vexillology [vek-suh-lol-uh-jee] (n.) — the study of flags
Today is Canada Day, the fourth is U.S. Independence Day, and there’s bunting everywhere you turn on Etsy. Flags fly for countries, letters, directions, teams, schools, and just about anything else people want to wave proudly about. When I was younger, I used to love things that had a gazillion country flags on them. Going to EPCOT at Disney World for the first time, my most favorite souvenir was a collection of flag pins sold at every gift shop in the World Showcase. I couldn’t get enough of all the colors, shapes, and configurations.
Beginning as a method for communication on the battlefield, flags have evolved into a design element. You’ll see various banners in art, fashion, furniture, and even food. Here’s a round-up of vexillological varieties:
- Flags of the World — FOTW.net has just about everything you’d want to know about just about every flag out there, and some you didn’t even know existed. Brush up on the history behind your favorite banner.
- Paint your favorite flag on your furniture — You likely have seen the dresser painted with the Union Jack that popped up all over the interwebs last year. At the risk of being deported, I have to go with the Jack for best looking flag when it comes to design infusion. It’s the symmetry. But I do love scones… Anyway! Here’s a little info on how that dresser was created, which you can use to paint your own.
- International code flag prints — The nautical world has its own fascinating array of flags for communication. Beck Williamson, of bexpert on Etsy, makes some really great prints for each one, available in a modern or more traditional style.
- Pirate flags — Plank-walking more your style? There’s more than one skull and crossbones on the decks, you know. See the different Jolly Rogers used by different pirates and learn why red added a little flair.
- Flag food — In a very cool photographic collection, an Australian ad agency used some culinary skills to create images for The Sydney International Food Festival a couple years back. Yums.