Monday, January 31, 2011

Eagles & Falcons, Philadelphia and Atlanta, NFL part 8

Classic Philadelphia Eagles Flag

Here are two birds of prey with patriotic undertones. The Eagle is of course the national bird seen on quarters and the dollar bill. Likewise the Falcon is a popular bird in the US Air Force and is the official bird of the US Air Force Academy.

But in the NFL they are mascots. The Falcon is tied to Atlanta, Georgia while the Eagle is rooted to Philadelphia.

Large Atlanta Falcons Flag

Both birds are raptors, birds of prey, specialized in opposite ways. The Eagle is big, strong, and imposing while the Falcon is lighter relies on speed and swiftness. It's like the difference between an F-15 Eagle and F-16 Falcon. The F-15 Eagle is an all around air superiority fighter jet. The F-16 Falcon is a lighter more swift fighter jet.


Likewise players in the NFL must be big, strong, swift and speedy. However as of 2011 neither avian inspired team has taken a Super Bowl Trophy home. But both teams have won the NFC Championships. Amazingly only once have both teams clashed in the NFC Championship Bowl back in 2005.


Link to Philadelphia Eagles Official Site
Link to Atlanta Falcons Official Site

Link to NFL Part 9 - This Site

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Patriots & 49ers, New England and San Francisco, NLF part 7

Pat the Patriot of New England
ready to snowball unpatriotic Americans

The New England Patriots are partnered up with the San Francisco 49ers. We have two teams that created a Football Dynasty - one on the Atlantic the other on the Pacific.

Both the totems are drawn from history. The Patriots take their cue from the original tea party folk, who sought freedom from the crown and parliament. The New England Patriots are the proverbial 73ers, since the Boston Tea Party was held in 1773. The 13 Colonies declared their independence from the UK Crown & Parliament in 1776.

Sourdough Sam of San Francisco
always looking for the GOLD!

Coincidentally San Francisco was permanently settled in 1776, but under the Spanish Crown as Yerba Buena. Soon enough fate and war saw that San Francisco Bay was delivered to the United States. In 1849 gold was discovered in California and the name of a successful football franchise was crated - unbeknownst to those journalists of that era - the 49ers. Like the Patriots of 1770s, the Gold Rushers of 49' were destined to have their spirits enshrined in the NFL.

Fans holding a San Francisco Flag

These two historic 'American people totems' represent freedom via the patriot of 1773 and abundance via the miner of 1849. These are two key aspirations of the American Dream - liberty and wealth. These two ideals of the American Way go hand in hand. Likewise football is one of the many byproducts you get when you cross Freedom and Abundance. Coincidentally the flag of New Jersey echoes these two motifs. Since it has the Goddess of Liberty and Abundance upon it.

Cartoon Patriot with Flag

The New England Patriots and the San Francisco 49ers have never played each other in a Super Bowl. But some day these two All American teams may collide, and it will prove which American ideal is stronger - Freedom or Wealth?


Link to San Francisco 49ers
Link to New England Patriots

Link to NFL part 8 - Fly Hye in Da Sky

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Jaguars & Panthers - Jacksonville and Carolina, NFL part 6

Carolina Panthers Emblem

Two expansion teams that coincidentally happen to be big cats, what are the chances?

Once again there is an alignment in the NFL - the Jaguars and Panthers. Both of these teams were established under Clinton in 1995.

Jacksonville Jaguars Emblem

The Jaguar is biggest and strongest cat in the Americas. The Jaguar takes the bronze out of all the big cats in the world. The Black Panther is a Leopard but with dark pigment... sometimes. Let me explain, Black Leopards from the Old World and Black Jaguars from the new world are both called Black Panthers. But they are two different species. To make things even more confusing there are supposed Black Cougars, which basically is a Black Mountain Lion or Black Puma...but none have ever been found. All in all, most of the Black Panthers you see in photos and zoos are Black Leopards either from Asia or Africa.

Waving the Flag to Rally Support

Long story short, when the Jacksonville Jags play the Carolina Panthers from a certain point of view it is the Light Jag vs the Dark Jag. Since they are in different conferences there is the potential for a Super Panther Bowl.


