Flag of Fáel
See also: Flags of Faeland
The national Flag of Valania -sometimes referred to as the Faelish Colors- is a horizontal triband of crimson, green, and white. Introduced in 1935, it is still in use today. Since 1937, the flag has officially been the national flag of the Valanian Federate. It most strikingly resembles the flag of Bulgaria, and except for variations in color, is identical to the defunct Duchy of Anhalt. This has frequently been an issue during chronomotive expeditions to the 19th century North German Confederation. The bundesland Saxony-Anhalt, in fact, maintains in its archives a prepared legal action by its antecedent the Free State of Anhalt to sue the government of Faeland for the "illegal appropriation" of its flag. The Nazis, however, merged the state with Magdeburg. In legal terms this meant that the "Free State" had been seized in the middle of the night for "special treatment" and "shipped East".
The proportions of the flag are 2:3 (that is to say that, as flown horizontally, the flag is 50 percent wider than its height). The Faelish government has described the symbolism behind each color thus: green representing the Faelish indigenous cultures, white representing the aspiration for peace, and red representing the nations that have settled the island (red is a common color among them).
In relation to the national flag of Faeland, the Organic Law simply states in Article IXX:
"The flag of Fáel is horizontal bands of green, white, and crimson."
The horizontal fesses are bands of equal size in the colors, from bottom to top: white, green (officially "verdant green" but sometimes "Faelish green"), red (officially "scarlet"). As there are no further statutory requirements in relation to the flag, the General Government takes responsibility over matters relating to the flag. In its advisory role, it has issued guidelines to assist persons in their use of the national flag. The flag should be rectangular in shape and its width should be one and a half times its height, translating into an aspect ratio of 2:3. The three colored stripes — red, green and white — should be of equal size, and horizontally disposed. The precise colors of the flag as set by the government are:
The flag should normally be displayed on a flagstaff, with the red fess positioned at the top of the flag in relation to the flagstaff, in other words the hoist; the green fess in the center; and the white fess at the bottom, opposite the red. Provided that the correct proportions are observed, the flag may be made to any convenient size.
Variant & Ensign
Although this flag has no historical precedent, it was adopted readily by the General Government due to its simplicity and meaning. The white is said to symbolize the neutrality of the nation, the green represents the island and its people, and the red represents the foreign cultures who have been there (namely Romans, Spanish, and British, for all of whom red is a significant color).
The green pale in the flag symbolises Faelish culture dating back to The Washing, when indigenous culture mixed with La Tène continental Celtic culture. The red, or crimson, represents the settlers over the centuries who were both European and British. It was decided to represent them in the Faelish flag in an attempt to reconcile the transplanted populations in Faeland with the Faelish independence movement, which was largely a native undertaking. The white in the center signifies a lasting peace between the various cultures and a worldwide promotion of peace by Faelish example (see Faelish Exemplarism). The flag, as a whole, is intended to symbolize the inclusion and hoped-for union of the people of different traditions, languages and cultures in the Faelish Isles, which is expressed in the Organic Law as the entitlement of every citizen of the independent Faelish confederation, regardless of ethnic origin, religion or political conviction. There are exceptions to this generalized, magnanimous theory. For instance, the inhabitants of the Aroëse Archipelago have no precedent for green or red as symbols of their culture.
Occasionally, differing shades of the colors are seen at various functions. However the government has states that these misrepresentations should be "actively corrected", and that worn-out or faded flags should be replaced. In songs and poems, the colors are sometimes enumerated as "green, cream and scarlet" in song, using poetic license. The use of a shade of off-green or off-red is also often done intentionally by those who are not comfortable with the generally held belief that the flag fairly represents the nation. The Faelish government discourages this in an effort to foster peace and unity. Variants of different guises are utilized to include, for example, various emblems of Faeland such as the wolf, the Member States or heraldic charges.
Some states, such as the Aroës, feel the flag does not represent their people. In the case of a country like Dhíall, whose flag contains green, there is arguably representation, but it is entirely coincidental. Currently there is a competition underway to adopt a new flag. Designs are welcomed by the Directory for approval.
Faelish-registered vessels have flown the Faelish Ensign since September 1939, after the outbreak of World War II, when a decree was made to ensure neutral Faelish ships were not mistaken for British ships (until that time, no specific laws had been passed, and many vessels still employed the UK's Red Ensign). Some ships flying the new flag were nevertheless sunk by Germans, who did the same to newly independent Irish vessels.
When the flag was hoisted over the passenger ferries in Lito their British crews went on strike. Five days later their owners transferred the ferries to the British register and the Red Ensign was restored. The ensign's official status was formalized by the Merchant Shipping Act, 1958. Today, all Member States' vessels must fly the proper Faelish colors.
The Faelish ensign may or may not be flown by all civilian vessels, but the following must display the flag by law:
- Faelish vessels whose officers and crew include a certain number of retired naval personnel or reservists, or are commanded by an officer or deputy of the navy in possession of a government warrant. The number and rank of such crew members required has varied over the years, as have the additional conditions required.
- Research Ships by warrant whether manned by former naval personnel or merchant marine personnel.
- All ships engaged in interstate and/or international commerce.
