Saturday, 27 May 2017

Flying the colors

 Alfred Znamierowski seems to have cornered the market in informative flag books and this latest version of his encyclopedia is an excellent buy. I originally bought Brian Johnson Barker's Complete guide to flags of the world and though it it's good and up to date I didn't think the thick paper and the perfect binding on the paperback edition would last too long with regular usage.

For more or less the same money as the Johnson Barker book this 'World encyclopedia of flags' is vastly superior. The 256 pages are split into two sections, the first looks at flags (and pennants) historically, flag design, usage, government, military and naval flags et cetera. The second part details flags of the world and frequently breaks these down to flags of country regions. Each gets some detail about the origins and meanings of the flag's graphic elements.

There are some interesting pages at the back with flags from international organisations, regional and local flags, peoples and causes like Arapaho indians, Irish-American, Sami people of northern Finland. A nice touch, I thought, were the three pages devoted to house flags like Getty Oil or Sheraton hotels and the very last pages before the Index a look at yacht flags.

The six hundred flags in the book are shown on well designed pages and obviously all in color. Some readers might find the caption type a bit small but other than that a remarkably comprehensive look at what's at the top of the flagpole, past and present.

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