Tag Archives: China

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.

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.