Lesson 8: Vexillology

In this lesson, we’re going to design a city flag for a city whose flag violates the North American Vexillological Association’s five rules.


Vexillology is the study of the flags, and the North American Vexillological Association has outlined five rules by which well designed flags should be designed. They are listed below:

  1. Keep It Simple. The flag should be so simple that a child can draw it from memory.
  2. Use Meaningful Symbolism. The flag’s images, colors, or patterns should relate to what it symbolizes
  3. Use 2 or 3 Basic Colors. Limit the number of colors on the flag to three which contrast well and come from the standard color set
  4. No Lettering or Seals. Never use writing on any kind or an organization’s seal
  5. Be Distinctive or Be Related. Avoid duplicating other flags, but use similarities to show connections

Roman Mars

Roman Mars is a designer and creator of the 99% Invisible podcast. Watch his TED talk on flag design below: