Saturday, February 19, 2005

Vexillological meditation
This is a letter from David Horowitz's complaint line, Students for Academic "Freedom"* where conservative chronicle the horrible oppression under the intollerant liberal academic brainwashing system.
Complaint Lodger Details: Anonymous

Class: Human Geography

Subject: Iraq

Professor: Kujawa

College: Saint Michael's College

Description of Complaint (please be as detailed as possible, including quotes from your professor where applicable): Talked about flags as symbols of states and argued that new Iraqi flag was not a result of a transparent and fair process. Argued AS FACT that new flag had similar colors to Israeli flag and that this could be problematic. Claimed AS FACT that other Arab societies had red, green and black in their flags. Very biased. Had no visual proof of this.

Action Taken: I will fact check and complain to administration. He has an English accent but claims to be an American.

I'm not sure when I developed a love of flags. I've always been a map nerd, so it might have been a natural extension of one interest into another brought on by those grade school wall maps that had the flags of the countries or states around the margin.

Associating flags with countries and parts of countries just came naturally. When I was very little, I noticed that most flags are mind numbingly unimaginative. In those days, eleven southern states used some variation of the stars and bars for their flag (Texas and South Carolina did not). Nineteen states used their state seal on a blue background. Washington is daringly original in using their state seal on a green background.

Most national flags were some kind of tricolor or another. While I was in grade school, thirty or so new countries became independent. To me, it seemed like the most difficult choice most faced in designing their flags was whether to have vertical or horizontal stripes in their tricolors. Tricolors are the bar-codes of national flags.

I mention all of this in order to establish my vexillological bona fides. I own flag reference books. I know how to use them. I have also discovered that it's possible to look up useful information of those internets.

Considering that all of the Arab countries have flags using some combination of red, green, and black and that none of them use light blue, just what is Annoymous' big gripe? Is it that the English accented Prof. Kujawa failed to mention white? Is this just another case of multiculturalism run wild. Once again the contribution of white has been minimised. Or is it that Annoymous is such a severe empiricist that he/she/it will accept nothing on auhtority unless backed by illustrations and proof that these illustartions represent an overwhelming statistical majority? That hardly seems conservative. Isn't unquestioning respect and deference to authority a conservative value?

* Okay, I added the irony quotes. But really, whose freedom are they concerned with when they go int the vapors over something like this? Big crybabies.

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