No flag Deal

Well the "Hass Talks" end with no real deal, while flags is only a minor issue compared with the other topics, it is good to see the frame work and progress made, hopefully local politicians will continue the process and build on the regional Northern Ireland flag idea in the near future.  
 
 

The First Minister has said that compared to six months ago significant progress has been made.  Of particular interest a "Commission on Identity, Culture and Tradition" who's immediate but not only role would be to look at flags and the roles they play was proposed.
To see a PDF of the final draft proposal click here and fallow the link, of particular interest on flags are pages 15 - 18. This could still be implemented.



I'd like to wish everyone a most happy New Year
Blythe Hogmanay!

Christian Flag

As this is probably going to be the last post before Christmas I thought I should focus on a Christian flag, as Christmas is (or at least is supposed to be) a celebration on the birth of our Lord Jesus. The Christian faith is separate from a lot of the other main world faiths and religions in that it has no universal recognised faith flag. However a lot of the different denominations, sub denominations and sects often have their own flags some examples of which are below:

Anglican

The Church of England uses a St Georges Cross with the arms of the relevant deaconess in the canton, (in this example the deaconess of Canterbury).
 
 
 
The Church of Australia feature a St Georges Cross with the traditional headdress of a Bishop. The blue field reflects the colour of the national flag, with a commonwealth star which represents all the states and territories in each quarter.
 

The Church of Ireland simply uses the Cross of St Patrick although it the UK flag has been observed being flown from Church of Ireland buildings in Northern Ireland.


 This is the general flag used by the Anglican Communion all over the world .


 
 
 
 
 

Presbyterian





The Church of Scotland uses the Cross of St Andrew defaced with its Burning Bush insignia from the Book of Exodus

 
 The Presbyterian Church in America uses a flame cross logo rather than the bush used in Europe on a white field




Although the Churches in America also seems to use unofficial flags like this one with the cross logo on the cross of St Andrew.

Roman Catholic


 
 
 
 
According to Flags of the World the official flag of the Roman Catholic Church is an elongated bannerette type flag divided into a gold and white field.

 



 However I think most people are more familiar with the flag of the Vatican City, and associate more with it.
 
 

Other

Salvation Army
Greek Orthodox Church
 
 
 
There have proposals for an interdenominational Christian flag such as the one below which appeared in the early 20th Century USA.
This is a popular flag with churches of various different denominations throughout America, the symbolism of the cross in the canton is self explanatory, the colours represent the blood of Jesus (red) faithfulness (blue) and purity white. It is sometimes defaced with the symbol of church or denomination in the fly. Although it is used in the USA, Latin America and to a lesser extent in Africa it is little used in Europe and Asia (possibly because of its similarity to the American flag).
My proposal for a Christian flag is simply a white field with a gold cross:
Or a fish which was used in the early days of the Church when the Christians were persecuted by the Romans, because there are unfortunately parts of the world were people of various faiths are prosecuted, this could be used where people for whatever reason might want to identify themselves to other Christians but at the same time try to disguise the fact from others:
 
or alternatively a trexelon or trillium to represent the three faces of God (Father, Son and Holy Spirit).

 

Er Yin Hae Blythe Yule an a guid Hogmanay!

Everyone have a Happy Christmas and a good New Year!

 

