Graham Houser, a special needs teacher from Oregon, printed out a real version of this flag to display proudly on the classroom wall. Other teachers loved the design and knew exactly what it meant without an explanation. Houser now uses this flag to spark discussion among his autistic students about how they see themselves. It was lovely to hear this positive update!
Proposed flag of autism acceptance
Here’s a flag design for autism acceptance, developed in conjunction with NAVA’s Flag Design Gauntlet. I’m on the autism spectrum and some autistic communities have already proposed some symbols and flag designs, so I thought I’d try an idea of my own.
This design is simple enough to be remembered by a child, yet distinct enough to be recognised at a distance. The golden infinity symbol is an existing autistic symbol representing the diversity of neurological configurations. In my flag design, the golden infinity symbol is placed within the head to make the meaning more intuitive.
The gold represents warmth and acceptance. The purple represents unconventionality. Together, the gold and purple represent hope that our differences will be understood, accepted and embraced.
I deliberately avoided the rainbow infinity symbol because it represents all of “neurodiversity” and is too broad.
I redesigned the flag of Massachusetts in 2022 with consultation from NAVA (North American Vexillological Association) members as part of their ongoing Flag Design Gauntlet meetings. Thanks to the members from Massachusetts for their valuable input, Joe Gorman for organising the meetings, and everyone else who participated in discussions.
The current design
The current flag of Massachusetts is a typical American-style seal-on-a-bedsheet design, and as a result it is convoluted, unmemorable and uninspiring. In 2020, the flag came under scrutiny because the symbolism had links to colonial violence against indigenous Americans. In July 2020, the state senate voted unanimously to look into redesigning the state seal and flag. There is ongoing pressure with many towns endorsing a redesign of the flag. Therefore, here is my proposal.
I have two proposals: – The shield concept is based on the current flag for local familiarity and recognition. It was most preferred by the NAVA members from Massachusetts. – The Sons of Liberty concept is based on the flag of the Sons of Liberty, the group who instigated the Boston Tea Party. It was ranked number 1 in a public poll of all Massachusetts flag redesigns.
I previously made a proposed flag of Utah in 2009 but I wanted to revisit this with my new skills. These new designs were created in early 2021 with consultation with NAVA members as part of their Design Gauntlet. Thanks to everyone who gave feedback!
I have just received word from the government of Utah that my flag designs are finalists for the official state flag redesign effort! I believe designs 2b and 2c are the ones being used, although they have made some adjustments.
I am proud to be a finalist for the flag of Long Beach, California! The city council is busy dealing with Covid so the flag project has been put on hold for now. I’ll update this post if there is any news.
I was proud to be a finalist for the official flag of Galveston, Texas! Thanks to everyone who supported and voted for my design.
On Reddit, this design received over 8100 upvotes, nine awards and near unanimous praise from other vexillologists. Locals said it felt like a festive, beach-themed version of the Texan flag – exactly what I was going for. We all want the best for Galveston!
Here is my proposal for the flag of Galveston, Texas. It is simple enough to be remembered by a child but distinctive enough to be recognised at a distance.
The overall layout represents the geography of Galveston, a diagonal island. The two blue sections represent the ocean and shipping industry as Galveston was one of America’s biggest ports. The two golden stripes represent the beaches that attract many visitors. One shore faces the mainland and the other faces the wider world, representing how the port acts as a gateway to America. The red represents the life and energy of Galveston’s people. The star represents the pride of Galveston as it punches above its weight.
Here is a map of the island of Galveston to understand what I was going for with the layout:
The flag also references the history of Galveston. Red and gold are borrowed from the naval flag of the Spanish Empire. The diagonal layout is borrowed from the first flag of Mexico. The red, white, blue and star are borrowed from the flags of Texas and America.
The current situation / Η τρέχουσα κατάσταση / Mevcut durum
The island of Cyprus is split between Northern Cyprus and the Republic of Cyprus as a result of an ongoing dispute. There are constant talks of reuniting the island and this scenario would require a new flag. In 2004, the United Nations sponsored the “Annan Plan” for reunification which failed when put to a referendum. This scheme had a proposed flag design for United Cyprus but there are several problems with this flag. Firstly, it is too plain and uninspiring. Secondly, it uses blue all the way on one side to represent Greeks and red all the way on the other side to represent Turks, which emphasises division and separation. It may be true in real life that these populations are divided, but a flag representing unity should be optimistic and remind people of harmony rather than conflict. Thirdly, the layout puts one population on top of the other which could suggest a hierarchy to some. Therefore, here is my proposal.
Το νησί της Κύπρου χωρίζεται μεταξύ της Βόρειας Κύπρου και της Κυπριακής Δημοκρατίας ως αποτέλεσμα μιας συνεχιζόμενης διαμάχης. Υπάρχουν συνεχείς συνομιλίες για την επανένωση του νησιού και αυτό το σενάριο θα απαιτούσε νέα σημαία. Το 2004, τα Ηνωμένα Έθνη χρηματοδότησαν το «Σχέδιο Ανάν» για επανένωση που απέτυχε όταν τέθηκε σε δημοψήφισμα. Αυτό το σχέδιο είχε έναν προτεινόμενο σχεδιασμό σημαίας για την United Cyprus, αλλά υπάρχουν πολλά προβλήματα με αυτήν τη σημαία. Πρώτον, είναι πολύ απλό και δεν εμπνέει. Δεύτερον, χρησιμοποιεί το μπλε από τη μια πλευρά για να εκπροσωπήσει τους Έλληνες και το κόκκινο από την άλλη πλευρά για να εκπροσωπήσει τους Τούρκους, το οποίο δίνει έμφαση στη διαίρεση και τον χωρισμό. Μπορεί να ισχύει στην πραγματική ζωή ότι αυτοί οι πληθυσμοί είναι χωρισμένοι, αλλά μια σημαία που αντιπροσωπεύει την ενότητα πρέπει να είναι αισιόδοξη και να υπενθυμίζει στους ανθρώπους την αρμονία και όχι τις συγκρούσεις. Τρίτον, η διάταξη βάζει έναν πληθυσμό πάνω από τον άλλο, ο οποίος θα μπορούσε να προτείνει κάποια ιεραρχία σε ορισμένους. Επομένως, εδώ είναι η πρότασή μου.
