I was eating lunch yesterday in one of those chain restaurant establishments after which "Chotchskies" in Office Space was modeled, and among the deluge of knick-knacks and other "pieces of flair" bedecking the staff and the walls around me was a giant American flag. I found myself initially noting its garish size, but then thought that I really do appreciate the aesthetic nature of our stars and stripes. It's bold, edging on boisterous, and its symbolism is pretty self-evident. It could also never be confused with the flag of another country, like a lot of those "three color blocks and nothing else" flags. Yes, I'm talking about you Mexico and France! This is not a patriotic statement in the slightest. Viewed simply as a piece of cloth, Old Glory is just pretty.
I then began to ponder the flags of other nations, and I realized that while some of them were also notable in the aesthetic sense, others were just downright silly. Now look, I'm not insulting your nation by insulting your flag, but come on. If a flag is supposed to encapsulate the greatness of your country on a single piece of cloth, then I think it's pretty easy to say that Canada blows. A maple leaf? Come on! Leaves are not only exceedingly bland, but they make your lawn all messy in the fall, and they're weak. A baby can tear one in half, for crying out loud! Look, I have a lot of Canadian friends. They are good folks, but their flag is gay. Sorry Canada. Fail.
Japan's flag is ridiculous. A red dot on a white field. Oh the unsavory things this symbolizes for me. Namely waking up in the morning to find you've had a bloody nose on a pristine pillow case. Look, I know that Japan is all minimalist Zen-like, but this is ridiculous.
You want a much better suggestion for the Japanese flag? Look no further than the Karate Kid. That's right. Cobra Kai, bitches. Strike First. Strike Hard. No mercy.
Then we have copy-cat countries. The ones who decided to look at the guys next door and go: "Well, what's good enough for you is good enough for us. We'll just change the colors around a little bit and no one will notice. Chief offenders: Sweden and Denmark. Granted, both countries are homes to things I love. Ikea and delicious breakfast pastries, respectively. But this is no excuse to have flags that look like poorly-wrapped gifts. If I received a present wrapped in the style of a Swedish or Danish flag, I'd set it on fire. That's right, kids. Giftbags are perhaps the way to go.
Oh, but the atrocities don't stop there. In fact, there is a whole world out there to cover. If only I had the time to pick on them all. But don't worry, I've saved the worst for last.
Poland. Please, do your countrymen a favor and try to do your part in eliminating the ancient stereotype that you're stupid, once and for all. Changing your simpleton-like flag would be a good start.
Northern Marianas has a flag that could only be described as infinitely tacky. I could sit here and stare at it for hours and still not figure out what exactly it's trying to tell me about that particular nation. What is that stone thing behind that giant star? Why the bridal garland? Listen, I'm sure all of this gaudiness is significant to the people of Northern Marianas in some way, but to the casual observer, it looks like something that was stitched together during arts and crafts hour at a nursing home. Oh, and in case you think I'm getting too cocky, remember that Northern Marianas is an American territory. Marianas needs to do a better job of representing. Just sayin...
Technically, the following flag is not for a specific country. It is for an organization of countries. This is the flag for OPEC. Nevermind that it makes the work of Salvadore Dali and Picasso look completely logical, and that it makes the wrinkled ass of John McCain look nearly appetizing. To me, it looks like four heads, one of which is being eaten alive while the other is running away screaming, which I guess is kind of appropriate. The thing is, OPEC's flag could be so cool that it could feature Chuck Norris having a sword fight with Charlton Heston and it wouldn't even matter. This flag fails just for the fact that OPEC is partially to blame for making me pay nearly $70 to fill up my gas tank. Screw you, OPEC.
But worst offender on this list is miles ahead of all the rest when it comes to making the visual senses nearly vomit. I don't even know where to begin, but Brazil has really done their nation a disservice with this doozy of a flag. The color scheme is putrid. The layout is awkward. What's with all of those stupid stars? And the words across the middle? Very bad form. This fail is bigger than the biggest shaking ass at Carnival.
I'd hate to sound biased, however. After all, the only flag in this entire blog I've praised so far is the American flag, and some of you might be thinking that this is incredibly unfair. But in my research, I have found a flag that trumps every flag ever designed in the entire world. I don't even need to see the other flags to know this. And why? Because this is the kind of flag that everyone wishes they had. Especially someone like me. Libya, you may be full of insane people and are on my personal Top 5 List of countries in which I fear being stuck. But no matter. Your flag is fucking genius. Oh yes, some might call it a tad plain. Perhaps uninspired. Empty, Spartan, or downright depressing, even. But no... your solid green field with absolutely nothing on it is the pinnacle of flaggy awesomeness. It means I can make your flag say anything I want it to say. It's so ironic, really, from a country not particularly heralded as a bastion of freedom, that your flag allows me to have so much of it! Here's my tip of the hat to you, Libya! Hope you like the falafel.