It is known as a flag to the piece of cloth that is tied to a pole and that serves as a distinctive of a country, an institution or another type of entity. Flags can also be used to communicate some kind of information or signal.
For example: “The Argentine flag is light blue and white”, “At the end of the game, the tennis player approached the stands and took a Spanish flag to wear it at the awards ceremony”, “We have to create a company flag to display in the entrance to the building ”, “ The flag indicates that bathing is prohibited ”.
The most common shape of the flags is rectangular, but it is possible to find square, triangular, trapezoidal flags, etc. The national flags are those that represent a nation or country and exhibited in its national territory and its embassies in foreign soils.
Within a country, however, there may be other flags that identify sub-national entities. In this way, we can find flags that represent a neighborhood, a municipality, a city, a province, a department, etc.
Various international associations or entities, such as the UN or the EU, also have flags that distinguish them. The same can be said for certain private entities, such as sports clubs or companies.
The signal flags, on the other hand, are raised to convey a certain message. They are used in the maritime sector and in rescue groups operating on the coast, among other areas. Thus, a light blue flag can indicate that the sea is calm, while a red flag indicates that, due to the waves, it is dangerous to enter the water.
In terms of music, there is a musical group called “Sin Bandera”, formed in 1998 by Noel Schajris and Leonel García. The name of the band responds to the idea of its creators to present a group that transmitted messages of unity, where nationalities did not matter. Just like love, music has no flag so they wanted to offer songs that represented this idea: through music we can become ONE.
The flag and patriotism
The term of flag is inescapably related to patriotism. It is said that those people who love the land in which they were born and feel identified with its customs embrace its flag, defending traditions and publicly showing that they are proud of their country.
In the the RAE, the concept is linked to love for the country or the behavior of a patriot, which indicates a deep courage to face what is necessary in the name of the flag. Patriotism would be reflected in the development of honest work and collaborating for the common good.
It is said that a true patriot is one who manifests his values (solidarity, equality and fraternity) that focus on collaborating with the common good. Unfortunately, this term has spread throughout the different countries, becoming something clearly negative because it promotes xenophobic attitudes and similar discrimination with all those people who do not belong to the same country. Patriotism is an ideal that generates closure and instills appreciation for what is one’s own and contempt for what is others, something that contradicts its principles, which are the construction of the common good.
The writer Julio Cortázar, an absolute enemy of chauvinism, says that one of the positive paths for humanity is miscegenation; that when the fusion of races is greater, the jingoism, nationalism and other synonyms, absolutely absurd and senseless attitudes, will finally be eliminated.