Last week, everyone was talking endlessly about flags. The first referendum came and went, the winner officially declared as the one John Key liked the most. It wasn’t a huge voter turnout (around 48% of registered voters), but nearly everyone who did bother to send in their orange form sure seems to have loved those two Lockwood flags, which detractors from every corner of the internet derided as clip art and tea-towels.
This week, everyone got bored of making fun of the flags so instead started to talking endlessly about Star Wars, a movie about... actually I'm not sure exactly because I’m ‘avoiding spoilers’, but I’m assuming it’s about good rebels trying to beat a bad empire.
But now, those two disparate conversation topics can join hands at the work Xmas drinks, because, UK-based New Zealand art director Scott Kelly has released his designs for 103 Star Wars nation states on Flags of the Galaxy.
Kelly says that as a child, the two most important posters on his wall were a 'Flags of the World' poster and a map of the Star Wars galaxy. Now, he has taken on the task of combining those obsessions and designing a flag for every planet in the Star Wars universe – so not just the films but the comic books, animated series and video games. With 103 done, he’s got many more to do and with Disney’s expansive plans for the franchise, he’ll probably have an ever increasing to-do list.
“The designs are in keeping with a lot of the basic rules of flag design,” he says. “The use of flag traditions such as the canton, chevron and the 2:3 ratio have been utilised by myself to keep a level of uniformness. Using these traditions I created the designs by closely looking at the historical, economic, physical, political and societal attributes of the planets. From there I took creative liberty to make them as striking and plausible as possible.”
Aren’t they great? Clean, colourful, full of subtle symbolism. Now, you may ask, why didn’t this Scott Kelly guy design a Lockwood-beating flag design for his own, non-fictional nation? Well, he did. At least, it looks like he did. These five designs were submitted by someone called Scott Kelly, and if you look at his five submissions they look like not-quite-as-good versions of his Stars Wars flags.
Just to be clear, Kelly's flags don't exist in the Star Wars universe. In fact, while Star Wars is very much about intergalactic politics, there just aren’t that many flags around, other than this scene from the Phantom Menace:
I think I like this one the most (pretty badass, huh?):
Which one would you five the Empire under?