Flying Sunday May 31, 2009


May 31 is Armed Forces day in Brunei, and I am flying the national flag which was adopted on September 29, 1959 when the country was a British protectorate, and was retained when the country gained full independence on January 1, 1984, as Brunei Darussalam (State of Brunei, Abode of Peace). The flag has the Coat of Arms of Brunei in the centre, on a yellow field. The field is cut by black and white diagonal stripes, although they are officially called parallelograms.

The coat of arms is as follows: a crescent (symbolising Islam) joined with a parasol (symbolising monarchy), and two gloves on both sides. Below the crescent is a ribbon. On the crescent and ribbon are Arabic inscriptions translating as "State of Brunei, Abode of peace" and Brunei's motto, "Always in service with God's guidance"

In Southeast Asia, yellow is traditionally the colour of royalty, and the royal standards of Malaysia and Thailand, along with the presidential flag of Indonesia, also use a yellow field.

Black and white stripes represent Brunei's chief ministers, and yellow represents the Sultan of Brunei. The national emblem was placed in the center in 1959. A similar version of this flag, without the coat of arms, was first used in 1906. The coat of arms bears a crescent symbolic of the Islamic faith, and the central mast is a symbol of the state. The flag and umbrella are symbols of royalty, and the upturned hands signify the benevolence of the government. The Arabic motto on the crescent translates as : Always render service by God's guidance. Below it, a scroll bears the inscription Brunei Darussalam, the country's official title, meaning City of Peace.

The armed forces use the following flag:

The Sultanate of Brunei's influence peaked between the 15th and 17th centuries when its control extended over coastal areas of northwest Borneo and the southern Philippines. Brunei subsequently entered a period of decline brought on by internal strife over royal succession, colonial expansion of European powers, and piracy. In 1888, Brunei became a British protectorate; independence was achieved in 1984. The same family has ruled Brunei for over six centuries. Brunei benefits from extensive petroleum and natural gas fields, the source of one of the highest per capita GDPs in Asia.


Flying Saturday May 30, 2009.


Anguilla is a British Dependency. May 30 is Anguilla day.

 The national flag of Anguilla consists of a Blue Ensign with the British flag in the canton, charged with the coat of arms of Anguilla in the fly. The coat of arms consists of three dolphins, which were featured on the earlier Anguillan flag, and which stand for friendship, wisdom and strength. It was adopted on May 30th,1990. 

On 27 February 1967, Britain had granted the territory of Saint Christopher-Nevis-Anguilla the status of "associated state", with its own constitution and a considerable degree of self-government. Many Anguillans strenuously objected to the continuing political subservience to Saint Kitts, and on 30 May (now known as Anguilla Day), the Saint Kitts police were evicted from the island. 

The island's first flag was a red blue flag featuring the name of the island in yellow and two mermaids. Variants to this flag were also widely used, with some substituting red for purple and some not bearing the name of Anguilla. This flag was widely disliked, and was replaced during Anguilla's brief period of independence by the Dolphin Flag, which is still widely seen around the island. This flag was a banner of the arms found on the current flag, and was white with a broad blue band across the base of the flag, above which were three stylised golden dolphins. It was adopted in 1990.


Flying Friday May 29, 2009.

The Rhode Island State Flag:  May 29 is Ratification Day, the anniversary of Ratification of the Constitution by the State of Rhode Island; May 29, 1790

Though adopted in 1879, the Rhode Island State Flag was only the third of the original thirteen colonies to officially sanction a state banner. New York and New Jersey had adopted official banners two years earlier in 1876. 

Almost 90 years after Rhode Island became the last of the original thirteen colonies to form a union, the General Assembly of the state adopted an official design for a state flag. The colours and design of the flag date back to colonial times and the original establishment of Rhode Island and the Providence Plantations under King Charles II of England. The most prominent feature of the flag, the anchor, dates back to 1647 and the Cromwellian Patent of 1643 when the Providence Plantations were established. Later, when a more liberal charter was bestowed upon the colony, the anchor was again chosen for the seal and the word "HOPE" was added. 

The colours, white and blue, were flown during the American Revolution, the War of 1812 and the Mexican War. The thirteen stars representing the original thirteen colonies were also displayed on flags flown by the Continental Regiments during the Revolution. 

