Saturday, July 31, 2010

Doylestown Township Flag & Seal


Doylestown, PA is the County Seat of Bucks County. The pleasant story book community was incorporated as a borough in 1838.

learn more and visit the Borough's Website at

Friday, July 30, 2010

Jack Harold Bandera

I once knew his guy called Jack, who played the trumpet and whose father was a distant cousin of Antonio Bandera. Jack loved flags and wanted to write books about them. He coined a word, Banderology in 1961,but someone had already beaten him to the punch with something called Vexillology.

Poor Jack

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Fukuoka Prefectural JET Meeting, 2000

Ten years ago I gave my first vexillologial presentation in Fukuoka Prefecture, by accident. At the Fukuoka Prefecture Mid Year Seminar I gave workshop number 5, Effective Use of the Text.

You can see the Fukuoka
prefectural symbol on cover
of Mid-Year Seminar Pamphlet

Many foreign English Teachers often found the assigned English texts less than effective. However, I pointed out that the dry text can be used as model to write your own lessons.

A primary directive of being a JET was cultural exchange. English Teachers in Japan can fall into the trap of simply rehashing text materials or becoming a living tape recorder. Teachers were encouraged to dig into their own culture and model lessons about their nation, cultural holidays, or whatever. Using a personal cultural holiday that each JET knows intimately: Halloween, St. Patrick's Day, Christmas, Canada Day, so long as a love and sincerity was behind the motivation. Any subject could easily be turned into a lesson: vocab, worksheet, quiz!

During this workshop, I did something very bizarre, that foreshadowed my vexillological calling. I modeled a lesson about flags of Korea. During the lesson I made a Japanese flag out of construction paper and turned it into a South Korean flag by adding blue paper and drawing the black Yin-Yang trigrams in each corner. Amazingly none of the Japanese teachers present made a comment. Whatever emotions they may have felt on the inside they chose not to voice it. Oddly enough, two years later Korea and Japan hosted the world cup in Asia for the first time and did it together!

Making a Korean Flag out of Japan's Flag

(click picture to see other JET colleagues)

Interested in Teaching English in Japan on the JET Program? Click Here

Friday, July 23, 2010

NAVA 42: Austin's Flag Proposal

Original Drawing by Steven Austin

One of the most fascinating flags at NAVA #42 was the flag proposal drawn by Steven Austin. He chose the colours of red, green and white in honor of the Mexican Flag. The stripes were a homage to the American-Mexicans. Finally the canton, in the upper left, is a modified union jack representing the British Heritage of the newly soon to be most dominant immigrants of Texas.

It was a privilege to see living history. Reading and hearing so much about Austin this and Austin that, and finally seeing the hand writing and art work of Austin himself was... amazingly graceful.

Modern Rendition of Austin's Flag Proposal
(with out sketches on the star)

NAVA 42 Movie about Austin's Flag in State Capitol

Interested in flags? Come join us! NAVA's Website :
Commentary is Charles Spain, a former NAVA President

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Steven Colbert & US Flag

The US Flag has become a ubiquitous emblem waving in the background of cable news networks. One amazingly effective, over the top, and delightful use of the US Flag takes place on the Colbert Report on Comedy Central.

In the show's introduction Steven Colbert jumps off a 'SCILF' while holding the US flag. He then swoops through the air while all sorts of capitalized adjectives that humbly describe himself and the show fly through the air.

Steven lands on the floor like a Gladiator meets Captain America, and the arena comes to life like he is Magneto from the X-Men. It is an funny, effective, and 'Vexillicious' use of the American Flag but perhaps all things are not what they seem?

A covert reporter from Fox News has discovered a subliminal message in Colbert's background. It seems that Mr. Colbert may have a secret Islamic Agenda? The Muslim Crescent with star can be seen in the background. Perhaps he is an operative of Turkey psi-ops corp?
Or perhaps Colbert is an extreme fan of Turkey Meat?

"Steven's Genetically Modified Cybernetic Flageegul"

Wanna watch episodes of Colbert?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

British Columbia Mojo

Flag of British Columbia

Five US states have legal claims to bi-national heritage. From 1818 to 1846 Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Western Montana, and a nibble of Wyoming were a part of 'UK-Canada' and the 'USA.' Thus any person in these lands were living simultaneously on US Property and Canadian Property. So if you were born anywhere in this sort of 'DMZ-Neutral Zone', your nationality was a kin to a Siamese Twin with two national heads, the United Kingdom and United States.