Dark Jaguar or Black Panther

Link to Jacksonville Jaguars
Link to Carolina Panthers

Link to Part 7 - Eastside wid'a Westside Glory

Friday, January 28, 2011

Chiefs & Redskins - Kansas City and Washington DC, NFL part 5

Redskin Fan with Team Flag
although a Redskins fan, not necessarily an
advocate of Native American Issues

The fifth pair of NFL teams to align in a harmonious way are the Kansas City, Chiefs and Washington, Redskins. They have chosen Native Americans as their power emblem.

The Washington Redskins are in the middle of the original thirteen colonies while the Kansas City Chiefs are in the middle of the nation. It seems rather ironic that two teams with Native American Spirit totems represent the federal city and the national heartland.

Chief Fan with Team Flag

Both teams won Super Bowl Victories and made multiple Super Bowl Visits. Washington won in 1983, 1988, and 1992. The Chiefs only won once in 1970, but they were the runner up in the first Super Bowl in 1967.

Since they are in separate conferences - the AFC for Kansas City and NFC for Washington DC - this brings up the potential for a Super Indian Bowl sometime in the future.

someday a...

Link to Kansas City Chiefs
Link to Washington Redskins

Link to NFL part 6 - Cougar Town NFL Style!

Using Native Americans has become something of a politically correct issue. It is understandable, imagine teams called the Saigon Whiteskins, Yamamoto Yellowskins, Columbus Confederates, Bismark Brown Shirts or the Toledo Taliban? Every group carries its own unique burden. Certainly Native American issues are unresolved with main stream America. Coincidentally a key founding member of the NFL was a Native American - Jim Thrope. Perhaps the NFL should listen to voice of her fans who are really 'Redskins?'

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Ravens & Cardinals - Baltimore and Arizona, NFL part 4

Feather Flags
of the Ravens and Cardinals

Several teams use birds as their totem in the NFL. But two teams with birds of matching caliber are the Baltimore Ravens and Arizona Cardinals. The Raven is an enchanting, powerful, mysterious and dark while the Cardinal is bright, bold, confident, and heart warming.

A good dichotomy between these two birds are their songs which vary. The Cardinal Song is rather cheerful while the song of the Raven is intimidating and spooky.
The Cardinals are the proverbial day bird whose colours and passion reflects the accessible establishment. But the Raven is the proverbial night bird whose colours and passion reflect the hidden underworld and outcast groups of society.

Both birds have big following. The Cardinals are the state bird of several states - Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, North Carolina, Virgina and West Virgina. There are plenty of other birds out there but the 'passion' for the Cardinal runs deep in America. However no state uses the exceedingly intelligent and mysterious raven.

Their match up in a future Super Bowl would be bird battle of the day bird vs the night bird or rather the
Checker Bird Bowl.
someday in the future

Link to Baltimore Ravens
Link to Arizona Cardinals

Video of bird calls - Cardinals & Raven

Link to NFL team symmetry part 5- arrow and a head piece?!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Mississipi Rebel Flag, 150 years later

Flag of Mississippi
Adopted 150 years ago today

January 26, 1861 was a vexillologically significant date for the South. Mississippi adopted a flag after leaving the Union and before the formation of the Confederacy.

Also on this date, in celebration of Louisiana's pull out - the famous Pelican flag was flown over the Louisiana State House.

Louisiana also left the Union 150 years ago, today. Louisiana was the 6th state to invoke secession with the US Constitution. Louisiana was the last of the original founding members of the Confederacy. Only six states participated in the first presidential election of the 'provisional' government - that elected Jefferson Davis. Nearly a month would pass before President Davis admitted the first new state into the recently established Confederacy - Texas. So in a weird way Texas is the Vermont of the Confederacy.

January 26, 1861 was also vexillologically significant date. Mississippi adopted a flag. The pre-Confederate 'free on my own' Mississippi State Flag incorporated the Bonnie Blue Flag in the canton on a white field. On the white field is a magnolia tree and finally along the fly is a red stripe.