Today’s flag is much the same flag that was adopted in 1897. Centred on the white field is an anchor surrounded by thirteen stars. Below the Anchor is a blue ribbon that displays the word "HOPE", the state motto.

Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, more commonly referred to as Rhode Island, is the smallest U.S. state by area. Rhode Island borders Connecticut to the west and Massachusetts to the north and east. Rhode Island also shares a water border with New York's Long Island to the southwest. 

Despite the name, most of Rhode Island is in fact on the mainland.


Flying Thursday May 28, 2009.

May 28 is the anniversary of the downfall of the Marxist Dergue in Ethipoia in 1991, and a public holiday there. Below is the current Ethiopian flag, but actually I will not be flying this version.

The Flag of Ethiopia was adopted on February 6, 1996. The three traditional colours- green, yellow, and red- date back to the Emperor Menelik (1889-1913) and were first used in a flag in 1895. The current flag and emblem were adopted after the defeat of the Marxist Mengistu regime, in power from 1974-1991. The emblem is intended to represent both the diversity and unity of the country. Blue represents peace, the star represents diversity and unity, and the sun's rays symbolize prosperity. The green recalls the land and hope for the future, yellow stands for peace and love, and red is symbolic of strength. 

The colours of African unity - red, green, yellow - are seen here on one of the oldest African flags. These colours were used for the national flag of Ethiopia in 1897, a year after Ethiopia decisively defended itself from colonial Italy at the Battle of Adwa. The flag's tri-colour scheme has existed since the early 19th c. and was previously the official banner of the Ethiopian Empire's Solomonic dynasty. The colours green, yellow, and red have carried special importance since at least the early 17th century. 

The flag I have is not the current Ethiopian flag, but the flag in use up until the deposing of Haile Selassie in 1974. This royal flag featured the emblem of a Lion of Judah, a crowned lion carrying a cross centred in the banner's yellow mid-section. The flag is understood to be a link between the Ethiopian church, the peoples, and the nation were united in the one flag. The processional cross carried by the lion was the former "flag" or symbol of Ethiopia, and has been in use since at least the early 17th century, as well. Whilst red is currently featured at the bottom of the horizontal tricolour this was reversed in the mid 19th century and the emblem was added in 1996. What the colours symbolise varies depending on point of view, but generally: red represents power or African blood spilled in defence of the land; yellow for peace and harmony between Ethiopia's various ethnic and religious groups; green is said to symbolize hope, or the land and its fertility. Other African nations, upon their independence from their colonial rulers so often adopted these three colours that they are known as the Pan-African colours.

Flying Wednesday May 27, 2009.

The flag of Uganda was adopted on 9 October 1962, the date that Uganda became independent from the United Kingdom. It consists of six equal horizontal bands of black (top), yellow, red, black, yellow, and red; a white disc is superimposed at the centre and depicts the national symbol, a Grey Crowned Crane, facing the hoist side. The three colours, derived from those of the Uganda People's Congress, are representative of African peoples (black), Africa's sunshine (yellow), and African brotherhood (red being the colour of blood, through which all Africans are connected). The Grey Crowned Crane is fabled for its gentle nature and was also the military badge of Ugandan soldiers during British rule.

I have no particular connection with Uganda, but I really like the bold design and colours.  My tenuous connection is that in 1942 my great uncle, Kenneth Wallis (41), from Long Eaton, a British Government analyst in colonial service, his wife Sadie (40), and their 2 children Judy-Ann (10) and Peter (3) were en route from Georgetown, Guyana to Uganda where he was due to take up a post as Government Analyst. They were on a small ship S.S. Argo, 1,995 tonnes, which traded between Argentina and Cape Town, and since 1939 had been owned by the Argonaut Shipping Co. Ltd. (Eugene Eugenides, manager), of Greece.  On the journey from Buenos Aires to Cape Town it was torpedoed and sunk by the Italian submarine R Smg Ammimaglio Cagni at 20.16 GMT on Sunday November 29, 1942, and sunk in position 34 53S 17 54E. That is about 60 miles south west of Cape Town. 18 died, 12 crew, my great uncle and his family, and the two other pasengers.  A further 18 crew survived. Minesweepers were despatched from Cape Town at 21.30 GMT. Two lifeboats were reported to have been seen to be launched, but only one was ever found.


