Monday, November 30, 2009

The Taliban's Cosmic Banner Partner

It's interesting to note that the flag of the Taliban is a white flag with the Islamic daily prayer on it, the Shahada. This flag indicates a surrender to the God via a very narrow and a rather stiff path stretching out of Islam. White is the color of surrender, purity, and peace. The Arabic Calligraphy indicates a massive connection to Islam.

(((If you just tuned in, my thesis involves pairing up with flags, like yin and yang)))


Thus the partner to the Taliban Flag is the flag of the Islamic Courts Union Flag of Somalia.


It is the converse of the Taliban Flag. The Islamic Courts Union flag has a black background with an Islamic daily prayer written in white.

So what? Well, in a weird way the Taliban of Asia is connected "cosmically" to the Islamic Courts Union of Africa. Both nations were dreadful friction points during the Cold War, and are rather militantly Islamic.

So here is the prediction: if Obama with Joe Biden puts more pressure on Osama Bin Laden, make sure you keep you eye on Somalia. There is a good chance the Islamic Courts Union will mold another type of grouchy 'totally irrational' insurgent. Bottom line is, if you want a balanced approach with Afghanistan you have to spend at least as much on Somalia. So in a weird way to get peace in Afghanistan you will have to also get peace in Somalia, otherwise it will fester.

Perhaps Russia, UK, Italy, and US should team up with friendly Islamic Nations in this endeavor? If they are willing to spend billions on peace keeping tools of destruction, why not spend billions on friendly tools of construction?

Saudi Flag for comparison

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Vexillological Balance of the Sun & Moon

Much of my work as a vexillologist is dedicated to the pairing of flags into an acute classification scheme based upon the teaching of dichotomies. Just recently this type of thinking was popularized in the book world and public television with Dr. Wayne Dyer's Change Your Thoughts - Change Your Life: Living the Wisdom of the Tao, 2007.

Basically the teachings of the Tao often distill the universe into two opposing forces balanced in harmony. For example all cultures agree that night is balanced with day. The Sun rules the heavens with the Moon.

So What? How does this related to flags?

Essentially I'm saying flags come in pairs, thus the flag of Japan and Korea are balanced with each other. The flag of Japan represents the Sun and this is well known to most Japanese.

While the flag of South Korea represents the Moon.
However the association of the Korean Flag is
unofficial and known less.

the black trigrams reflect the
dynamic pattern of the moon
in its various phases

When you compare the Korean Flag you will notice that its design is similar to the Japanese Flag with added spices. As many people who are familiar with Japanese and Korean Cuisine, this analogy usually holds water as well. Korean food tends to have a little more kick, spice, and intensity than Japanese Food.

Both Korea and Japan have white backgrounds, with a circular disc in the center. Korea's circle is more exotic than Japan's simple red dot. Rather Korea has a dot that is funked with a harmonious blend of red and blue. Basically a modified version of the Yin and Yang symbol, the icon of Taoism. It represents a cosmic balance of two forces in various states of harmony. It can further be traced as a symbol of the Moon, whose waxing and waning reflect the cosmic balance of the heavens.

So there you have it, Korea with the "Moon" while Japan has a "Sun" as the core symbol with their national identity. This motif is reflected in their culture as well. Japanese are notorious for behaving like the Sun: constant, straight and unchanging, and rather predictable. However Koreans are more like the children of the Moon, full of moods and will display high and low emotions, a more dynamic emotional sort relative to Japan.

Like cats and dogs, Koreans and Japanese are natural rivals. But every once and while Koreans and Japanese do get along. Sure it's fun to watch dogs chase cats. But if you had ever seen a cat and dog snuggle its oh so...nice!

Just in case you forgot. The world saw a wee bit of this cosmic harmony when the greatest sporting event of mankind was hosted for the first time in Asia and by two nations - The World Cup of 2002 was hosted by Japan & Korea! There is hope for mankind!

Who would of thought this could have happened in 1956! I betcha one million buckarooz that World Cup 2056 will be co hosted between Israel and Iraq!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Canadian Flag of South America

Much of my work as a vexillologist had been a mix of Taoism and a kind of Biology perspective. Traditionally many vexillologists wish they were taxonomists, because they love to categorize flags. However the only rubric they use are flag designs. So enough mumbo-jumbo. The flag of Peru looks strikingly like the flag of Canada! Coincidence? Yes and no. If you're like Oprah or Dr. Wayne Dyer you'll easily understand there are no coincidences.
PERUVIAN FLAG since 1825

But for the record the Peruvian Flag came first
and the Canadian Flag came second.

CANADIAN FLAG since 1967


Friday, November 20, 2009

US Flag for Jews & Christians (only)????

If you ever watched the US Flag folding flag ceremony it seems almost magical and spiritual. You could call it a prayer ceremony. On one occasion they were reading aloud what the 13 final folds mean. My friend witnessing it who came from Tibet was a little saddened and felt excluded because two of the folds were dedicated to Christians and Jews. So he said, "what about the rest of us: Buddhists, Hindus, Jains, and Muslims?"

