Piece image

99% Invisible #06- 99% Symbolic (Standard 4:30 Version Only)

From: Roman Mars
Series: 99% Invisible (Standard Length)
Length: 04:30

Embed_button
Every major city in the US has a flag, but very few are part of city life. This 99% Invisible looks at the principles of good flag design and how those principles are used and ignored. Your host struggles with the word "vexillological." Read the full description.

99logoprx_small Before I moved to Chicago in 2005, I didn’t even know cities had their own flags. In Chicago, the city flag is everywhere. It’s incorporated into all different aspects of city life and the design elements are used on businesses, websites, clothing and apparel. So when I moved back to San Francisco in 2008, I looked up my new city flag and wondered why I never really noticed it before. Ugh, now I know. Ted Kaye, editor of Raven- a scholarly journal of vexillology and treasurer of the North American Vexillological Association, helps me understand the principles of good flag design and imagines with us a better flag for the greatest city on earth (IMHO).

Also in the 99% Invisible (Standard Length) series

Piece image

visible #122- Good Egress (Standard 4:30 version) (04:30)
From: Roman Mars

Locate the exits nearest you
Piece image

99% Invisible #120- Skyjacking (Standard 4:30 version) (04:28)
From: Roman Mars

Hijackers robbed the United States of a pleasant airport experience.
Piece image

99% Invisible #119- Feet Of Engineering (Standard 4:30 version) (04:28)
From: Roman Mars

The agony and ecstasy of the high heel.
Piece image

99% Invisible #117- Clean Trains (Standard 4:30 version) (04:29)
From: Roman Mars

There's still graffiti on the New York City subway. We can't see it.
Piece image

99% Invisible #115- Cow Tunnels (Standard 4:30 Version) (04:29)
From: Roman Mars

The mystery of New York's secret meat hacking district.
Piece image

99% Invisible #114a- Roger That (Standard 4:30 Version) (04:29)
From: Roman Mars

The increasing jolliness of the Jolly Roger.
Piece image

99% Invisible #112- Young Ruin (Standard 4:30 Version) (04:29)
From: Roman Mars

A building that was ruined, but not spoiled.
Piece image

99% Invisible #110- Structural Integrity (Standard 4:30 version) (04:28)
From: Roman Mars

When Manhattan was almost flattened.
Piece image

99% Invisible #102- Icon For Access (Standard 4:30 version) (04:29)
From: Roman Mars

When a universal symbol does not universally apply.

Piece Description

Before I moved to Chicago in 2005, I didn’t even know cities had their own flags. In Chicago, the city flag is everywhere. It’s incorporated into all different aspects of city life and the design elements are used on businesses, websites, clothing and apparel. So when I moved back to San Francisco in 2008, I looked up my new city flag and wondered why I never really noticed it before. Ugh, now I know. Ted Kaye, editor of Raven- a scholarly journal of vexillology and treasurer of the North American Vexillological Association, helps me understand the principles of good flag design and imagines with us a better flag for the greatest city on earth (IMHO).

Broadcast History

Aired on KALW 10/08/10