Flying Tuesday May 26, 2009

You see today the national flag of Denmark.

It should please my Danish neighbour in Vernon Street, although perhaps he is unaware that today is the birthday of Frederik, Crown Prince of Denmark.

Frederik André Henrik Christian, Kronprins til Danmark was born Copenhagen, 26 May 1968 and is the heir apparent to the Throne of Denmark. Frederik is the elder son of Queen Margrethe II and Count Henrik of Monpezat. If Crown Prince Frederik becomes king, as he is expected to, he will be Frederik X of Denmark.

The national flag of Denmark, Dannebrog, is red with a white Scandinavian cross that extends to the edges of the flag; the vertical part of the cross is shifted to the hoist side. The cross design of the Danish flag was subsequently adopted by the other Nordic countries: Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Iceland. During the Danish-Norwegian personal union, Dannebrog ("Danish cloth") was also the flag of Norway and continued to be, with slight modifications, until Norway adopted its current flag in 1821.

Dannebrog is the oldest state flag in the world still in use, with the earliest undisputed source dating back to the 14th century.

Legend says that during the Battle of Lyndanisse, also known as the Battle of Valdemar (Danish: "Volmerslaget"), near Lyndanisse (Tallinn) in Estonia, on June 15 1219, the flag fell from the sky during a critical stage, resulting in Danish victory.


Flying on Monday May 25 2009

Today I am flying my Argentine Flag. It is a public holiday in Argentina, the anniversary of the First Independent Government in
Buenos Aires, the Revolución de Mayo Revolution in Buenos Aires in 1810, first step towards independence.

I visited Argentina in 1990, spending 3 weeks travelling around this vast and fascinating country. I try to have a flag for every country I have visited, but sadly I have not visited every country for which I have a flag.

The Official Ceremonial flag of Argentina dates from 1812. It is a triband, composed of three equally wide horizontal bands coloured light blue, white and light blue. In 1818, a yellow Sun of May was added to the center.The Sun of May is a representation of the Inca sun god Inti. It is a replica of an engraving on the first Argentine coin.

The full flag featuring the sun is called the Official Ceremonial Flag (Spanish: Bandera Oficial de Ceremonia). The flag without the sun is considered the Ornamental Flag (Bandera de Ornato). While both versions are equally considered the national flag, the ornamental version must always be hoisted below the Official Ceremony Flag. In vexillological terms, the Official Ceremony Flag is the civil, state and war flag and ensign, while the Ornamental Flag is an alternate civil flag and ensign.

The background of Argentina: In 1816, the United Provinces of the Rio Plata declared their independence from Spain. After Bolivia, Paraguay, and Uruguay went their separate ways, the area that remained became Argentina. The country's population and culture were heavily shaped by immigrants from throughout Europe, but most particularly Italy and Spain, which provided the largest percentage of newcomers from 1860 to 1930. Up until about the mid-20th century, much of Argentina's history was dominated by periods of internal political conflict between Federalists and Unitarians and between civilian and military factions. After World War II, an era of Peronist populism and direct and indirect military interference in subsequent governments was followed by a military junta that took power in 1976. Democracy returned in 1983 after a failed bid to seize the Falkland (Malvinas) Islands by force, and has persisted despite numerous challenges, the most formidable of which was a severe economic crisis in 2001-02 that led to violent public protests and the resignation of several interim presidents.

I have been collecting flags for about 3 years now, I now have over 120, and when the weather is right, and my mood is right, I try to fly a flag each day on my flag pole in Vernon Street Derby. I am often stopped by passers by, local residents, and office workers, who take an interest in the particular flag, and want to know about it. It has been suggested that I put up a small sign to introduce each flag, but I am not so efficient that I feel I can commit myself to do this. So I am going to have a crack at publishing details of flags flown each day on this blog. For those who want to follow, they can now identify the flag by coming to this blog site.

I have not done a blog before, so please excuse my rusty start. Please leave comments and questions.