CG3: Australia

As it is nearly Christmas and I don't think I'll be typing too much over the holidays and there are a few Commonwealth flags I want to write about before the Commonwealth Games begin, I think I should get a move on!
The next flag on my list is that of Australia:
According to the Australian Government website, the flag became the flag of Australia 1 January, 1901, when the Australian states became federal parts of a new commonwealth of Australia. However it did not gain official Royal Assent until 1954. So unlike other flags and as some people think, it is not something left over from the "colonial Days" (there was no colony known as Australia, but six separate British colonies which became the federal states). However as the Union Flag was used collectively by the former colonies, and despite its commonwealth status, I think its fair to say in 1901 Australia was still a dominion of empire or at least still maintained strong British links and influence. Likewise most of the colonies would have used their own versions of British ensigns on sea if not on land, and the Australian flag was evidently the next stage from that.
There are some who want a new flag primarily without the Union Jack, while others wish to keep it for historical, ancestral or cultural reasons, I can understand and respect both sides in this. In the commonwealth games quite a few nations and territories taking part have Union Jacks in their flags and it is from the view point of avoiding confusion that I think a new flag could be used, for the games at least.
Alterative Australia flags are nothing new, even before 1901, people were designing flags for an Australian nation such as the national colonial flag and similar federation flag and Eureka flag (below):
 
File:Eureka Flag.svg
In modern sport it is also not uncommon for the Australian fans to carry their own versions of the Australian flag, even if these are only in a fun sporting context, such as the boxing kangaroo flag that is easily available in flag shops:
Of course a flag like that couldn't be used in any formal or official context, however different flags are used in formal roles in sport. The Australian Football Federation has its own flag, although it is used alongside the Australian flag it does demonstrate the will of a formal 'sporting' flag:
I am not normally in favour of the use of coats of arms in flags however, I think the colour scheme makes a difference, If the text is removed and perhaps the complete coat of arms reduced to a shield, while not perfect I think this flag might have potential.
But the flag I would propose for the Commonwealth Games would be a simple flag in the green and gold sports colours with the Southern Cross and Commonwealth/Federal star:
However if you asked me to propose a new national flag then I would have to direct you to my favourite Australia flag proposal by Paul James on the Flags Forum:
Don't forget to look out for the "CG" in the title for more flag ideas and related posts in the count down to the 2014 Commonwealth Games. You can see past CG posts below
 
 


New NI Flag picking up momentum

Despite the idea of a new NI flag generally getting the cold shoulder (with a few exceptions, such as the Enterprise Minister supporting St Patrick's Saltire getting official status) lots of people have been thinking of designs (both good and bad but that's not the point), Here is last Weeks Belfast Telegraph. Some regular readers of my blog might see one or two of my designs there :)

 

Also I'd like to direct you to some other blog posts by different people on the subject. They might be political analyses but make interesting reading:
Am Ghobsmacht!
A Yellow Guard
I particularly like Yellow Guard's idea:
"The Single Transferable Voting system that everybody in Northern Ireland is very familiar with is designed for this sort of thing.  Put the Ulster Banner on the ballot with 5 others and let everybody decide on the same day as the Assembly elections in 2015."
I think its a very practical and realistic way of democratically choosing a flag. (that is the people choose a flag rather than a government committee).
Of course most political voices have responded negatively if at all, but to quote Cpt Jack Sparrow:

A short history of NI flag proposals

I wasn't going to do a post this week but I have just heard on the News that the chair of the all party talks, US Diplomat Richard Hass has asked the five main political parties in Northern Ireland about their view on a new NI flag. He is expecting a response before he arrives in the province next week to chair further talks. I sent in some ideas on possible flags to the chair and vice chair a while ago, but ever since the Good Friday/Belfast Agreement of 1998 various individuals and organisations have proposed new designs.
  • 1922

Perhaps the most obvious flag is St Patrick's Saltire used in various flags including the Union Flag and Ulster Nation Flag.

It was used to represent NI alongside England, Wales and Scotland between NI's creation in 1922 to 1953 and more recently on occasion in the 21st century. it is also the centre piece on the NI police badge.
  • 1944

The World Book Encyclopaedia (Chicago 1944) shows the NI flag as a blue ensign defaced with a harp:
I am not aware of any such flag being used in this capacity and is probably just an Irish symbol inserted in the fly of a British ensign to meet the vexillologist's perceived need for a Northern Ireland flag. Or it is confusing a corrupted version of the green ensign with the Northern Ireland flag or is possibly even a proposal.
  • 1946

