The Flag You Should Have: Lithuania

So, Lithuania, you're up! Now that your northern neighbor and fellow Baltic culture Latvia has been featured in a previous segment of “The Flag You Should Have”, I do believe it is your turn to be evaluated vexillogically (and volidly). Let’s begin, shall we…

Another tricolour, eh? Admittedly, I do like the colors—they make for a pleasant combination. But, you do realize that you share the exact same set of colors with Bolivia, Ghana, Ethiopia, Mali, Togo, Cameroon, Benin, Senegal, São Tomé and Príncipe, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, and the Republic of the Congo, right? I’m sure you didn’t intend to coincide with one version of the “Pan-African colors,” but here we are. Additionally, I will point out that the exact same flag as yours serves as the official flag of the department of Bolívar, Colombia. It’s worth adding as well that no one really knows why these colors were chosen. Ostensibly, they were selected due to their frequent use in traditional Lithuanian crafts, but other theories abound. Some say that "yellow stands for grain, green for forests, and red for the blood shed in defense of the nation." Regardless, the current flag was created ex nihilo at the turn of the 20th century by Lithuanian national activists, following the model that emerged from the French Revolution, that every nation needed a tricolour.

But the lack of older ethnic symbols in the flag is especially befuddling considering the long and storied period of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, which existed as an independent state and then in personal union with Poland from the 13th century until 1795. A figure from the 14th century known as Vytis ("The Chaser"; in Belarus known as the Pahonia), still graces Lithuania's official coat of arms. Vytis was in 2004 made the state flag of Lithuania (pictured above), though naturally an official state flag gets much less use and is far more obscure to the public than a civil flag. But there are other, less overtly warlike and complex symbols associated with Medieval Lithuania as well. The "Columns of Gediminas" provide a simple geometric design related to both a major Lithuanian dynasty and ancient Baltic pagan imagery. It is currently used as a war flag for the Lithuanian Ground Forces, but how many Lithuanians even know that? So, keeping all of these things in mind, I made you a new flag, Lithuania:

Et voilà! What do you think? I kept your unintentionally Ethiopian colors, for tradition's sake, but added the Columns of Gediminas for a more traditional tradition's sake. The design and dimensions make it stand out a bit more than a standard tricolour. And hey, you never know, maybe this will help Lithuania regain its mojo to recover from the financial crisis, just as its banners led it to victory in the 1410 Battle of Tannenberg. But, thanks to my multifaceted design, they will retain their rasta mojo courtesy of Ethiopia's colors. That, of course, was my sincere hope in doing this!

1 comment:

  1. "...But, you do realize that you share the exact same set of colors with.... "

    Hehehe :) Yeah, we aware :).
    The fact is that the tricolour was only temporary and its pattern was incomplete. And then WWII started. And then the tricolour became a secret symbol. And then the flag was instituted in the constitution. And now we should have to change the constitution (in order to replace the tricolour with the Chase), and this is awful lot of trouble :(. That sucks :(.