Flag of Louisiana that flew over
Louisiana's Secession Congress 150 years ago

On celebration of Louisiana's pull out - the famous Pelican flag was flown over the Louisiana State House. 150 years later Louisiana still flies the Secession Pelican Flag but in a different form.

Rebel Red is often associated with Confederacy and the South, but the flags of Louisiana and South Carolina show us that there were also Rebel Blues.

The original Louisiana Rebel Flag did not have red blood drops nor yellow-brown.

US Civil War 150 Years Ago Today - part 4 (Inauguration Flag of President Davis)

Broncos & Colts - Denver and Indianapolis, NFL part 3

Colts Car Flag

Once again two football teams in the NFL have chosen similar emblems - the horse. In Denver Colorado we have the Bronco a 'wild' horse that gets rather disgruntled when people saddle on top. In Indianapolis we have the Colt which is a young male horse.

The totem of the Colts is the universal symbol of luck - a horseshoe - facing towards the lucky smiley side. The totem of the Broncos is a horse head apparently running forward.

Bronco Banner

Since both equestrian spirited teams are in the same conference, the Super Horse Bowl would be for the championship of the American Football Conference - AFC.

As of 2011 there has never been a Super Horse Bowl. However both the Colts and Broncos have had multiple wins in the official Super Bowl under the leadership of Elway and Manning.


Link to Broncos Official Website
Link to Colts Official Website

Link to part 4 - The Checker Bird Bowl...Guess who!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Raiders & Buccaneers - Oakland and Tampa Bay, part 2

Heraldry & Vexillology in the NFL

Official Logo -Heraldic Shield
Oakland, Raiders

Raiders and Buccaneers are men and a few women from an enchanted era - the pirate era. The emblems of these two teams unite Pirates of the Caribbean with Pirates of the Pacific North West. (Goonies & Johnny Depp)

Official Logo - Flag
Tampa Bay, Buccaneers

Coincidentally out of all the NFL logos the Oakland, Raiders and Tampa Bay, Buccaneers are paramount examples of Heraldry and Vexillology. The Raiders shield is a Swiss design, in heraldic terms this shape is known as a Swiss Escutcheon. The logo of the Raiders is a flag... aka a Jolly Roger.

Oakland Raider Flag
take away the football helmet and its a pirate flag

Both teams employ swords on their flags. On the Raiders totem there are two swords pointing downwards behind the football player's head. Conversely Tampa Bay's two swords are pointing upwards. Tampa also has a third sword acting as the flag pole pointing upwards. You can only see the bottom part and handle but the upper part of the sword can been inferred under the red pirate flag. In reality this would be a bad idea - unless it were a really dull sword - but in that case it adds an element of boldness.
Tampa Bay Flag
with a Flag Logo on it

Both logos also incorporate football designs. There is an orange football in the 'compartment' of the Tampa Bay, Buccaneers. While there is a silver football helmet with a black stripe in the 'crest' of the Oakland Raider. If you take away the football and helmet - they would be simple pirate symbols.

The skull of Tampa Bay is in balance to the one eyed football player with an eye patch - iconic images related to piracy.

In NFL history, there was once a Super 'Pirate' Bowl - in 2003. It was a cosmic alignment of two pirate teams - one from the Atlantic Seas the other from the Pacific Seas.


The younger team from the oldest state dressed in red would take the trophy in 2003 - Super Bowl XXXVII. However the Raiders had already laid claim to victories in 1976, 1980, and 1984.

Link to Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Link to Oakland Raiders

Link to Part 3 - What matches with a Bronco?

Monday, January 24, 2011

Lions & Tigers - Detroit and Cincinnati, NFL part 1

Cincinnati Bengals Flag

Vexillology is the study of flags and in football - flags are everywhere. Little yellow flags - minus the pole - are thrown by the referees to signal a penalty. Fans wave towels with the teams logo as vexilloloids. But most importantly flags are waved before, during, and after the game with the team's colours and emblem.