Another Flag is the Ulster Nation Flag:

Ever since a small movement for Northern Ireland independence was created in 1946, a flag would be needed. Initially they wanted Dominion status like Canada and Australia. The flag of this "Ulster Nation" was to be a St Patricks Cross on a St Andrews Cross with the Red Hand of Ulster and Star in the centre. This flag can still be seen today although(Ironically) mostly by unionists
  • 1953

 Next is the only NI flag proposal to ever be officially used in that capacity the Ulster Banner:
Although this is a banner of the Northern Ireland coat of arms granted in the 1920s it was not used as a flag until 1953, initially to celebrate the Queen's coronation. It was the official NI flag between 1953 and 1973, when the Northern Ireland Parliament was dismantled, This flag is still the most popular flag among unionists after the Union Jack, and still used by the Northern Ireland international football team and commonwealth games team.
  • 1998

Fallowing the establishment of the Northern Ireland Assembly and Good Friday agreement in the 1990s the Flag Institute proposed some designs for a new flag:

Both were based on a combination of the former Ulster Banner and provincial flag of Ulster, the first featured the six pointed star, however aware this might be disapproved of by nationalists proposed a second version based on a Celtic cross, neither design was officially adopted.
  • 2003

The Northern Ireland Alliance Party which sees itself as cross community proposed a flag in 2003
This rather unattractive flag was simply a map of Northern Ireland on a blue field, their was also suggestions the Giant's Causeway might be used, thankfully this flag did not gain support.
  • 2009

In 2009 the British Comedian Eddie Izzard ran around the United Kingdom for charity. In each region he carried that regions respective flag, but used his own design for NI:
It featured a green field with a dove at the top end of the fly. When asked about it he said green represented Northern Ireland, and was taken from the national football top, and the dove represent peace.
Another proposal came from England, from the Conservative Councillor of Reading Richard Willis:
 
His flag consisted of St Patrick's Cross on a green field with the red hand of Ulster in a hexagon, which could symbolise both the six NI counties and/or the Giant's Causeway. Although his design received largely negative feedback the hexagon idea has been adopted in numerous other proposals.
 
  • 2010

In 2010 Dr Dominic Bryan of Queens University Belfast was interviewed about the Northern Ireland flag by the BBC he came up with the fallowing proposal:
 
It featured the colours of both UK and Republic of Ireland flags with the red hand in the centre, he also suggested an alternative red hand based on a child's hand to symbolise the future. His proposal was taken by the BBC to the streets of East and West Belfast and got a mixed response with no real progress.
 
If the Hass Talks reach their deadline of before the new year Northern Ireland could have a new flag by 2014!
links to the current news report
 
 
 

Statue of Liberty Picture

Statue Of Liberty: The Historical Monument

Liberty Enlightening the World, or commonly referred to as the statue of liberty turned out to be a prize awarded by the French state for the United States in commemoration of American independence.

Statue Of Liberty is a universal symbol of democracy and freedom that was dedicated as a gift from the France people for the United State for friendship. It became the National Monument in 1924 and on July 4, 1986 the Statue celebrated the 100th birthday. Statue of Liberty has become the pride of the American people because the statue is very well known all over the world and this statue became a symbol of the United States, the statue was unveiled in October 28 1886 and sculpture by the designer of the Eiffel Tower tower Frederic Auguste Bartholdi, and Gustave Eiffel.

Here are some statue of liberty picture :

Statue of Liberty


liberty wallpaper for android picture of liberty for iphone Statue of Liberty Picture
Statue of Liberty Pictureliberty wallpaper Statue of Liberty Picture
Statue of Liberty Picture

As National Monument, visitors can come to enter the statue for educational or recreational purpose. Statue Of Liberty operating hours based on the ferry schedule as it is located on an island. the early ferry depart at 9.30 AM from mainland while the second depart at 3.30 PM. the last ferry depart from the island is at 5.00 PM. the entrance fee varies based on the age of visitors as well as access and tours such as Crown Access, Pedestal Access, Audio Tours, And  Ranger Tours. Some of them are restricted to access by children and need early reservation so plan your visit carefully. Children under 4 years old are free to enter but they are not allowed to access the Crown. Pedestal access is free to go for everyone. The ferry fee start from USD9 to USD18 and the Crown can be accessed by paying USD3. You can visit the museum and park at the area for more information and history of the Statue Of Liberty.

