Monday, January 28, 2019

Esperanto Pirates Flying the Flag

How to design a flag...that was one of Ronnie Hoffman's upcoming ideas.

We can combine that with his interest in conlangs:  the Esperanto community has its own flag - a Green Star.  It was first proposed as the symbol of mutual recognition among Esperantists in 1892.  The colour green was considered a symbol of mutual recognition.

There seem to be three major steps in flag design:

1. Choose the shape of your flag.  Most flags are either rectangular or square.  Triangular works well for a pennant flat, while a rectangle works for a sports flag.

2. Choose a simple design. 
Some of the most common flag designs are bicolors, tricolors, and quarters, or use stripes, panels, and borders. The flag can also be a solid color with a unique symbol in the center. Alternatively, you can place a rectangle in the upper left hand corner called a canton (like on the American flag) that includes a symbol.

3. Use 2 or 3 colours. The most common colors found on flags are black, blue, green, red, white, and yellow.

Do you know that the Gilbert and Sullivan musical "The Pirates of Penzance" has been recorded in Esperanto?  Which flag would we choose in this situation?  The Esperanto or Jolly Roger flag - the one with a skull and crossbones?

There were actually numerous pirate flags.  That happened during the Golden Age of Piracy in the 1700's.  This seems an odd way of describing stealing and killing.  You can see the famous flags, their originators, and information about them 
HERE.  The two pirates who are first attributed with naming their flag "Jolly Roger" were Bartholomew Roberts and Francis Spriggs.  Because their flags were so different, it is thought that the name was in common use before them.  The wikipedia entry HERE has even more flags.  

The custom of Piracy ships was to not fly the Jolly Roger.  They used a variety of different flags, and would fly false colours or no colours.  The Jolly Roger would be raised, often with the warning shot.  The flag was flown to given warning so that ships could surrender without resistance. 

A number of sports teams have the Jolly Roger symbol as part of their flag - football team the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for example, and numerous other teams have also adopted the symbol for their flags. 

What about this?  The early development team of the Apple Macintosh used a pirate flag to maintain a "rebellious" spirit.

Our picture today is a a more calming and reflective one - a close-up of plants at the Royal Botanical Gardens.  

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