Category Archives: Asia

Seoul, South Korea

Seoul, South Korea

I have to give South Korea credit. It has subnational flags. (Suck it China – such a big nation, and only that one red and yellow flag to make fun of. What a waste.) In general, though, South Korea’s flags are super lame. Judging by the stark white, teal, pink and blue color palate, this flag is so totally from the ’80s. There must have been a flag designing contest right before the Seoul Summer Olympics in 1988 (the ones when people freaked out when Greg Louganis got AIDS blood in the pool, the East German women cleaned up in swimming and Ben Johnson embarassed Canada yet again with his steriods disqualification) so South Korea could show its pride.

The symbolism is pretty perplexing. I think the pink ball and blue shape represent Seoul’s favorite passtime: Jai Alai! (There is a large Basque immigrant population in the Apkujong neighborhood.) The teal blob represents a deformed hand. The Koreans are very inclusive and accommodating to their disabled countrymen.

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Hezbollah

Flag of Hezbollah

Flag of Hezbollah

Hezbollah, I’m kinda disappointed. Come on, you’re a Syrian and Iranian funded Shiite paramilitary organization in Lebanon. I know you’re pretty well ingrained into the Lebanese political system by now, especially after that nasty war with Israel a few years back. It’s time to give up the shitty circa-1967 imagery on your flag. Seriously. The iconography is lifted from so many Baby Boomer memories that it’s hard to take seriously these days.

When the moon is in the seventh house, and Jupiter aligns with Mars, then peace will guide the planets and love will steer the stars. Oh. Sorry. Slipped into Hair there.

I mean, really – an AK-47 raised high in a clinched fist? They should really think about updating that flag. But Hezbollah, resist the urge to use Comic Sans ironically. I know you seem to go for period fonts. Just because flanel is back in doesn’t make that OK.

Shafir, Israel

Shafir, Israel

Shafir, Israel

You know you’re allowed to use more than one color on your flag, right, Shafir? I mean, I understand that you’re a very conservative place, full of those guys with long, curly sideburns and old-timey hats, who like to settle in the desert and kick out the Arabs, but maybe some shading could help?

I’m guessing those tablet-looking things are the 10 Commandments. That font they used at the bottom, though, is kinda weird. What does upsidedown L – apostrophe – D – W spell? I bet it’s some DaVinci Code kind of message. Like maybe the gold is buried beneath the 10 Commandments tablets.

Rizal, Philippines

Rizal, Philippines

Rizal, Philippines

 There’s not too much info that I can find on this, and the image isn’t quite big enough to figure out what everything is, but I think I can say that yes, this is a badflag.  I can identify the central image is of Dr. José Protasio Rizal Mercado y Alonso Realonda, who aside from being the Philippines national hero, the namesake of Rizal Province and the bearer of the longest name I’ve ever seen, apparently had a CRAZY hairline and a severely odd shaped cranium. However, looking at photos of Rizal, this seems to just be a poor rendering of the fellow.

The rest of the scenes are kind of hard to figure out. In the top left – I think there is a guy holding up a sword and a bow. But that bow also looks like two fish kissing. Next is a couple of houses by a lake. I think there’s a filled-in valley between them. In the bottom right, a mermaid is smelling a flower (I think.) The final scene is the most perplexing. A person wearing an apron and a chef’s hat is having a rigorous debate with two yellow fire hydrants.

Or something. Clarity, brevity and better quality portraiture would help salvage this sinking ship of  a flag.

Shimane, Japan

Shimane, Japan

Shimane, Japan

Let me apologize and explain to the rest of the world for what has seemed to be a pro-Asian bias in calling out badflags. South America has its wacky colors and crazy patterns. Europe is full of heraldic disasters, and North America suffers from a surfeit of new committee designed monstrosities. Africa comes out a little better than those, but still has some clunkers. Asia on the other hand is dullsville when it comes to flags. Not much is offensive, and nothing is great. China has one flag for 1.3 billion people. Just like time zones, the communist leaders think one is good enough for all Chinese people.

Inasmuch as most Asian flags are safe, I think I can still find a few to poke some fun at if I try hard enough. Shimane, Japan, for instance. I have to give it credit for parsimonious use of color. And a nice set of symbols in the middle, which apparently represent the character “ma.” “Shi” means four. So the flag accurately represents four of “ma”s. What I really think, though, is that it is secret code. The flag is trying to tell us that robotic rolls of Bic Wite Out tape square dance here.  Those Japanese will turn anything into a cutesy robot. You know it’s true, but they’re embarassed about getting pigeon holed, hence the subterfuge.

Asku, Kazakhstan

Asku, Kazakhstan

Asku, Kazakhstan

This flag seems more appropriate for someone like the Jadis, the White Witch.

Ulan Bator, Mongolia

ulaan-baator-mongolia

I’m really conflicted as to whether this flag is really bad or really badass. A Garuda bird (in Buddhism, Garuda refers to a kind of anthropomorphic predatory bird that hasintelligence and social organization, as opposed to the Hindu Garuda, which refers to a specific deity.) Anyhow, this Garuda looks a little tubby. If he’s not careful, he might be developing a major case of adult onset diabetes with all that midsection flab. And the moobs can’t help his self esteem. Although I guess he is on a flag.