Lion vs Tiger

Subsequently like most flags, it is possible to partner up the teams of football with some kind of 'flag symmetry.' But rather than colour or design as being important - it is the team emblem that matters most. As of now there is no official standard design for a football team flag. Football flags are kinda like the original flags of the American Revolution - there is no official specification.

Detroit Lions Flag

The first teams compared have big game cats as their totem - the Tiger and the Lion. The Lions are based in Detroit, Michigan and the Bengal Tigers are based in Cincinnati, Ohio. Both of these big cats are originally found in the Old World - Africa and Asia. The Bengal Tiger is a specific kind of tiger usually found in India that is much larger than average.

These powerful cats have been adored and even worshiped in the past. But in modern America they have become the call sign of two football teams.

It'd be neato if the Bengals and Lions met in Super 'Kitty' Bowl LIX.

The Bengal is a large Tiger

Link to Cincinnati Bengals
Link to Detroit Lions

Lion + Tiger Video

Link to Part 2 - Raiders & Guess Who?

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Rugby and Football - Fraternal Twins

Rugby Ball Used Down Under

You can trace the roots of American Football and modern rugby to England during the Victorian Era.

But fate has a weird way of ensuring that things manifest two parallel ways of doing it.

Football Ball used in America

Excellent examples are metric vs 'American Imperial', driving on the left side vs right, Celsius vs Fahrenheit, Bible vs Koran, Mac vs PC, Pepsi vs Coke, and finally Democrat vs Republican.

Why not a third gender? Or maybe a third way of keeping track of temperature and measurement? Why do things eventually get polarized into two camps? Like the electron vs proton or the strong force vs weak force?
Logo of the NRL

It seems sport also repeats the fundamental echo of making things balanced by two.

Out of all of the languages to form in Europe - the most irrational language of English - would dominate the two new worlds 'discovered by Europe' - America and Australia.

Likewise the NFL would become the dominant ancestor of handball-soccer in the Americas while the NRL did the same down under.

Logo of the NFL

The rules differ but scoring is analogous. Essentially the goal is the same for both games - it is to carry the egg shaped ball to one end of the field. When this happens this is called a touchdown in football or a try in rugby.

The major difference is that it is illegal to make a forward pass in rugby but it is legal in football. This has caused a divergence in their evolution.

Basically...NFL players are specialized - linemen, backs, receiver, kickers, and the thrower-quaterback. But in the NRL all the players on the field can act as a running back, thrower, receiver, and kicker.

After making a try or touchdown the team that scored is allowed to kick the oval ball through the goal post. In America this is called the field goal kick but in rugby it is known as the conversion. But in football after scoring a 'proverbial try' - there is option to make a try for another touchdown that is called a conversion!

Visit the NFL Here
Visit the NRL Here

NFL Commercial with flags

up next... NFL FLAG SYMMETRY! Link to next post - Cincinnati and guess who?

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Russian American Post Colonial Heritage Flags

Constellation of Ursa Major the Great Bear
the Flag of Alaska is based upon its back end

The colonization of the American West Coast is often overlooked, especially the story of the Russian Colonials. In the wake of this chapter of Russian-American history, I have created post-historical Russian Heritage Flags that are based on the flags of modern states of the USA and one province of Canada.

Russia Alaska Heritage Flag

Russians were the first European Group to settle in Alaska in 1784. It was one year after the United States had peacefully settled with the UK and was still operating under the Articles of Confederation - America Version 1.0. The US was rebooted under the Constitution in 1788 as America Version 2.0. It is an under statement to say that the US had some big 'run time errors' in 1785.
Flag of Alaska

The Russian Alaska Heritage Flag expands upon the constellation of the 'Big Dipper' by showing more of the stars in the official constellation -Ursa Major aka the Great Bear. Which of course, suits Russia. Upon the flag are 10 extra stars - for a total of 18. At the bottom of the flag are waves that represent the Pacific Ocean. The wave design was taken from the Russian Province Magadan, which is a proverbial cousin of Alaska by Russia.

