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Flying the Flag

Over the 2-1/2+ years I’ve been blogging here I think I’ve revealed a number things about which I’m a self-avowed geek: beer, of course, but also calendars, potato chips, economics and View-Master reels, to name a few. Well, I guess I have to unfurl yet another geeky passion of mine: vexillology. For the uninitiated, that’s the study of flags. Since I was a kid, I’ve loved pouring over books of flags, learning the meanings behind the colors and the symbols on the flags. I find it fascinating while my wife just shakes her head every time we pass a flag unknown to her that I can identify without a moment’s hesitation. I confess it’s not the kind of information that comes in handy very often, but it sure makes watching the Olympics easier.

So I was thrilled when I stumbled across these yesterday while trying to find a picture of Batman holding a beer. An ad agency in Boston, Arnold Worldwide, last December created a series of flags for a beer bar in Boston, the Sunset Grill & Tap. Their website claims they have the best beer selection in Boston with 112 beers on tap and 380 bottled, but given the looks of the site I rather doubt that quality is the driving force, just the quantity of their selection. If I had to guess — and I could be wrong, of course — I’d say they carry things like Stella Artois and not Westmalle from Belgium and Asahi but not Hitachino Nest Beer from Japan.

But the flags that their ad agency did for them are terrific, in my opinion. Simple is often best, I think. They just took the flags from three countries (at least these are the only ones I know of) and altered them ever so slightly to make you think of both beer and that nation in one simple image, their flag. The logo for Sunset Grill & Tap is the lower right-hand corner, but it’s unobtrusive. Now that’s creative, especially to the average amateur vexillologist.




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