The Canadians called this region Columbia District, while the US called it Oregon Country (USK).

In honor of this strange twilight 28 year period, when Canadian and US History re-merged as one, I have created honorable mention British Columbia Mojo Flags.


Washington B.C. Mojo
Regular Flag of Washington State

Washington State is different from most flags because it is a green flag. All it's missing are four dollar signs, and tada' you'd have a one dollar bill!

Idaho B.C. Mojo
Regular Idaho State Flag

Idaho was once crawling with Canadian Mountain Men: French and English. But now it's American Mountain Man Central. Interesting note is that Sarah Palin was born in Idaho, not Alaska! Thus She is the Mother Mountain Queen of Idaho.

Oregon B.C. Mojo
Regular Oregon State Flag

You say PO-TAE-TOE, I say PO-TAT-TOH or rather Canadians said Columbia and Yanks said Oregon. A good way to get under the skin of Canadians is to bring up the spelling of humor.

A Canadian says to an American:
"Didn't you know humour has a 'you' in it?"
The American replies: "No.....I'm sorry....I didn't. We don't include 'you' in our humor, because 'you' are not funny."

Montana B.C. Mojo
Regular Montana Flag

The mountains of Montana were once one and one with Canada and the USA.

Wyoming B.C. Mojo
Regular Wyoming Flag

Wyoming's special it's the only state that was both Mexican and Canadian Territory. Thus it is the truest universal cowboy state. Why? Wyoming has the original Mexican Cowboy Mojo, Canadian Horsemanship Mojo, Texan Ranger Republic Mojo, and last but not least Yankee Hustler Mojo!

Mountains, rivers, plains oh my! All four seasons wet and dry, Wyoming Cowboys sure fly high!

Finally, we must not forget the other point of view. Since the states of the Pacific North West have a bit of British Columbia Mojo, British Columbia must have a bit of Oregon Country Mojo.

British Columbia Oregon Mojo
British Columbia entered the Canadian Dominion in 1871 and was the 6th province. USK is an acronym for United States and Kingdom.


Monday, July 19, 2010

Washington in a Dodge Challenger?

British Flags
In 2010 the Dodge Motor Company made a big budget commercial that meshes the lines between Hollywood, history, and Madison Avenue. Dodge took the perennial president's day car sale mantra and launched it into the stratosphere, creating a well sculpted mesh of patriotism and advertising.

The commercial recreates a revolutionary battle scene between the Continental Army and British Forces. But the surprise comes, when General Washington charges British lines in a Dodge Challenger with two other cars in formation. This causes the British to break their lines and scatter unto the hills.

Washington aiming to show
the Empire what it's all about
More than 5 years ago I was on the Dodge team with a Dodge Neon. I suppose I would've been scout or in the picket lines? Thus persons with Ram Dodge trucks would be artillery. Persons with Challengers would be a part of the cavalry. But if you had Dodge Van you'd be the proverbial supply wagon or medical tent.
Dodge Challenger Flag

This commercial plays with American Patriotism via a joyful, deadpan, over the top absurdity, that tickles the soul. The one drawback is that this commercial would alienate UK or Canadian customers. Maybe a Canadian company will make a video about the War of 1812? If Ford really wanted to tap the Southern Truck Market: a Civil War battle scene with trucks? Why the hell not...this is America?

Commercial of Washington Charging with his Challenger

This battle scene is most likely supposed to be in New Jersey. New Jersey was good to Washington, as Washington claimed his earliest and hard won victories in Jersey.

Like General Robert E. Lee, both honorable Virginians retreated from Pennsylvania battle fields. Lee lost at Gettysburg on July 4, 1861 and Washington lost at the Battle of Brandywine Creek on September 11, 1777. New York also gave the boot to Washington at the battle of Manhattan, but New Jersey lifted the spirit and confidence of Washington.

After the bitter winter of Valley Forge, the revolution was definitely running low on gas. But Washington's victory at Trenton, NJ on Christmas Day 1776 revved up the American Spirit. Washington had several more victories in New Jersey as well: Princeton, Monmouth, and Trenton for a second time. The important thing to note is, Washington was doing it all on his own, before France and Spain jumped on the bandwagon.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Three Brother's Pizza!

