When you look up some flags, you often get a webpage, or list if it were a part of a group or you had searched the group, and links to the place the flag represents. Sometimes, you’ll get a map with some flags, and be able to download a graphic. That lack of consistency was frustrating to me, as was the large lack of information about flag design components and other flags with similar features, for design research and/or inspiration to avoid duplication or find inspiration among variations. So in the winter of 2023, I designed and build interactive online displays that would contain it all, as well as be able to grow and change over time as the information changes. I did this using the Tableau Public platform, and the first result was this demo using national flags as a set.
National Flags interactive tool on Tableau Public
National flags were used in the demo because there is a manageable, generally finite set of them. New countries with new flags aren’t created very often, unlike cities where some among a large number of cities around the world are always getting new flags, whether first ones or changing of current ones. National flags also tend to be simpler in design, making codifying their features easier than the more diverse sub-national flags (state, provincial, region, etc.), and even more diverse city flag set (includes towns, municipalities, villages, etc.). However, rest assured, the schema used has been tested on over 1200 flags of all levels of administrative jurisdictions, so it is robust. But even if it gets changed, only the data needs to be updated for the tool to continue to be useful, rather than create a new one.
I hope you’ll have a look and see if you like this new tool. I think it’s a lot more interesting and user-friendly to engage with than other similar tools online. Please leave any questions or suggestions in the comments for ways you think the tool could be improved and I’ll see what I can do. Thank you.