Monday, November 28, 2011


Hey readers (if there are any of you left from the past two-plus years I haven't posted on this blog)! Lately I haven't been actively flag-designing for existing political entities, but who knows; sooner or later I may start that again. Anyway, before I continue, let me say that I have gotten a little more knowledgeable of certain things in the time that's passed since the early days of this blog. One of the things I've learned is that criticism is often best when it is thought out. By reading some of my past posts, you can tell that I didn't always think that. I overused words like "stupid", "ugly", "worst", and "bad". Many of the flag designs I've criticized are indeed stupid and ugly, but hearing that after so many times gets annoying, even to myself, the author, now. So sorry to those of you I annoyed. I was also a very pesky member of the vexillological community some years ago, so if any of you NAVA members happen to stumble across this, sorry about that.

Now, on to my idea:

I was looking through some of this unflavored commentary of my past self earlier today, and even though I was ashamed of my youthful insanity, I did get an idea about of the pain. I could improve my reviews of the world's flag designs. Some of the designs have changed over time, and even my opinions of the more constant ones have changed. So I thought I'd create a Yahtzee-inspired scoring system upon which to rate the world's flags, and from the scoring results, I could explain my opinions in a much more constructive manner.

So here's my draft scoring system, inspired by the Yahtzee method, at the moment intended for national flags (possibly others):


Flags can score points in the following categories: simplicity, originality, and style. The first two categories can be measured and scored. The style category is based on my opinion.

A. Simplicity

Start with 10 points.

Division amount: lose 1 point for every design layout division that adds to the flag's total number of layout divisions above six
Complex elements*: lose 4 points for contiguous elements with details too small to make out
Written characters: lose 2 points for each letter

*Complex elements are tested by resizing the flag design (from 200x300p) to 20% of its width and height (e.g. 40x60p), then resizing it back. If some of the element's details are lost, then that elements counts for this category.

B. Originality

Layout: 4 points for a design layout used by only 2 or fewer other nations (2 points if 3 to 20; no points if 21 to 40; lose 2 points if more than 40)
Main colors: 4 points if main color list is used by only 2 or fewer other nations (2 points if 3 to 20); no points if 21 to 40; lose 2 points if more than 40)
Symbolic elements: 2 points if design features a non-complex symbolic element used by only 2 or fewer other nations (1 point if 3 to 20)

Foreign similarity: lose 5 points if flag is similar in main colors and division layout to more than 2 other national flags
Common elements: lose 4 points if a design element is used on more than 40 national flags (lose 2 points for 20-40)

*Shape: 8 points for a significantly non-rectangular shape.

C. Style

Style is measured by by opinion, on a scale of 0 to 10.


So there's my scoring system for now. It might change if things turn out to be seriously flawed. Hope you all are still enjoying this blog.

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