I think I’ve arrived at a new old-man-hobby: I’ve lived in Ventura for 11+ years, but in all that time (or ever, if my slapdash googling is accurate), the city has never had an official flag. Oh sure, there’s an official seal—but that’s not a flag, and anyway according to vexillologists seals shouldn’t be on flags. Neither should text, for that matter, but that hasn’t stopped 90% of all flag design out there from being hopelessly amateurish and awful.

Since it’s Independence Day weekend, and I just read this re-posted thing by PRINT magazine, and I’m an egomaniacal designer, and I live in Ventura, I thought I’d start this up just for fun. Emphasis on “just for fun.” I would never in a million years subject anything I create to the prolonged torture of city bureaucratic processes or reactionary mob opinions from actual Ventura voters, so even if by some miracle the city DOES get itself together to adopt an official flag, it probably won’t be mine.

So despite my uneven previous year-long weekly illustration series “Design A Song,” I’m gonna try and do something for this new project every week until I get something worth shouting about. Unlike the last project, though, I’m not gonna initially impose any arbitrary deadlines, because that didn’t always work out. What I’m doing instead is starting with the five rules of Vexillography:

  1. Keep It Simple: the flag should be so simple that a child can draw it from memory.
  2. Use Meaningful Symbolism: the flag’s images, colors, or patterns should relate to what it symbolizes.
  3. Use 2–3 Basic Colors: that is, limit of the number of colors on the flag to three, which contrast well and come from the standard color set.
  4. No Lettering or Seals: never use writing of any kind or an organization’s seal.
  5. Be Distinctive or Be Related: avoid duplicating other flags, but use similarities to show connections.

I’ll also go back and do some homework with Vexillionaire because despite all my professional design expertise and the galaxy of examples throughout history of what not to do, designing a good flag still seems like a pretty difficult job—and if anything can help, a podcast can, right? Ho ho.