A flag identifies a people, place, and an ideology. Flags unite and divide peoples and places all over the world. A good flag reveals the universal importance of visual communication. From the words of Roman Mars, “Once you understand the design of flags… you can understand the design of almost anything.” The objective of this project was to create a flag that identifies me as an individual. I was tasked to use symbols, shapes, and colors to visually communicate your identity.
My first step was to curate ideas. Doing this, I used 5×7 notecards and drew up samples. I really relied on what really drives me, and in my life that is creating and telling stories. The images on the left are flag ideas which follow the NAVA principles, and the images on the right are those that do not. The guidelines of the NAVA (North American Vexillological Association) Principles are the following: a) keep it simple, a child should be able to draw it from memory b) use meaningful symbolism c) use 2-3 basic colors d) no lettering or seals of any kind e) be distinctive or be relatable.
The next step in my process was to choose the best ideas that I had come up with and improve on them by combining the strong suits of other designs I had created. To do this in a way in which was most productive for me, I transferred my ideas into Adobe Illustrator and began making changes. Below are two images of the results I came up with, and the image on the right is actually my final flag. After this step we printed my flag on a 24 x 36 in sheet of paper and critiqued in class.
The significance of my flag and the symbols within in are many in number. To start, the triangles represent my lucky number, and my birthday, 3. Within those triangles are other shapes of different colors, the primary colors represent RGB, the digital color spectrum which come together to form black, which is on the outside of the triangles. The white, in the middle of the triangles represent the CMYK the print color spectrum. These things are important to me because I am studying both graphic design and digital media production, so I’m working with both color spectrums daily. The symbolism behind the triangles coming together to meet in the center of the flag is to represent an infinity symbol, and to represent that my life goes on regardless of what happens to me.
Before this project, flags didn’t mean much to me. The extent of what a flag meant to me is the way in which it is representative of a body of people. Meanwhile, I’ve never thought about how important a flag is in the way that it presents that body of people. While flags can be ugly when not taking into consideration the NAVA principles, flags can be beautiful because they simplify a narrative of a location, people, or whatever it may be. Flags demonstrate the way in which something so simple can be so visually pleasing.