When folding up the US Flag it is done in 13 folds. Fold number 11 is basically a prayer dedicated to Hebrew Citizens while the 12th fold is dedicated to Christian Citizens. Some people automatically think this excludes US Islamic, US Buddhist, US Jain, US Wicca, & US Hindu Citizens as a part of the national fabric and thus non-American! But maybe not?

You gotta remember your own definition of what it means to be a Christian is between yourself, God, and Jesus Christ himself. Some people think they would never make a good Christian because of another person's personal Christian standards. Furthermore there are all types of Christians, there are schools of Christians who believe in the descent of mankind from more primitive species. It would be an extreme challenge to make all persons who label themselves as Christians actually believe you are a Christian. It is good to be aware of other Christians' opinions, but in the end you gotta' forgeta' bout what other people think and establish your own connection to Christ in what ever form that may be.

Christ is just a word, but behind the word is a presence. It's like the presence of a flag, or the presence of kitten or puppy licking your nose. Now who doesn't like puppies or kittens?

But even if you totally exclude your spiritual dimension from the label of Christianity, you still have a your own personal and genuine connection to the word Christ. For many people when they hear Christ it warms their heart like the vision of puppy licking their nose.

Apparently nobody can mess that up for you, not even if you do something bad, Christ Consciousness still loves you no matter what, and if it doesn't then your probably have Christ Consciousness mixed up with something else. Please note angry bitter nasty judgmental persons who call themselves Christians do not represent all Christians. And yes, there are angry bitter
judgmental Jews, Buddhists, Muslims, Pagans, and Hindus.

Now for the 11th fold, dedicated to Hebrew Citizens! If you are born of one Jewish and one Christian parent kudos to you, you're a real American Hero! If only Lieberman and Palin had a baby, the offspring would make a good president. Only then according the flag folding mantra can you truly see the world with true American "Eyes?"

USING Conan O'Brien Techonology
'If they mated' True American eyes see they world
with one Christian & one Hebrew 'eye'

What if you are born of Buddhist and Hindu Parents? I suppose a reliance on the hidden unseen third eye is essential?

But don't worry the rest the Faiths come with the last fold, fold #13. American Muslims, Pagans, Others of the "Hindu-Buddeic" traditions get credit in the 13th fold dedicated to trusting in God or as Christians who live on Malta call Him...'Allah!' The most important fold saves the best for last.

And just think about it, the Other Faiths are so humble that mentioning their specific branch of faith is not needed.

So what about atheists? I recommend you keep looking at kittens and puppies until you start to sense that kind of spirit in your dreams, when you are alone, and when you are looking at the stars. And then ask yourself, 'Is this just a random mistake of chaos and disorder?'

Probably America's most famously loved and respected Atheist is Carl Sagan. And as a reprisal to his book Contact where the father says to his daughter when she asks if we are alone in the Universe he responds with, "If it's just us it'd be an awful waste of space."

Reprise: "If there is no meaning to life it'd be an awful waste of time."

We all have a special destiny and believe it or not, Atheists have a special place in the silent heart of the American Flag.

Happy Thanks Giving to All

Sincerely Christopher Maddish

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Changing the State Flags

Since my entry into the America's finest vexillologcial association, NAVA (North American Vexillological Association). I have become aware that although the charter of this group is dedicated to the objective and scientific study of flags, but there is a strong advocacy to changing a specific type of state flag jokingly called S.O.B.'s which stands for "Seals on a Bed Sheet." Reason being that flags with this type of design are considered 'ugly' and ineffective vexillogical displays.

Why the effort to change flags? Isn't this an objective scientific association? Is their a group within NAVA that advocates maintaining flags as they are?

To the left is the flag of Michigan, known in vexillological circles as a S.O.B., because the Michigan State seal is the primary inspiration for the Michigan Flag. In vernacular S.O.B. means 'Son of a Bitch' or 'Son of a Bastard.'

Personally, I think there are reasons for the numerous state flags that simply utilize the state seals. Most of the so called "ugly" flags tend to come from states that supported the Union during the Civil War. On the other hand most of the states that formed up the Confederacy have bold abstract banners, that seem more like national flags.

Southern Flags are more intense and nationalistic. While the Northern State flags look like county or local community flags. The effort to change the SOB flags dishonors the men who fought in blue to preserve the Union.

Southern States earned their right to have powerful abstract flags, while Northern States have more subtle designs that do not compete with the national banner. I like to think that the Northern States are dressed in tuxes so the federal banner can shine like a woman's dress. It is a healthy contrast.

Keeping the US State flags as they are also preserves history.

The Pennsylvania State Flag

My home state of Pennsylvania is considered to have an 'S.O.B. flag.' I have always loved the Pennsylvania State flag and when my flag was dishonored in such a way I was saddened by this disrespectful title bestowed up my state's majestic banner.

This honorable state banner deserves more respect than being called an S.O.B. Rather it is a majestic artful flag akin to the styles of heraldic knights in shining armor.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Voice of Vexillology

This site is dedicated to the study of flags in all its colours: serious, frank, funny, and satirical. I, Christopher Maddish, am a vexillologist: a person who scientifically studies flags and gives talks about them. Vexillology often crosses over into history and my favorite oxymoron, political science.