Something fun..... I made, almost everywhere in the Philadelphia region there is a generic Three Brothers Pizza or some kinda' of Brother's Pizza. Here is a Three Brother's Pizza most people under 40 would recognize.

In the middle is the original video game hero Mario who became famous with Donkey Kong.

On the right side is his true brother Luigi who became famous in the underworld with Mario Brothers while working in the sewers.

Finally on the sinister-left side is Wario, the mean anti-hero of Mario. We still don't know his exact relation to Mario and Luigi. But I think Wario is perhaps 1/2 a brother because of his pointy ears? Maybe he's half Vulcan or something?

But vexillologically speaking the flag of Italy is on the background!

Below is a catchy retro Nintendo commerical made with late 80s-early 90s funk....

Friday, July 16, 2010

A New US Colonial Rebel Flag?

Colonial Kerchief made before 1779

In the Vexillological scholarly journal, The Raven: volume 14 – 2007, an article was written by Laura K. Kidd. It was entitled: Wave It or Wear It? The United States Flag as a Fashion Icon. Laura's article is a whitty and insightful essay that showcases the use of the American flag on clothing. I definitely recommend its reading.

Kidd makes a fascinating discovery on the 'yin yang shift' of the left and right opinions in the use of the American Flag since the 'Anglo-Saxon Cultural Revolution of 1961.'

On an illustration in black and white shows that ‘th
e first commemorative textile with a flag motif is a linen kerchief printed to honor General George Washington.’ (The Raven) The inscription around General Washington read from twelve o' clock reads:


Flags from the Four Corners

(click on any pic to see a larger clearer image)

The original source of this illustration is from a book by Herbert Ridgeway Collins: Threads of History: Americana Recorded on Cloth 1775 to the Present, Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington DC, 1979.

There are two flags on this kerchief that caught my eye: a flag that seems to have a rising sun design, like Japan, in the upper left corner; and a 25 striped flag that has 13 horizontal red and 12 white stripes.

Is it a Colonial Red Ensign or a some sort of unknown 13 Ray Ensign?

The flag with the 'rising sun' design is described as a ‘Colonial Red Ensign.’ However on close examination with my computer, that description does not seem to fit. The exquisite work in the kerchief reveals the designer had an attentive eye for detail. Thus if it were a 'Colonial Red Ensign' it would and should look like one, but it doesn't. Furthermore the 13 darkly coloured rays do not match with a theoretical lazy version of UK flag. Otherwise it would make more sense to have 12 rays rather than 13.

4 rays for the red cross of England + 8 rays for the eight blue triangles of Scotland = 12 coloured rays

13 is a patriotic number anyways. Perhaps it was not the intention of the designer to make a Colonial Red Ensign? Maybe this flag is an undocumented or personal revolutionary flag?

According to Kidd, this kerchief was made somewhere between ‘1775 unto 1778.' There were a variety of colonial rebel flags flying in this period.

Kidd also states it is possible that, ‘if printed after the passing of the First Flag Act in June 1777, the designer did not use the 'official' United States flag as a design motif. Perhaps the textile designer did not know that there was now an official’ U.S. flag – or the new flag did not have meaning to the designer.'

13 Striped Son's of Liberty Flag:red stripes are labeled with red numbers and white stripes are labeled with white numbers

The second flag of intrigue seems to be an accidental variation of the Son’s of Liberty Flag. The usual Son’s of Liberty flag has 7 red and 6 white stripes for a total of 13. But this Son’s of Liberty flag has 13 red and 12 white stripes for a total of 25. Perhaps the person making the textile made an honest mistake? One can easily get confused upon reading a description that the Son's of Liberty that is supposed to have 13 stripes; one could easily interpret that this meant 13 red stripes, instead of the proper total of 13 stripes via 7 red and 6 white?

Gadsden Flag with clear lettering

Finally it is difficult to make out what is written upon the Gadsden Flag. It seems to say 'DON'T TREAD UPON ME.' However most Gadsden flags read, 'DON'T TREAD ON ME.' So what's the big deal with 'ON' versus 'UPON?' Not much I suppose, it seems to be a common enough mistake. I suppose, 'DON'T TREAD UPON ME,' has a polite tone while 'DON'T TREAD ON ME,' has a more threatening tone.

