Wednesday, June 06

The Trivial Eye: Animals on Flags

by Jason Toon

When it comes to livening up a blah national banner, too many countries follow the Portlandia method: put a bird on it. Or a dragon, or a snake, or a sheep... some even take the idea into relams of pure madness and put two animals on their flags. While I'm totally against cluttering up flags with cartoons on aesthetic grounds, I applaud the practice on visual-trivia grounds, because without it we wouldn't have today's column. Can you identify the countries (and one dependent territory that was just too good to leave out) that have plastered these critters on their flags?

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Wednesday, January 18

The Trivial Eye: City Flags of North America

by Jason Toon

City flags sit in an uneasy place in our mental landscape. In some cities, you see them everywhere; in others, they might only occupy a pole behind the mayor's desk. Some of them are as vexillogically perfect as the best national flags; others are as ghastly as the worst '80s shopping mall banners. And no matter how ubiquitous a city flag is inside the city it represents, it's virtually unknown everywhere else.

So unless you're a true flag geek, you'll have to rely on the clues in the flags themselves to identify the U.S. and Canadian cities whose flags fly below. Pay attention to shapes, symbols, letters, and even color schemes. (Since some of the flags have white edges, I added a gray background. The grey bars are not part of the flags themselves.)

Answers can be found by clicking here. Please post your answers, or arguments, below! But know this: the Trivial Eye is presented for public amusement and no prizes are offered other than that familiar feeling of aggravation that so much of your mind is occupied by useless trivia. (If this week's Trivial Eye is the kind of useless trivia you particularly like, you'll love the NAVA American City Flags Survey.)

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