Sun of May

With the World Cup™ (not taking any chances with They Who Shall Not Be Named) being hosted in my country, it has been interesting to look at all the different flags of the participating nations. As a graphic designer, I’ve had to put together artwork of the various flags for printing. During this process I have learned a few things. Firstly, the word vexillology, which is the study of flags, and all the stuff that goes along with that. Like how it’s a dire insult to hang it the wrong way – this just says to me that humans like to create ways in which we can be insulted, so that we can fight for our honour or something. This symbol represents me / my country. Display it incorrectly and I’ll… Oh I think you get what I mean.

So the correct way to hang a flag vertically is to keep the upper left hand corner in the upper left hand corner. Which means you can’t just rotate 90 degrees; you have to then invert it along the vertical axis. But what about all those flags that have crests on them? I assume they would need to stay right-way-up… And then some like the Brazilian flag leave the mind somewhat boggled. Information on how to deal with these specifics does not appear to be that readily available on the internet. The good flag websites I found often referred to some obscure book or text.

But enough about my flag troubles. World Cup™ is nearly over and what an interesting one it has been (she says as if she actually follows soccer).

The Sun of May in the title of this post is an object of my recent curiosity. I noticed that the Uruguay and Argentina flags shared the same sun emblem and I just had to know why. Apparently, the origin of the image is an Inca sun god (info here and here). But the reason for the name and it’s appearance on the flag is related to it being a symbol from the South American May Revolution – the beginning of the fight for independence from Spain.

So I learned a little something about South American history. Not that I would really go into any more detail here. I am interested in history, but only really the big picture. Even reading a Wikipedia article about history makes my eyes cross. But I see this as a challenge!

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