Any questions? Or would like me to talk about your favorite flag? Please post it to me!

But first a word about the origins of vexillology. YES, 'Vexillology' is a real word since the 1958. Most spell checkers in 2009 still recognize it as an incorrect word. Dr. Whitney Smith is responsible for the creation of this word. Dr. Smith is a Harvard Man (A.B.) born February 26, 1940. He was instrumental in designing the flag for a South American Country more famous for mass suicides, by the unfortunate episode at Joneston November 18, 1978 led by Jim Jones.

designed by Whitney Smith

This country of course is Guyana, snuggled in between Venezuela and Brazil. A more positive fascinating fact about this fabulously lush, beautiful tropical nation hidden from the eyes of the Media, is it is South America's only English Speaking Nation. Perhaps someday soon your customer care calls will be outsourced to Guyana? The new India. Coincidentally when the British took over Guyana, slavery was not cool anymore. The need for cheap labor was solved by shipping India Indians to America to work the fields of Guyana. Because of this Guyana has one of America's oldest and thriving Hindu and Islamic communities, established long before the US Civil War.

But just before the American Revolution, Guyana was heartily colonized by the British Empire in the early and mid 1700s, thus you can think of Guyana as being America's Little Brother in South America.

The Dutch joined the 'allied cause of liberty in 1781' against the British Empire. The British lost 'Guyana' but later gained control just after the Napoleonic Wars in 1814. Guyana became a 'Gen-X Nation' with independence in 1966. Although most people of the Guyana Gen-X generation never grew up on sitcoms, games shows, and video games. But there wouldn't be a language barrier if they did.

I have met Dr. Smith, and he is friendly, intellectual, and very much an approachable person willing to talk to anyone about flags on any topic. Although a PhD. and Harvard Man, he is an earthy man you could easily enjoy a glass of wine, cold beer, nachos, or a burger and fries with. He is more like an Uncle Smith. If you were to dress Dr. Smith with top hat, white goatee, blue starred jacket and striped red and white pants you'd get the spitting image of Uncle Sam.

Dr. Smith holding my prototype
book at the 2008 NAVA Congress
at the Quintana Inn, Austin TX

I first met Dr. Whitney Smith at the 42nd North American Congressional Congress of Vexillology in Texas in 2008. Dr. Smith informed me back when Ike was the president the academic study of flags was basically non-existent. Dr. Smith invented a word (VEXILLOLOGY) and allowed his passion for flags lead him on his unknown destiny. Like a dreamy trite Hollywood movie, his passion enabled him to be of the select few persons chosen to design the colours of nation, an abundance of wealth, and enabled him to live happily ever after.

Amazingly a US Citizen from Massachusetts was chosen to design a flag for another nation. This gives one more bragging right for Massachusetts. Likewise the only ruling King Born in the USA too, came from Massachusetts. Any guesses of who that is? Currently this King Born in Massachusetts is the longest reigning sovereign of the world as of 2009. Post a reply if you know who it is!

This puts Dr. Smith in a small club along with Betsy Ross. Unlike Betsy Ross, there is no controversy as to who actually designed a particular flag for an American Nation. But since were on the topic, I'm in the camp the believes Betsy Ross did indeed sew the 'first' American flag and shaped the stars into a five pointed form. Also, Betsy Ross went to church with George Washington and it's only natural he would appoint her to make the first of American Colours!

At the 2009, 43rd North American Vexillological congress I was honored to follow literally in the gargantuan footsteps of Dr. Smith. I was scheduled to speak after the friendly and honorable 'Dr. Whitney Uncle Smith.' It would be my first official presentation to the North American Vexillological Association. Dr. Smith spoke about a loosening of Vexillological definitions to include quilts under the subject of Vexillology. After his thoughtful presentation I was reminded of the Underground Rail Road, whereby quilts were used as signaling devices for the passengers and conductors of this most precious of American Rail Roads. Essentially the variously patterned quilts acted like signal flags as guides for persons who risked their lives in the pursuit of freedom. Some patterns were warnings that bounty hunters were in town, others patterns meant that it was safe to come in and that a friendly soul was waiting to feed, clothe, and help you on your journey to liberty. Up until Dr. Smith's lecture on October 9, 2009 quilts were not considered to be a part of the flag-vexillological family.

Thus with Dr. Smith's broadening definition of 'What the hell is a flag?' these officially 'out-law' subversive quilted-flags that aided and abetted sentient 'stolen-property' to freedom are vexillology's newest branch of important vexillological symbols. Most of these now recognized quilted flags were made by women.

There is an on going debate as to the fact that the secret underground rail road quilts were ever used in this manner. Obviously since it was a secret code, it would have been foolish for the rail road operators to keep records. Word of mouth was the best ways to protect sources. But many times over the Underground Rail Road operators were busted and spent time in jail and had to pay heavy fines.

It's a good bet everyone working on the Under Ground Rail Road did not have knowledge of these secret quilt-flag signals. Like the legend of Betsy Ross, I suppose it will be the fodder for scholars and history buffs.

learn more about Dr. Smith at his Research Center