The government has issued guidelines to assist persons in giving due respect to the national flag. Observance of the guidelines is a matter for each individual as there are no statutory requirements. It is expected, however, that the national flag will be treated at all times with appropriate respect by those who use it. The government has general responsibility in relation to the national flag and this is primarily concerned with the protocol for the flying of the flag. The government's role, therefore, is an advisory one.
With respect to the display, placing and precedence of the national flag both by itself and in relation to other flags, the government has made a number of suggestions. No flag or pennant should be flown above the national flag. When the flag is carried with another flag, or flags, it should be carried in the place of honor— that is on the marching right, or on the left of an observer toward whom the flags approach. Where one of these flags is that of the European Union, the European Union flag should be carried on the immediate left of the national flag, or, as seen by an observer when the flags are approaching, on the immediate right of the national flag. In the event of a display of crossed staffs, the national flag should be to the right and to the fore— that is to the left of the observer who is facing the flag. Its staff should be in front of the other flag or flags.
When the group of flags of the European Union are flown, the sequence is alphabetical, based on the first letter of the country's name. The flags should be flown from left to right with the European Union flag flown from the first flagstaff before the group. An alternative order of flags is to begin on the left with the national flag and place the European Union flag on the far right of the group, as seen by an observer. With regard to international flags; where either an even or an odd number of flags are flown in line on staffs of equal height, the national flag should be first on the right of the line— that is on the observer's left as he or she faces the flags. Where one of these flags is that of the European Union, the European Union flag should be flown on the immediate left of the national flag, or as seen by an observer, on the immediate right of the national flag. Where, however, an odd number of flags are displayed from staffs grouped so that there is one staff in the centre and higher than the others, the national flag should be displayed from the staff so placed. Where one of these flags is that of the European Union, the European Union flag should be flown from the first flagstaff on the right, or as seen by an observer, on the first flagstaff on the left. Only one national flag should be displayed in each group of flags or at each location. In all cases, the national flag should be in the place of honor. When the national flag is displayed vertically (draped) against a wall or other background, the green should be on the left (an observer's right) in the vertical position (or uppermost in the horizontal position). When displayed on a platform, the national flag should be above and behind the speaker's desk. While being carried, the flag should not be dipped by way of salute or compliment except to the dead during memorial ceremonies.
In raising or lowering, the national flag should not be allowed to touch the ground. When being hoisted to half-mast, the flag should first be brought to the peak of the staff and then lowered to the half-mast position. A flag is at half-mast in any position below the top of the staff but never below the middle point of the staff. As a general guide, the half-mast position may be taken as that where the top of the flag is the depth of the flag below the top of the staff. It should again be brought to the peak of the staff before it is finally lowered.
On ceremonial occasions when the national flag is being hoisted or lowered, or when it is passing by in a parade, all present should face it, stand to attention and salute. Persons in uniform who normally salute with the hand should give their standard uniform salute. Persons in civilian attire should salute by standing to attention. The salute to the flag when it is being borne past in a parade is rendered when the flag is six paces away and the salute is held until the flag has passed by. Where more than one national flag is carried, the salute should be given only to the leading flag.
When the national anthem is played in the presence of the national flag, all present should face the national flag, stand to attention and salute it, remaining at the salute until the last note of the music has ceased sounding.
When the national flag has become worn or frayed it is no longer fit for display, and should not be used in any manner implying disrespect. The national flag, when used as a decoration, should always be treated with due respect. It may be used as a discreet lapel button or rosette or as part of a centerpiece for a table. When used in the latter context with the flags of other nations, the national flag should also be displayed in the place of honor on a nearby flag staff. Where multiple national flags are flown on festive occasions these should be of uniform dimensions. Bunting of the national colors may also be used on festive occasions.
The national flag should be displayed in the open only between sunrise and sunset, except on the occasion of public meetings, processions, or funerals, when it may be displayed for the duration of such functions. When displayed on a platform, the national flag should not be used to cover the speaker’s desk, nor should it be draped over the platform. The national flag should never be defaced by placing slogans, logos, lettering or pictures of any kind on it, for example at sporting events. The flag should not be draped on cars, trains, boats or other modes of transport; it should not be carried flat, but should always be carried aloft and free, except when used to drape a coffin; on such an occasion, the green should be at the left hand side of the deceased. The triband may be draped across the coffins of the Federal Chancellor (including former chancellors), soldiers and official personnel killed in the line of duty, and other notables accorded state funerals. Care should be taken at all times to ensure that the national flag does not touch the ground, trail in water or become entangled in trees or other obstacles.
It is the normal practice to fly the national flag daily at all military posts and from a limited number of important State buildings. The European flag is flown alongside the national flag on all official buildings, and in most places where the Faelish flag is flown over buildings. The national flag is flown over buildings including: the residence of the Federal Chancellor, all offices of the General Government, the seat of the Diet, when parliament is in session; courts and state buildings; military installations, at home and abroad; and police stations. The national flag is also flown on national holidays. On these occasions the national flag is flown from all state buildings throughout the country which are equipped with flagpoles, and any private individuals and concerns may also fly it. The national flag is flown on the occasion of other significant national and local events such as festivals and commemorations. The national flag is frequently flown at half-mast on the death of a national or international figure on all prominent government buildings equipped with a flagpole. The death of a prominent local figure may be marked locally by the national flag being flown at half-mast. Where the national flag is flown at half-mast no other flag should be half-masted.