Vexillology, FTW!

Hundreds of things, if not thousands, fall in and our of kids’ favor for no apparent reason besides they’re kids.

Waffles for hot lunch at school, so I went with Belgium.

But during this year’s Winter Olympics, something specific stood out to Nolan. It wasn’t necessarily the sporting aspect, though his interest in sports has peaked of late: the living/dining room routinely turns into a hockey rink/soccer pitch with games to 30. What stood out was the aesthetics of each country’s flag.



1. the study of flags

What I thought would be just another passing fad has become essential. Flags are mentioned several times in our house every day, by all five of us.

And it’s awesome!

I’ve even got a two flag apps on my phone I don’t even hesitate letting him use – Flag Master! and Flag Colors. The former allows you to match a flag to its country and vice versa, the latter offers you 245 grayscale flags and a color palette, essentially a color-by-number minus the numbers.

He wanted cold pizza in his lunch, so I went with Italy.

He’s got an insatiable appetite for all things flags. He knows that purple dye was rare and expensive back in the day because it was only harvested from one type of sea snail. And maybe it doesn’t interest you, but did you know that?

Neither did I.

I’ve been writing lunch notes to the school-aged two all year but have recently altered
my content for Nolan’s. I’m now drawing a country’s flag and adding a fun fact I find online. The notes are rather basic compared to the likes of Brent (Super Lunch Notes) and Luke (Lunch Note Sketch) but that’s irrelevant. They enjoy reading/getting them and me writing them.

I took a book out of the library called Flags of the World by Sylvie Bednar but it might be beneficial if we buy the book for him. There are over 100 flags illustrated with chapters broken down by continent. Each flag is complete with at least the country and capital, but some have currency, languages, area, and highest point. There are also facts ranging from the inspiration behind color schemes to the only flag with to different sides (Paraguay) to the longest flag in the world (Qatar).

Thanks to Sylvie Bednar for writing this book.

I’m writing at the table right now and there is a stack of flag printouts that Nolan’s finished coloring about half-inch high. Right now it consists of 95% country flags but we’re slowly making our way to state flags.

Flags are everywhere, as was evident this morning when the cashier at Trader Joe’s asked him if he wanted stickers with flowers or flags.

The kids shriek from their seats when they see any kind of flag on a pole, making sure everyone knows we just passed a flag. Shit, even flags with “OPEN” written on them are exciting. It’s like they’ve developed a sixth sense for spotting flags.

Come to think of it, they’ve had these nautical flags in their rooms for a few years – the letter N for Nolan and G for Graham (we need to get Austin one) – so maybe it’s all my fault, which I’m ok with.

So, to Nolan and whoever else is passionate about something, anything, I say this:

Do what you love and don’t be afraid to let your freak flag fly.

2 thoughts on “Vexillology, FTW!

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