To the surprise of perhaps no one, I must confess I have a fascination with flag design and their usage. There’s even a word for the study, symbolism, and usage of flags.
Many of my friends and family must suffer through my diatribes on how the University of Nebraska flag with its red field and big white “N” is actually more of a state flag than the thoroughly unremarkable state seal on a dark blue field.
So unremarkable that no one noticed that it was flying upside down at the state capital for several days.
And many other states share the 19th century-era state seal on a blue or turquoise field design. They all look terrible.
To me the proof of a good flag design is whether the people under it will show it to people who aren’t under it. In particular at airports. I can personally attest that the University of Nebraska “N” is on proud display on shot glass, T-shirts and more in Omaha’s airport.
The seal-on-blue state flag? If it was on display, I must have missed it.
I’ve been in an airport where the state flag is on all kinds of merch.
The Colorado blue-and-white striped flag with a red C and a gold circle inside of it is iconic. It’s on their freeway and highway signs. It’s everywhere.
To parrot some points made by the 99% Invisible and Hello Internet podcasts, the best flag designs are simple, easily recognizable from a distance, and so easy to draw that a kid can ably reproduce it. Ideally, they also contain no words, though a single letter or number can work, as evidenced by the Colorado “C” and the University of Nebraska “N”.
Flags have meaning, and that meaning can change over time, for good and bad. Most importantly, they can provide a sense of commonality among people who might not otherwise consider themselves as part of something larger.
Why am I waxing vexillological about this stuff?
Well that’s because my Players of the Game series has flags of its own. All of them could replace the Nebraska state flag as a vast improvement in my opinion.
And from time to time, I shall show you one of them.
Now is one such time.
|So I just went on a rant about a state seal on blue, and now I show you an insignia on blue. Hypocrisy? That’s in the eye of the beholder. For my part, I say no. |
The Grellish Claw is an important symbol. I describe it on multiple occasions throughout all of the Players of the Game series, most notably on ViRauni’s headband and Ed Burnhelt’s chest plate. It’s something under which they’ve fought wars and defended their homeland.
It was adapted from the flag of Old Grelland before it was lost in the Eruption. The blue symbolizes the azure flames of the Fire Well. The white circle is the protected island and the three-pronged claw is the indomitable Grellish people.
New Grelland is a land that has seen and continues to see hard times. Many are those who will stand in defense of this bastion in the fire.
(Special thanks to my brother, Tony, who helped me bring these flag designs to life with his fantastic graphic design skills.)
|Players of the Game Works in Progress|
|I’ve reached page 440 with about 124,300 words on the Game War’s first draft. Last month’s stats came in at 400 with about 113,200. I’m okay with that, but I’ll always strive for more words if I can get them to flow the way i want them. |
Work in Progress Out of Context Quote of the Month:
Matt Burnhelt: Diplomacy in a war. Novel.
|Lord of the Rings: Rings of Power on Amazon Prime |
I was not really expecting great things out of this series. I thought they were adapting the Silmilarion, but it turns out that the Bezos crew only got the rights to the thoroughly dry appendices from LOTR. I’m pleasantly surprised. They production value is great. I like the varied characters. I don’t know the lore well enough aside from general stuff about Galadriel, Elrond, and Gandalf. It’s sprawling with lots of intersecting plot lines. I look forward to seeing how it’s tied into the larger mythos. It’ll be interesting to see a bunch of human kings get corrupted by their own rings at some point too. Good stuff.
Sandman on Netflix
This is also a really well done show. I’ve only read the trade paperback of the first Sandman series. I liked it well enough, but it didn’t quite grab me like it’s grabbed other people. Morpheus seemed a bit mopey and vindictive for me. And boy do they keep that going in the streaming version. He is a compelling, but sometimes unlikable protagonist. The show does a great job of layering it with a bunch of other interesting characters and locales. Matthew the raven is a favorite of mine. The score music is also memorable, and Morpheus has a very memorable recurring theme song.
As a writer, I especially liked the bonus episode focusing on an author’s attempt to break his writer’s block by imprisoning an actual muse. Thankfully, I’m able to plow through the mental goo associated with that most of the time. Though I’ll admit that “resistance” ensnares me more than I’d like.
|That’s all for this time. |
Stay smart. Stay safe.