday. If you've seen any World Cup soccer, chances are you know this flag (they're damn good at soccer). 

This flag first caught my eye because it contains a rhombus. Is your flag that cool? Yeah, I didn't think so. The rhombus is the most awesome-sounding of all shapes (dodecahedron is a close second), and I think it's particularly neat that a rhombus is just a diamond shape. Why not call it a diamond? What differentiates a diamond from a rhombus? Because I thought a rhombus was turned on its side, and what's above would be considered a diamond. But what, apparently, do I know?

The thing that really sent me through the roof about Brazil's flag (perhaps predictably) are the stars which appear on the national seal in the center of the flag. Now this is really cool, so prepare to be all "OMG" and "AHHHHHH!". This flag was adopted in 1889, replacing the flag of the Empire of Brazil (which also had the green field + rhombus motif). The stars on the flag represent the way the stars looked in the sky over Rio de Janeiro on the night the flag was designed, November 15th, 1889. 

...isn't that really, really cool????? I mean, they also represent the federated units of the country (each star is a different state), but lets face it ... the stars being actual stars is the coolest part. 

For more than you ever wanted to know about Brazil's flag, go here


Mozambique



This flag is a totally, totally different story, I'm afraid. And yes, you probably should be afraid.

First things first. I have an amazing app on my phone called GeoQuiz. For a geography nerd like me, this app is the greatest thing ever, pretty much. Included in the categories you can quiz yourself on is a section on flags of the world. This is my favorite (I'm sure you're shocked).

One day I was playing the flag quiz when I thought I noticed something freaky about Mozambique's flag. I quickly looked it up to see if I could have possibly seen right. And I had. Oh, gee, what's that on the left side? Oh, only an AK-47 with a bayonet attached, no big deal!

I was really taken aback by this development, I must admit. Sure, there are other flags that feature swords, but those flags have a lot of history behind them, storied families and ancient conquests; and besides that, swords are so old school, so Roman, you know what I mean? But this ... there's really no beating around the bush with an AK-47, folks. It's the nastiest of the nasty guns, and it's only use is to kill, and kill efficiently. What message does that send when it's on a nation's flag? \

I just ... I don't know. It's kinda crazy. Evidently there was a contest held in 2005 to replace the flag, but even though a winner was chosen, to this day the flag remains the same, in all its semi-automatic glory.

To find out more about this truly fascinating flag, go here.

. . .

So that's the first installment. I can't wait for next week! Do you like flags, too?  

No comments:

Post a Comment

 
site design by designer blogs