How many times has this happened to you? You’ve been scrupulously observing quarantine regulations. But you’re finding abiding them harder and harder to take. You find yourself developing a serious case of cabin fever. Finally, you can stand it no longer, so you rush outside. But before you know it, you’ve somehow organized a massive military uprising. Your forces, armed men and women who were drawn to you by your animal magnetism, have conquered a large part of a large country.
You find yourself filled with rebellion remorse. You try to give back your conquered lands, but the brave lads and lasses who fought for you won’t have any of that. “Go back to school,” you say to them. They say, “We missed our deadlines for turning in our essays. No teacher is going to accept the excuse ‘I couldn’t get term paper done as I was participating in a rebellion. ‘Begone,” the teacher will say, ‘like I haven’t heard that one.’ So, we will all get Fs. Our GPAs will plummet. We’ll lose our scholarships. We’ll have to drop out of university. But we won’t be able to get a job anywhere because taking part in bloody insurrection is such a resume stain.”
So, there you have it. You’re stuck with your new country. But won’t the old country that still exists be angry at you? You betcha! Won’t they be chomping at the bit to reconquer their lost lands? Absolutely. Can they do it? No, you inadvertently overpowered their armed forces earlier. Remember? What happens if they ally with some powerful nation and attack you?
That is the nightmare scenario. The only way to stop this international coalition from forming against you is to fool the world into thinking your country isn’t a new, that it’s really part of an old and peaceful nation. How do we do this?
Simple, pick a flag that looks like the one from another country. How do I do that?
May I suggest limiting the colors of your new flag to red and white? There are simply scads of countries that use only red and white in their banners. Look at the Polish flag.
Poland is at peace with everyone. Adopt this flag and the foreign armies will think you’re at peace with everyone. If you don’t want to use the Polish flag, possibly for copyright reasons, you flip it on its side, like this. And add a little cross and you get . . . Malta.
Malta is a tiny and peaceful land. But choices for your flag still abound. Remove the cross and rotate the flag one more time and you get . . . Monaco’s and Indonesia’s flags.
Monaco is far too tiny to invade anyone and Indonesia hasn’t tried anything like that decades. And now, if you still want a flag that’s guaranteed to confuse your fledgling nation’s with those of more-established countries but is a little bit more stylish, may I suggest that your peruse the following red-and-white flags.
You don’t even have to draw your flagian, not really a word, from a real country’s banner. Look at the Swiss and Red Cross flags.
They’re almost the same flag! One of the two entities just switched colors with the other. Is this okay? And if you stare at the Swiss flag long enough will you see the Red Cross flag and vice versa? Something to think about.
Other countries have red-and-white flags, but didn’t make the cut for displaying their flags. Anyway, honorable mention goes to: Denmark, Georgia, and Japan.
So now you have many, many red-and-white flags to choose from. You new nation needn’t fear invasion, secure in the knowledge that the rest of the world will confuse your country with another. And that’s a good feeling.
– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef
My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.