Parliamentary Business Resumes, New Flags Unveiled in the Novella Islands

Novellan National News Service Novellan Politics

Novella City – Mr. Paul Poltava, Novellan National News Service – 17/01/2022

The Office of Legislative Affairs (OLA) released these exemplars, following the new legal requirements.

The Novella Islands Flags Act 2022 passes through Parliament

On the first sitting day of Parliament for 2022 – and the first since the election was declared a resounding SDU victory – one piece of legislation made its way effortlessly through both houses this evening. The act was championed by the 2nd Dell Government’s Mr. Humphrey Hawking, Minister of Culture, Food, and the Arts.

With full bipartisan support, the Social Republic of the Novella Islands Flag Identification and Specifications Act 2022 – no doubt more commonly known by its short title, the Novella Islands Flags Act 2022 – ushered into law the strict codification of three distinct flags. While the Office of Legislative Affairs provided an example flag for each (pictured above) according to the exacting specifications laid out in the document, the OLA was quick to point out that these were not exhaustive.

“The legislation describes each element that is required to be on the flag, and in quite specific detail which colours are to be used. However, elements such as the rendering of the Edopru flower, and the laurel wreath, remain the purview of each individual manufacturer of the flag,” stated Dr. Lily Bligh, Director of the Office of Legislative Affairs.

“In this manner, there is a high degree of uniformity – as required by a national flag – while still allowing for individual creativity to shine through.” In spite of these comments there remains only a single dedicated distributor of flags in the Social Republic, the National Vexillological Supply, a subsidiary of the the state-owned Novella Islands Textiles Corporation.

Consultative drafting process engages rich Novellan history

The Novellan National News Service was granted the opportunity to sit as an observer on the Vexillological Advisory Board (VAB) during the consultation and drafting stages of the flag act, with the hope that its reporting would demonstrate the lengths through which the Board went to create culturally meaningful flags.

The VAB sat just four times over the twelve month period that it was engaged to provide recommendations to Parliament, although each of these meetings ran in excess of six hours each, and produced over twenty seven distinct flag designs. At each stage, consultation with focus groups from the community at large was conducted, and feedback taken into account at every subsequent meeting. Below are a select few of the twenty seven, along with comments from a few of the Board members.

“This draft was actually the most long-lived of those that ended up failing,” reports Ms. Yasha Kane, chair of the Vexillological Advisory Board. “In the end, it was deemed that the too-dark background would pose issues for quick identification, as well as in some digital environments. The blue that ended up being chosen is a close relative, so it didn’t stray too far from our original vision!”

“Something to note is the pink petals of the Edopru flower on this version of the ‘Peace’ flag, which is now seen on the ‘War’ variant. That colouring remained a favourite through all of our public consultation, and persisted quite some time, but needed to be cut in the end, in order to provide a stark-enough contrast between the ‘Peace’ and ‘War’ variants,” Dr. Steve Icthya notes, “…though you have to admit, the pure white of the Edopru in the final version is quite striking.”

“I just couldn’t let the pink go…” sighs Icthya, nodding toward the above design. “As you can see, it is almost identical to the final draft that was accepted as the ‘Peace’ variant, with one alteration; the pink in the stamen of the Edopru flower.” One revision later, and the last remnants of pink in the design were replaced with black, forming the final submission of the VAB to Parliament. “It’s a wonderful feeling to have your design picked, even if you lament the necessary changes.”

As noted, the decision to remove the pink from the ‘Peace’ flag was predicated on the suggestion that the war flag would feature this colour prominently. Ms. Kelsey Palms, on her design (shown below), commented, “We really went all-out when creating our early drafts of the ‘War’ flag. We inverted the colours, we added new bends, a ring of stars… Really, anything that would be as far from the original as possible.”

“The only thing that was kept was the Edopru. In the end, it was determined that keeping the flower alone wasn’t enough to tie the ‘War’ and ‘Peace’ flags together. While it’s necessary for there to be obvious differences, the flags need to be highly complementary…” Palms observed, “…and while the early design was certainly striking, it simply wasn’t going to cut it. However, it’s interesting to note how much of the structure of the elements were retained in the final version, if not the wildly differing colours.”

While the Vexillological Advisory Board may have recommended three polite and unremarkable designs to Parliament, they come with no shortage of history; both in the drafting, and symbolism each holds. Mr. Icthya perhaps sums the issue up best with his parting words, “Besides which, the new law doesn’t restrict anyone from making their own variant for personal use. Personally? I’m going to be flying my pink-petalled Edopru!”

The common element between all three variants – and our national floral emblem – is “the Edopru” as a colloquialism for the national flag likely to catch on? Time will tell, as the new flags enter into force with the law, on the 18th.

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