We Need A Flag! (updated)

[Update, may 11th: I received the first two entries, and both of them interesting and thoughtful! Thanks for sending these in! With my own design, that makes three. Don't worry, voting will be anonymous]

Let’s face it. We never had a flag - that was a logo on a stick and it would look good outside a Linden Lab office, but it was hardly what you’d call a real flag. And now even the name of the famous logo is copyrighted, so use of it as a symbol for all of us is right out. It’s “theirs” now…

The other day I was building an airplane and airplanes often carry a national flag. Now I have a choice of flags to use, being that I am a Dutch person living in Italy. But what if I want to sell my plane? How many non-Dutch people will want to have a Dutch flag on their plane? How many different textures would I have to make?

Suppose you are building a grand square on your sim and you want everyone to feel welcome there. A grand square looks good with flags, so how many different ones are you going to stick in the ground there? Five? Ten?

And let’s not forget the many army and police roleplayers. OK, so especially toy cops are not my friends, but they could do with some uniforms with a flag insignia. It just looks good, believe me, I am not impartial to the looks of a well-cut uniform.

Therefore, we need a flag representing Second Life Residents. But I can’t do that by myself - I cannot expect to post my design here and have everyone rally behind it and adopt it as the flag for all of us. So I need your help.

What can you do? First and foremost, start designing! More on that later. Secondly, of course, link to this blog on your own blog or copy the text, spread the word, translate it in another language, get the ball rolling. And third, I need people to judge the flags, or to judge a shortlist of flags if many come in. I’ll seek out some specific people myself but I think that average Residents should be a part of the selection process. Why judges? I want to avoid the inevitable: people pushing all their friends to go vote for their flag. It’s not a popularity contest. I will make sure the vote is anonymous - no names attached to flags. Of course, judges cannot run in the competition.

The fourth thing we may want is some prize and I’ll be happy if any of you has anything on offer. This includes Linden Lab, but I want to make clear that this will be the flag of the Residents, not of the Lab. If Linden staff want to participate in any way, they can as far as I am concerned - they are Residents - but I will not actively seek any Linden support or endorsement at all. I would like to one day go to M or Philip or Robin and present our flag to them!

Now about the design. I had a whole list of personal things I wanted to say, but it’s better to keep you all open-minded. I respectfully point you to the website of Flags Of The World which is a great source for information and inspiration. Please note that all elements in a flag have a meaning - and I would think it’s a good idea to explain your flag when you send it in.

Some things however need mentioning. I don’t like timewasters, so an all grey Lag Flag is not going to the judges. Neither are flat-out copies of existing national flags. I don’t expect you to know all city-, provincial-, regional and other flags, but straight copies of country flags should be avoided. Another thing I do not accept for judging is a red flag with a white circle and a black symbol in the middle - ha, ha, it’s a faux Nazi flag. Don’t waste your time on that, or mine. And finally, any flag with a religious or political symbol, or a combination of those, can never represent all the Residents, and so is not worth the effort.

Keep in mind that your flag should represent all of us, as diverse as we are in age, background, location and culture.

Sending in a flag for this competition means that you waive all copyrights to it, should it be chosen as the winner. Anyone must be able to use it. Please send your designs to residentsflag at hotmail dot com, do NOT forget to mention your Second Life name and watch this spot for more news!

(Second Life and Linden Lab are trademarks of Linden Research, Inc.)

14 Responses to “We Need A Flag! (updated)”

  1. Crap Mariner Says:

    Will it come with a burning script?

  2. Laetizia Says:

    Ha! Well I am sure a crafty scripter/builder like yourself will have no trouble making a burning flag.

  3. We, the Residents… « Pixeltheatre Says:

    [...] Details on the contest can be found on her blog, Virtual Voice. Considering the technology that can be used, I think we can look forward to more than mere flat 3-D designs.  [...]

  4. Vint Falken Says:

    Hmmm. You got me thinking, but it’s complicated. Opposed to a logo, which changes frequently, a flag almost never does and it referes to the ‘beginning’ of the nation, the state it was in back then.

    Most of the time it has reference to who founded it: the Lindens. So if we would have been allowed, it would actually have made sense to place the eye-in-hand logo on it.

    Also colours seems obvoius, SL-greenish has always been the colour of the grid. Maybe with some laggy grey to it. ;)

    Actually, Miss you gave us a difficult mission here, think about the basic principles of our Brave New Virtual World and how to show that with a limited amount of graphic elements. A very strong element to include might be the ‘grid’ idea, though. as it does symbolise the way things are organised. We can even leave the borders of that grid open, in the hope that people can attach to it someday! ;)

    One little remark though, could be I missed it when reading your blogpost, but would you not best stipulate that text is a ‘no no’ too? If you want this flag to be universal, even words like ‘coca cola’ or ‘love’, known all over the world, would still be one group claiming the flag, as the chars are obviously ‘roman’ … ?

  5. Laetizia Coronet Says:

    Actually, yes, originally I stated that text should be used scarcely if at all. But then I decided to leave judgement calls like that - as well as those abot colour, and believe me there are many other colours to use besides that SL-green - to the people sending in their flags. If any.

  6. Jaymin Carthage Says:

    “believe me there are many other colours to use ”
    Well, actually, connonically national flags are only composed of seven colors: black, red, blue, green ,purple, white and yellow. These are broken into two groups black, red, blue, green, and purple (colors) and white and yellow (metals). This goes back to their origin with heraldry. The “rule of contrast” is that you don’t have a color on a color or a metal on a metal. I.e. no green symbol on a blue blackground.
    You my laugh and call these “rules” anachronistic in a digital age, but if you look around you, virtually every corporate logo, major national flag, and street sign follow these “rules”. Just because they worked out what’s easy to see centuries ago doesn’t make it less relevant today. :-)

  7. Laetizia Says:

    Yes Jaymin, absolutely. These colours have their meaning and tradition, and that’s what I meant when I said you can use more than “SL Green”. But let’s not go into suggesting things for the people entering in the contest. I know I hate it when someone starts suggesting stuff - I like to be totally free in such matters.

  8. Gan Uesli Starling Says:

    Let us not use the eye-in-hand logo. The Lindens think they own it. But I expect they might want a quiet word with the Goddess Arya Tara (in Her white aspect) of Tibetan Buddhist derivation whose own prior art predates theirs by some thousand years and more.

    Aplonis Ember of SL

  9. Vint Falken Says:

    What’s the deadline for entries?

  10. Laetizia Says:

    Vint, I don’t know lol… I need a few entries to set one. Let’s say June 1st ok?

  11. Second Life National Flag « Laurelyne in Second Life® Says:

    [...] Vllage Voiice is looking for designs for a Second Life National Flag. You can read more about it HERE It sounds like a pretty good [...]

  12. Harper Says:

    I just sent in my submission for the design. I’ll admit I didn’t give any thought to the questions of heraldic color custom, not knowing that these are used in flags as well; but it’s worth a shot. I’ll use it as a personal ensign, if nothing else (grin).

  13. A Submission for a Residents’ Flag « Around the Grid Says:

    [...] a Residents’ Flag In case you haven’t read it already, Laetizia Coronet has opened a competition for designing a flag for the use of Residents. The quaint custom of using the “Eye-in-Hand” logo of Second Life has been thrown into [...]

  14. Second Life web resources for May 14th 2008 through May 17th 2008 | VintFalken.com Says:

    [...] We Need A Flag! (updated) - a virtual village voice - Call out for a Residents Flag, designed and worn proudly by the residents of Second Life. (as opposed to the InSL logo.) [...]

Leave a Reply