'Upon' also has a mystical undertone: 'Once Upon a Time' vs. 'Once On a Time.' Perhaps the 'upon me' version could be thought as a polite-cautionary Gadsden Flag, while the 'on me' version is a passionate-threatening Gadsden Flag.

In conclusion, on one hand this kerchief offers up a new unknown revolutionary era flag with 13 rays emanating from the center, in the canton, that are assumed to be red. On the other hand, it could simply be an error or liberty of the artist's hand, or simply a distorted image of a 'Colonial Red Ensign.' If a clearer image of the kerchief in question can be found it could help clarify the issue or offer evidence of a 'US Colonial Rising Sun Ensign?'

Modern Rendition of the 13 ray colonial ensign:
assuming red and white are used: 13 colonies 13 stripes?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Doylestown Patriot Flag

At Doylestown's Triangle Park, a flag dedicated to fallen veterans flies just below the national banner.

Unlike the popular black POW flag, whose abundance of black conveys a more mournful statement, Doylestown's unique Triangle Park flag is charged with a special kind of purity and hope. Whiteness is the universal symbol of purity, and speaks of glory. Like the flag of Rhode Island that uses white, yellow stars, and the motto 'hope.'

Flag Pole of Special Flag
The writing on the flag that is written in red cursive reads, "Lest they be forgotten..."

A black machine gun is planted in the ground a with a black helmet on top. This is an echo, intentional or not, of the Japanese Samurai tradition of putting a fallen warriors headdress on a sword after defeat.

This flag spoke to me as if to say, 'mourn us yes, but also remember us..... ponder on our lives, and wonder why we died. By the perpetual grace of providence our lives were sacrificed for the greater good, overcome your sadness and seize the joy that is the perpetual shadow of freedom.... cast away hate and any bitterness and embrace the golden star of hope, forget us not...'

Video of Triangle Park Flag Flying

Robin Willams as the US Flag 1982

Robin Williams stand up act as the United States flag, performed on March 21, 1982. This is perhaps the best routine ever to be made about and with the US Flag.

Mr. Williams combines humor with the American Flag via class, respect, and joy.


follow Mr. Williams, Robert at

Monday, July 12, 2010

Texas Republic Mojo

Flag of Texas

When Texas gained independence from Mexico, Texas was much larger. According to the map the Lone Star Republic had territory that overlapped five states yet to be created. For nearly a decade (1835-1845) the Republic of Texas' most northern point was more north than Northern California and Southern Massachusetts. Texas even had territory on par with the southern tip of Canada.

Thus in honor of the five states that were is some way a part of the internationally recognized Nation of Texas, I have created five Post-Republic of Texas Mojo Flags for each state.

The pan handle of Oklahoma once belonged to the Republic of Texas, thus it should only be flown in the pan handle. The design is based on the original Oklahoma Flag (46 and red) and the current sky-blue colour of the current Oklahoma Flag.

1st Oklahoma Flag abandoned because
looked to communistic, even though
Oklahoma is an Indian word for Red Man

Official Oklahoma Flag

New Mexico's Texas Republic Flag is based on the current New Mexican Flag that only uses red and yellow. More than 50% of New Mexico was a part of the Texas Republic.

Official New Mexican Flag

Kansas' Republic of Texas Flag should only be flown in the south west corner of Kansas. Didja' know Kansas has Texan Heritage? Some states were born out of Mexico, Canada, but five had regions born out of Texas. Once again the colours of Kansas come from the current state flag. And PLEASE do not mess with Kansas' Flag!

Official Flag of Kansas

At nearly 1/3, a mid-western strip and the south eastern side of Colorado were once Texas Country. I guess this is where the South Park boys get their wild cowboy steak and shameless gumption to humour anyone and anything that should suit their fancy?

Them Colorado boys sure are a shootin' jokes with mighty fine Texan Ranger accuracy and a none to powerful Texas punch. It's no wonder..... they're part Texan after all... waddja' expect?

And trust me.... you don't want to be on the wrong side of Texas.

Official Flag of Colorado

Finally, Wyoming's Texan Republic Mojo Flag: not exactly in the corner, but in Wyomings' south eastern region, a small portion of Wyoming was once one in body, spirit, and soil with Texas. Thus once upon a time TEXAS had land, more north than Philadelphia, Chicago, NYC, and even Providence, RI.

Official Flag of Wyoming