Sunday, May 23, 2010

UK Flag Institute Spring Meeting 2010: Part III

The third speaker on the London 2010 Spring Meeting was Alexandru Dan Mandru from Romania. His tone was serious and academic. It became obvious Alexandru could offer a deep and wide range professional and philosophical views on the emerging science of vexillology.

He gave his first vexillological presentation at the 2007 International Congress of Vexillology in Berlin, Germany. Since then he as been studying philosophy and communications at the Free University in Berlin.

His lecture was entitled The Science of Vexillology. Alexandru started his lecture with a formal history and introspective discussion of vexillology, "since 1958, when Dr. Whitney Smith introduced the term vexillology and it became part of the human heritage, a certain obscurity has surrounded the limits of the words. Who is a vexillologist? Is he or she a collector and hobbyist? Or may he or she be scholar in this field?" Mandru said. Mandru continued, "We will try to find essential criteria, in order to properly define a science as a science and apply them to Vexillology."

One idea expounded by Mandru that stuck out in my mind or rather caused a cerebral communications explosion of neurotransmitters (it resonated with me) was Mandru pointed out that, 'Whitney Smith stated that the ultimate purpose of vexillology would be a better understanding among people,' as quoted from the Flag Bulletin# 191, page 4. With this statement Mandru further explained that, "Consequently, vexillology serves life because, in its final meaning and purpose, has an improvement of human relations and identity as goal." I interpreted this as basically saying vexillology can bring a greater peace, harmony, and understanding in the world.

With my flag symmetry idea, it is also my hope that a new understanding between nations and peoples can sew an amazing thread of connectivity and understanding between nations. As odd as it may sound, to study the flag and story of an alien nation is also to study the flag and story of ones own nation.

Mandru's final thoughts on vexillology were essentially a forecast on the future of this 'social science' that may or may not promote understanding between nations. Vexillology is sort of in the 'hunter-gatherer' phase and it is now growing into the 'meta-vexillological' phase. Like any 'ology' will grow with time.

You can read more about by clicking here: Alexandru Mandru

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