Kıbrıs adası, devam eden bir anlaşmazlık nedeniyle Kuzey Kıbrıs ile Kıbrıs Cumhuriyeti arasında bölünmüştür. Adayı yeniden birleştirme konusunda sürekli görüşmeler yapılıyor ve bu senaryo yeni bir bayrak gerektiriyor. 2004’te Birleşmiş Milletler, referanduma sunulduğunda başarısız olan yeniden birleşme için “Annan Planı” na sponsor oldu. Bu şema Birleşik Kıbrıs için önerilen bir bayrak tasarımına sahipti, ancak bu bayrakla ilgili birkaç sorun var. Çok sade ve sönük. Bir yanda Yunanlıları temsil etmek için mavi, diğer yanda Türkleri temsil etmek için kırmızıyı kullanır, bu da bölünmeyi ve ayrılığı vurgular. Gerçek hayatta bu nüfusların bölündüğü doğru olabilir, ancak birliği temsil eden bir bayrak iyimser olmalı ve insanlara çatışmadan ziyade uyumu hatırlatmalıdır. Düzen, bazılarına bir hiyerarşi önerebilecek bir popülasyonu diğerinin üzerine koyar. Bu nedenle, işte benim teklifim.
Note: My choice of designs do not reflect my political opinions.
Σημείωση: Η επιλογή των σχεδίων μου δεν αντικατοπτρίζει τις πολιτικές μου απόψεις.
Not: Tasarım tercihlerim politik görüşlerimi yansıtmıyor.
The current flag of Massachusetts is a typical American-style seal-on-a-bedsheet design, and as a result it is convoluted, unmemorable and uninspiring. In 2020, the flag came under intense scrutiny because the design seems to imply colonial violence: There is a sword hanging above a Native American figure, the beginning of the motto translates to “by the sword we seek peace” and the artistic rendering was directly based on figures and artifacts involved with killings of Native Americans. There is ongoing pressure with many groups and towns endorsing a redesign of the flag. As of 2021, the state senate and governor have officially decided to redesign the state seal and flag. Therefore, here is my proposal.
We need an official flag of Earth. We live in an unprecedented times where all the people of the world are connected together and aware of global issues, but are at risk of being divided. The planet itself under threat from destructive forces. Ecosystems around the world are dying, collapsing and on fire. We have a flag for every single place, except for the place that is most important of all. We have a flag for every single homeland, except for the land that is home to every human being. We have a flag for every single cause, except for the single largest cause in the history of our whole species. We have no consistent symbol for our entire home, yet we clearly need to express that right now.
When we want to represent global co-operation, what flag do we use? When we protest the planet’s environmental issues, what flag do we fly? When we celebrate events like Earth Day, what flag emoji do we use in our message?
There are a few options but they do not cut it. The most famous global flag is the flag of the United Nations but that represents the organisation and not the whole planet. Some people use a photograph of the planet Earth but that is not appropriate for a flag. There are other proposals but they are messy or unintuitive. We need a good, simple, catchy flag to represent our planet.
Here are all the Australian flag designs I made over the years. Like my New Zealand flag proposals, I put in a lot of effort researching and designing these proposals. Australia has not had an official flag competition or referendum yet but I’ll be ready once it happens!
Everyone else just makes designs that look nice and symbolic to them personally. This is why they fail. Instead, I consulted real evidence for what people want and don’t want in a flag, and aimed for maximum feasibility, i.e. appealing to as much of the public as possible with their various preferences. The concepts are roughly in order from most to least feasible, based on my evidence and the popularity on Facebook and Reddit.
The Advance design (at the top) was voted the third best out of all Australian flag redesigns in public polling. I will leave it up to the reader to decide which designs are the best.
As with all design, the how and the why is more important than the what. I used the same process as my New Zealand flag designs so I’ll just summarise that here.
After that, the article lists each of my proposals.
Flag of the Kuomintang (Chinese Nationalist Party) / 國民黨的旗幟
The current flag of Taiwan is a historical relic inherited from the Republic of China, which ruled mainland China over seventy years ago. Now it is confined to the island of Taiwan and the country is simply known as Taiwan to everybody. Moreover, it is based on the flag of a single political party, the Kuomintang (Chinese Nationalist Party). This may have made sense when Taiwan was a one-party state, but not when Taiwan is now a multi-party democracy in which the Kuomintang is just one of many political parties.
In recent years, Taiwan has shifted towards a strong, local, independent identity, especially the younger generations. For example, a poll by National Chengchi University shows that the majority of the population now identify as “Taiwanese” rather than “Chinese”, and this is constantly rising. Also, in July 2020, the Taiwanese passport was officially redesigned to emphasise the name “Taiwan” instead of “Republic of China”. There have been many such changes from the 2000s onwards.