Today I’ve got another exercise to warm up and stretch your imagination muscles. You don’t have to spend a lot of time on this or use fancy software but I encourage you to at least sketch out your ideas on a notepad. On the other hand, if you feel ambitious and want to create a detailed final product, whether on your computer or with art supplies, go for it! This activity is perfect for a family, youth group, classroom or any themed club. It would make a great ice breaker for a big event, too. But it’s absolutely okay to do it on your own. 🙂
I want you to imagine that you (or your group) are a country. What would your flag look like?
There are endless ways to design a flag because you have these options to consider:
- Shape (most flags are rectangular but there are a few exceptions)
- Pattern (stripes, cross, quadrisections, canton, etc.)
According to the North American Vexillological Association (vexillology is the study of flags), here are five basic principles for designing a flag:
- Keep It Simple. The flag should be so simple that a child can draw it from memory…
- Use Meaningful Symbolism. The flag’s images, colors, or patterns should relate to what it symbolizes…
- Use 2 or 3 Basic Colors. Limit the number of colors on the flag to three which contrast well and come from the standard color set…
- No Lettering or Seals. Never use writing on any kind or an organization’s seal…
- Be Distinctive or Be Related. Avoid duplicating other flags, but use similarities to show connections…
Vexillology is such a fun word to say (and type) that I wanted an excuse to use it again, so here is a link to a Glossary of Vexillology on Wikipedia.
If you have time to play around on the computer as you experiment with flag designs, you may find these links helpful…
- Information for kids about the symbolism of flag colours: https://www.kids-world-travel-guide.com/flag-colors.html
- Flag background generator: https://andrewsarnold.github.io/FlagMaker-Jr/ – You can’t do much more than play with your background colours and divisions here, but you can save your result and move it to another program to build on it (or print it out).
- Scrontch’s Flag Designer App is a bit more fun to play with but it, too, is limited in terms of what symbols you can use: http://flag-designer.appspot.com/. Still I created a couple of samples to show you how it works.
If you want a more old school approach to designing your flag, you can print out this simple template and then colour it in. (Click on the image to enlarge it.)
To create my own flag as an example, I used my favourite colour combination (red, white and aqua), my favourite pattern (red gingham) and a symbol of what defines me as a person: my faith in Jesus Christ. It’s not the most beautiful flag, but I enjoyed the process of trying to decide what would give others a glimpse of who I am.
Of course, there are so many other ways I could have designed this flag. I could have included other symbols of things I love: flowers, snowflakes, something related to writing, polka dots, books, pomegranates, bunnies, etc. But, for today, I like this one. 🙂
Please send me pictures of your flag(s) if you create any. I’d love to see what you come up with! (Don’t worry about how bad or good your artwork is. The idea is to create something uniquely yours.)
By the way, in case you didn’t catch my extra post yesterday, I’m changing my blog schedule and will only be posting on Tuesdays (inspirational, devotional pieces such as those I’d been posting on Mondays, just one day later) and Saturdays (still about creativity). Of course, since this blog is a work in progress, this may change again at some point. Your feedback on what types of posts you enjoy most would be helpful. (If necessary, I may split this blog into two: one about faith and one about creativity, for readers who really prefer one over the other.)
Bonus: I realize that tomorrow is Palm Sunday, but I didn’t plan far enough in advance to create a post on that topic. So, for those of you who would rather focus on that today, here’s a link to tons of Palm Sunday craft ideas on Pinterest.
P.S. My paternal grandmother’s name was Hosanna. How cool is that? ❤