The next heritage Russian Colonial-American flag links Russia to California. In 1812 a Russian Colony was planted in Sonoma County, without permission from the Spanish Government. It was named Ft. Ross and had a 29 year run. By convenient coincidence the flag of California features a bear and a red star. Likewise many conservative Americans often think of California as having a socialist tilt.
Flag of California

The Russian California Heritage Flag has a blue stripe instead of a red one. The background is all red and the text shows the dates of Ft. Ross' existence in California 1812-1841. The red star is conserved with a white fimbration.

Russia Hawaiian Heritage Flag

Even more obscure is the Russian Colony in Hawaii. The Russians attempted to colonize on Kauai - Ft. Elizabeth and Ft. Alexander by around 1816. King Kamehama had recently united all of the Hawaii Islands, thanks in part to new 'alien' technologies. The former King of Kauai hoped the Russians might change the political situation. It didn't.
Flag of Hawaii
The Russian Hawaiian Heritage Flag has a Russian Naval Jack in the canton instead of a UK Union Flag. The UK Union flag and Russian Naval Jack both have the same colours and crosses of St. Andrew and St. George. The stripes were also altered to mirror the national flag of Russia, twice.

Russia British Columbia Heritage Flag

The final flag of Russian American Heritage is linked to British Columbia in Canada. In 1821 the Russian Czar asserted that the southern boarder was 51' North instead of 54' 40" North. This dispute lasted until 1825 when the Russians finally agreed to 54' 40" with the Russo-British Treaty of 1825. When the US purchased Alaska from Russia she also inherited the treaty rights of 1825. For four short years Russia had a land claim in what was to become British Columbia. Which might have become Russian Columbia by some wicked twist of fate.
Flag of BC

Instead of the British Union Flag a Russian Naval Jack is used and the imperial crown is in the center instead of the Royal Crown of BC.

Link toRussia Today Documentary About Alaska on YouTube
Link to Russian Fort in Hawaii
Link About Ft. Ross in California

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Flag of the Confederate Coast Guard?

Ensign of Confederate Revenue Cutter Service
or would've been "Confederate Coast Guard"

This is probably the least known of Confederate Flags. The flag of the Confederate Revenue Service - also called the Confederate Revenue Marine. Before the War Between the States the US Revenue Cutter Service was the old name of the US Coast Guard - established by Alexander Hamilton on August 4, 1790.

The US Revenue Cutter Service changed her name when she 'married' the US Life Saving Service in 1915. The US Life Saving Service was created in 1848 by a Jersey Congressman - William A. Newell originally born in Ohio.

Flag of Union Revenue Cutter Service
since 1799 & US Coast Guard in 1915
Arms of the US Life Saving Service
Created in 1848 - joined forces with
US Revenue Cutter Service that became
US Coast Guard in 1915

Thus from a certain point of view, the banner of the Confederate Revenue Cutter Service is the flag of the "Confederate Coast Guard."

The Union Revenue Cutter Service had her own flag that was created in 1799. Naturally, the South was obligated to create a new Revenue Cutter Service Flag upon secession.

One more interesting fact, just before the US Civil War in 1853 - the USRC Jefferson Davis was launched. She was named and launched under president Pierce. The USRC Jefferson Davis was then named in honor of the Secretary of War - who later rose to the highest office in the Confederacy.

Model of USRC Jefferson Davisin Seattle Coast Guard Museum

The USRC Jefferson Davis did not participate in the Civil War but did suppress a Native American Rebellion in the North Pacific. During her 'action' she would have flown what is now known as the US Coast Guard Flag. The poetic irony is that the Jefferson Davis went to war with Washington. Washington Territory that is to suppress a Native American rebellion, just before Washington DC went to war with an American Native - President Jefferson Davis. Washington Territory was also created in 1853 like the USRC Jefferson Davis, as Jefferson Davis is the would be George Washington of the Confederacy.

Also note that the US Coast Guard uses a different flag when marching on parade or on land. You would normally only see the 16 vertically striped Coast Guard flag at sea.

Learn More about the US Revenue and Cutter Service and the Confederate version here at US

US Civil War 150 Ago Today - part 3