Raise the flags!
An idea shared by fellow conlangers in our Facebook group 🙂
Flags are one of the most iconic ways to identify a language by just using an image. The French tricolor makes us think of the French language (even though Briton and Occitan are spoken in France as well) and Japan’s flag is the best symbol for Japanese. Of course, not all languages can be associated to national flags. For instance, Catalan and Basque can’t be represented by the Spanish flag because it already stands for Castillean Spanish. However, that could be solved by using regional flags, such as the Catalan flag and the Basque Ikurrina.
Fortunately, it didn’t take a lot of time for conlangers to figure that flags could also be used for constructed languages. Most auxlangs have their own flag. Esperanto’s flag with its verda stelo (green star) has long been one of the most widely used Esperantist symbols. But flags are neither exclusive to auxiliary conlangs, there’s plenty of artlangs with flags as well. Recently, I decided to follow those conlangers’ example and create flags for my languages ^^
As usual, I made many (where many stands for 48) 🙂
Here they are (given the large number of flags, I divided them in three images):
First row: Aiedain, Alisne, Bartxe and Calacalá.
Aiedain flag would belong to the Aiedain Kingdom, where this conlang would be spoken.
Alisne‘s is based in that of Lisnäit’s, which I’ll introduce to you in the next picture.
The colors in Bartxe‘s flag represent the Sun (yellow), life (red) and nature (green).
The characters in the fourth flag read Calacalá.
Second row: D’elye, Dongh, Efanyó and Ispaní Balá (a Xpanī dialect).
The use of the digraph Ly is one of the key differences between D’elye and Efanyó (D’elye would be a minority language in an Efanyó-speaking region), so it makes sense for its flag to be an Efanyó flag with an “Ly“.
I wanted Dongh‘s flag to be British, ancient and pretty. Then, I found the lag of Sussex, a dark age kingdom which was later incorporated by the English kingdom. That flag was so nice that I decided to use it for Dongh without any modification (so this particular flag isn’t my work).
Efanyó is based on Spanish, and so is its flag.
Ispaní Balá would be an Xpanī dialect spoken in Balearic Islands. It’s flag is based on that of the ancient Kingdom of Mallorca with the addition of the Xpanī flag.
Third row: Efenol, Eharthen, Fein (and Fen) and Ifánico.
Efenol is characterized by three things: 1) its Spanish base, 2) its Sindarin influence and 3) its elegance. That’s why I decided to base its flag on Navarre’s flag which is both Spanish and (really) elegant. Hey! What do gray elves have to do with that? Well… I can’t do everything 😉
The text in Eharthen flags is the language’s name as written in Kirthai Dunar script.
Just as D’elyes’s, the flag of Fein and Fen is based in Efanyo’s, with the addition of an F.
For some reason, I’ve always thought of Ifánico as a language spoken near the Caribbean, and so I gave its flag the colors of the flags of Dominican Republic, Cuba and Puerto Rico.
Fourth row: Ilbaló, Inaí, Inlux and Leoné.
For some reason, I associate Ilbaló with green. The star doesn’t really have a symbolic meaning.
The symbol in the unusual rhombic Inaí flag represents land and the Sun. The green background stands for nature.
Inlux flag depicts Orion constellation. It shares its color with the American, British and Australian flags (Inlux is related to the English language).
Finally, Leoné‘s flag is based on the English flag, with the coat of arms of ancient León kingdom (which was not drawn by me).
First row: Lindavor, Lisnäit, Lün and Lynn.
Lindavor‘s flag is based on ancient Roman banners. However, instead of having Romans’ famous SPQR (Senatus Populusque Romanus – Senate and People of Rome) it depicts the acronym RR: Roman Kingdom (Latin: Regnum Romanum, Lindavor: Rŷn Romûn).
The Lisnäit flag has Alpha Centauri stars on it.
Lün‘s flag is basically the Bavarian flag with inverted colors. Those colors symbolize Uruguay and Argentina (two Spanish-speaking countries) whereas the pattern represents a German-speaking region.
The colors in Lynn‘s flag also appear in the flags of many South-American countries. Its text “LYNC” means language and was is also a former name for Lynn.
Second row: Lyun, Minmá, Nisa and Nust.
Lyun‘s flag is based on that of Lynn.
Minmá‘s flag was meant to be simple, so as to suit Minmá’s minimalist fashion.
Nisa‘s flag probably is the most elegant flag here. Golden color is associated with Nisa people. The coat of arms actually is the Estonian coat of arms, which could be related with the fact that Nisa has a lot of Uralic words, despite being an Indoeuropean language).
Nust flag was influenced by the flag of Tierra del Fuego, Argentina.
Third row: Nystrr, Pitá-Ruqaha, Romanice and Seldon.
Nystrr‘s flag has the Southern Cross constellation on it.
Pitá Ruqaha was inspired by Amerindian languages, so I decided to base its flag on Inca wiphalas.
Romanice‘s flag shares its colors with the Italian flag (which were inspired by the “theological virtues”, a medieval theology concept, in both cases). The coat of arms would belong to the Ducato dele Gace, the place where it would have been spoken.
I don’t really know why Seldon‘s flag looks that way, but I think it suits it well 🙂
Fourth row: Sohosi, Sôsh, Spaele and Triband Language.
The hieroglyphs in Sohosi‘s flag just read ‘Sohosi’.
Sôsh‘s flag shares that design, but it looks much simpler because it lacks a native writing system… so far -.-
Even though I like Spaele‘s flag, I’m not fully satisfied with it yet
Lastly, Triband‘s flag has an schematic representation of a Triband.
Horizontal flags: Xpanī, Yanglish and Yqende.
Green in Xpanī flag stands for its islamic past. The white columns represent Pillars of Hercules (Gibraltar). The text reads alen, which means ‘beyond’.
Yanglish‘s flag is an inverted English flag… which reflects well Yanglish’s concept of being an “inverted” Englis 🙂
Finally, Yqende‘s flag is not only similar to that of Bartxe but also shares its symbology.
Vertical flags: Kenvei, Mëntinlan, Tecya and Tighaia.
Symbols in Mëntinlan flag just read “Méntinlan”. Tecya’s flag is based on Tighaia’s.
Banners, row 1: Elirba, Taleane Raineri, Tengoko.
The fact that Elirba’s and Tengoko’s flag share their design is merely coincidential. Taleane Raineri’s banner is colored as the Aiedain flag.
Banners, row 2: Hahdek, Qiye-Zempa, Theng-thun, Tonoryu, Xenechen and Zissiten.
All these banners are based on Tengoko’s. With the exception of Qiye-Zempa’s banner, all have some other feature:
Hahdek: A sword, representing their fiery bellicose nature.
Theng-thun: The moon, which guides Thunshi people (the ones which would speak Theng-thun).
Tonoryu: A dragon descending from the Sun.
Xenechen: Black and white circles which represent the balance in nature (something like Yin and Yang).
Zissiten: A bird, the symbol of the Zissi, Zissiten speakers.