Iberian Penincular

I got the idea for this post after watching a video on YouTube about the evolution of the national flags of the Iberian Peninsular (Spain and Portugal). See below:
I thought what if there was a flag for the Iberian Peninsular? Perhaps for a political union, or for a monetary union or joint sport team or even just as a geographical flag? 
I admit I am not the first person to think about this, and quick search on YouTube will find flag designs for both fictitious states and alternative history. Here are a few of my favourites:

 This flag for a fictitious state, possibly inspired by the UK Flag, combines the early flag of Portugal, with what appears to be a saltire cross in the Spanish colours probably based on the cross of Burgundy.  Both the Spanish and Portuguese coat of arms (including the supporters) are combined.
This flag combines the Current Spanish flag, with the flag that was used by the old Portuguese Monarchy. Again the coat of arms are combined but with the Portuguese shield being placed in the centre. The use of the old flag of Portugal and use of the crown suggests this alterative history state is a monarchy.
Some flags are/were used by the Iberian Federalism movements, which also use the colours of spain and the old Portugal flag:
This flag of Iberia was created by a Catalonian diplomat in  1854, although it has no official status in any country it is technically older than the current flags of both Spain and Portugal. Despite the fact it is a little outdated supporters of Iberian Federalism continue to use these colours today. Personally I don't like it, it looks like some sort of signal flag and reminds me of the House Flag and Jack of the ship company P&O :
Which is no coincidence as in its early days the company initially sailed ships between England and Spain an Portugal. 

Personally I think the best flag I saw and the one I am going to base my proposal on is this:

It combines the current flags of the two countries, it also combines the coat of arms two.
My design is based on this but only using the shield of the coat of arms:
Normally I don't like putting coats of arms on flags but without one I don't think the flag works as well without it. I left out any monarchist or republican symbols so it would be acceptable in a non political context like sport. Perhaps an alternative to the arms are two stars representing the two countries:



 Stars I think are more neutral in any kind of environment as coats of arms seem to suggest a political union, where stars allow it to be used in sport, or simply in a geographical nature.


CG2:Anguilla

the second in a series of posts in the countdown to the Commonwealth Games. The first team I am going to look at is Anguilla.
Like most British Overseas Territories the Anguilla flag consists of a British blue ensign defaced with the territories arms:
File:Flag of Anguilla.svg
While the use of ensigns at sea (which is where the flags were originally only meant to be used) is good. I think events like this highlights the impracticality of flags like this on land and at sporting events. For example a lot of countries and territories in the games use similar flags like this, these could be easily mistaken on a scoreboard.
I am of the opinion that Overseas territories at least should fallow the example of Gibraltar. At sea Gibraltar vessels use an ensign with the territories arms:
However on land and for sporting events a banner of arms is used as the territories flag:
As a result Gibraltar has a more distinct and recognisable flag than any other BOTs and has not lost any of its identify or sovereignty as some people might say in regards to changing flags.
Anguilla also has the advantage as it doesn't need a new flag, it could use the rather good Dolphin flag that was used when it declared independence from the former Saint Christopher-Nevis-Anguilla, in 1967 until it chose to regain UK sovereignty in 1969:

 This flag is still in used in the form of arms on the current flag, and is still used unofficially today, so it is perhaps the best option for a flag in the Commonwealth Games at least.
To see the first Commonwealth Games Post click here, and remember to look out for the 'CG' in the title for future Commonwealth Games posts.