My Personal Flag
Not surprisingly, quite a few vexillologists have designed personal flags of their own. In fact, FOTW'er Philippe Bondurand, who has collected a bunch of them, has coined the useful term Persoflag. Here's mine:
As a rule, I don't go in for the overwrought symbolism sometimes larded onto flags ("The red is for the shed blood of our glorious revolutionary heroes, the white is for the purity of our national aspirations, the green is for the verdant fields and forests of our beloved motherland..."). However, since my persoflag is a personal flag, and is supposed to represent me, I've given myself a little more leeway. Herewith, what it all means:
The upper left part of the flag (what heraldists would call the first quarter) is a white star on a blue field. This suggests not only my ancestral homeland of Texas, but also the Bonnie Blue flag and various other secessionist and pro-independence flags. It thus has political as well as geographical significance. (It doesn't represent Somalia, with which I have no affiliation.) The five segments of the star also represent the five US states where I've spent most of my life.
(Some heraldry fundamentalists would say that because the star has a hole in the center [is pierced, in the argot] and has five arms instead of six, it's technically not a star [estoile] at all, but rather a mullet or rowel, the heraldic representation of the pointy thing on the end of a spur. To them I reply: Yeah, whatever.)
The second quarter is a square version of my anarcho-capitalist flag.
The third quarter is the circle of stars from my Kingdom of Cascadia flag. FOTW'ers António Martins and Blas Delgado, as well as my lovely bride, each had a hand in creating the electronic image of the Cascadian flag, so they deserve some credit for this quarter of my persoflag, too.
The cross in the fourth quarter of my persoflag represents my Christian faith. This style of cross is known heraldically as fitchy double (thanks to Anton Sherwood and the members of rec.heraldry for correcting my previous mis-identification of this), and is taken from the seal of the high school I attended. Red and white were the official colors (two of them, at least) of both my high school and my college.
Those are the four quarters of my persoflag. But that's not the end of the symbolism.
In heraldry, one of the ways to represent a married couple is to place both partners' arms, if they have them, side by side — impaled, it's called — on one shield, with the husband's on the left (heraldic dexter) and the wife's on the right (heraldic sinister).
Now, my lovely bride, not being a flag geek like her husband, is among the millions of Americans who don't have persoflags of their own. However, she grew up in Maryland, and is a fan of the excellent Maryland state flag. This prompted me to arrange the second and fourth quarters to recall the Maryland flag (the hoist-ward half of the Maryland flag is taken from the FOTW image by Mario Fabretto).
Okay, so maybe you wouldn't have picked up on the resemblance if I hadn't pointed it out. But once I did, weren't you impressed?