The Skeptic Canary

The blog of Dr Tom Williamson, atheist, humanist, skeptic and Norwich City fan!

Archive for the ‘flags’ Category

Manchester Union Flag fail is Union Whack

leave a comment

As you may know, I’m a bit of a flag fan. An amateur vexillologist, if you will. Therefore I’m always on the look out for any flag stories, and an absolute cracker occured recently in Manchester. The BBC reports that on Remembrance Sunday, Manchester City Council managed to fly a Union Flag, that was, well, just slightly unusual. They had somehow managed to get the diagonal stripes the wrong way round, giving the appearance of a psychadelic TIE fighter. I’ve replicated the flag below.

manchester-union-flag

Always ahead of the curve, my Skeptic Canary Show cohost David James became a bit of a fan of the design, and got a T-shirt printed featuring the flag in question. He took us all by surprise by revealing the shirt live on the latest show!

David has shown an entrepenaurial streak. He’s christened the design “Union Whack” (I love the name!) and made it available on both Zazzle and Cafe Press. Enjoy!

The Union Whack T-shirt on Zazzle

The Union Whack on Cafe Press

 

Written by Tom

November 14th, 2013 at 10:32 pm

Posted in flags

Flag controversy on the first day of the Olympic games

2 comments

Day one of the London 2012 Olympics. A chance for the UK to show itself off to the world. All eyes watching. You’d hope that for the games these three words would be the mantra of everyone involved:

Don’t screw up.

So, what happens on the first day? In the women’s football, North Korea play Columbia at Hampden Park, Glasgow. The North Korean players are shown one by one on the big screen, complete with the full name of the country, Korea DPR (Democratic People’s Republic). There is just one embarrassing, glaringly obvious problem. There is a flag on the screen. The flag of SOUTH Korea.

korea wrong flag

Hampden Park shows the wrong flag of Korea at the Olympics



This is a big deal. The two Koreas went to war in 1950, and to this day North and South Korea are divided between communist and capitalist ideals. To confuse the two flags is just really stupid, as you can see they look nothing like each other.

Flag of North Korea

Flag of North Korea



Flag of South Korea

Flag of South Korea



If this sort of blunder is going to happen on the very first day, I worry for the rest of the Olmypics.

Written by Tom

July 25th, 2012 at 9:19 pm

Posted in flags

My flag talk at Ignite Liverpool 7

leave a comment

Last week, I gave a talk on flags at Ignite Liverpool 7. It’s an exciting format, with each speaker given 5 minutes and 20 slides to talk about whatever they want. The slides progress automatically every fifteen seconds, so you don’t have control and it’s very easy to lose your place. I can thoroughly recommend it to anyone who is interested in public speaking, and I’m already planning for Ignite Liverpool 8 in December. But anyway, here’s my talk which opened Thursday evening. Enjoy!

Written by Tom

September 23rd, 2011 at 7:12 am

Posted in flags,talks

The World Has a New National Flag: Burma/Myanmar

one comment

The unveiling of a new national flag often signifies a dramatic change in world politics. It could relate to the birth of a new country (such as the recently independent Montenegro), or a country looking to move on from it’s dark past, for example Rwanda.

Sadly, the recently adopted flag of Myanmar (Burma) appears to be in no way positive. Burma is currently ruled by a military junta that has been in power since the 8888 revolution of 1988. The military government has placed severe restrictions on personal liberties, and the leader of the National League for Democracy, Aung San Suu Kyi has been under almost constant house arrest since the NLD won elections in the country in 1990.

As part of the government’s wide-ranging constitutional changes, the new flag was ordered to be flown nationwide on October 21st 2010, and the old flags were ordered to be burned, in an attempt to further cement and symbolize the power of the government. The flag itself is three horizontal yellow, green and red stripes, with a large white five pointed star in the center. The colors are supposed to represent (amongst other things) peace and prosperity, but they are in fact the colours of Burma’s flag during the Japanese occupation of World War 2. The star is supposed to represent the unity of the country, but it bears a close resemblance to the stars seen on communist flags, particularly that of Vietnam. The new flag is not to be confused with that of Lithuania.

New flag of Myanmar

The new flag of Myanmar/Burma

Of course, it is my hope that the military government of Burma will eventually make way for a democratically elected government. Once that happens this new flag will most likely be consigned to history, a sign of brutal dictatorship. I can only hope that this day will come soon.

Written by Tom

October 27th, 2010 at 11:25 pm

Posted in flags