Idiom Neutral needs a flag...and now might already have one

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Every major IAL has a flag or logo, a symbol by which it can be recognized in an instant. Esperanto has its trademark green flag:

Ido has a blue one:

Interlingua is a bit of an exception in just having a kind of logo which is clearly not a flag as flags should ideally be able to be drawn in a short time:

Lingua Franca Nova has a flag:

which is based on the flag of the Seychelles,

a nice match because a creole is spoken in the Seychelles, the flag is quite colourful reflecting its light and somewhat exotic nature, and has five rays which represent each of the source languages (Spanish, Portuguese, Catalan, French, Italian).

Idiom Neutral, as far as I know, never had a flag. On the front of the Idiom Neutral grammar is this:

But that's Volapük, and it's not the symbol or flag of the language either.

So Idiom Neutral needs a flag, and I mentioned that the other day. I also mentioned that I've found it easy to explain the language here in Korea as it can be easily translated as 중립어 (literally Neutral Language or Neutralese) and Japan and China use the same construction too: 中立語 and 中立语. The first character (中) is one of the first kanji/hanja/hanzi students ever learn, and it is seen everywhere. It can mean China (middle kingdom), but the meaning of the character itself is middle, and that's where the word for neutrality comes from, using the characters for middle and stand. So after writing that post I scribbled out a few ideas of a possible flag, but didn't try all that hard to come up with one.

A few hours later, lo and behold Lance sent me a design for the language that I think is perfect. It's strong but very easy to remember and copy, incorporates the I and N in Idiom Neutral, and also the neutrality symbol just mentioned.


Here it is:

The two with the bars are flag designs, and the two without are simple logos. The very last one for example would be best to go on a t-shirt, a good way to show one's support without being too obvious, as most people aren't comfortable with being a walking ad but don't mind something that isn't too obvious but may be asked about by anyone you have a conversation with.

If it were a tiny t-shirt logo it would actually look almost like the Chinese symbol, as you can see when you zoom out.

I would wear a polo shirt with that symbol embroidered on the left breast. Oh yeah.

The black is, of course, because black is the colour of neutrality.

So I'm a big fan of the symbol and will certainly begin using it here and there. Whether others like it we'll find out soon enough, but I certainly don't see any downside to it.

Edit: ha! If you look at the comments below it looks like most people think the symbol resembles the swastika or Iron Cross. I still think it just looks like 中, but then again I've been in Asia for ten years and see swastikas at the temple all the time so the symbol doesn't really mean all that much to me unless it's obviously one from Nazi Germany. Some have said that a simple change in coloring might do the trick, so Lance has obliged with the following:

And shrunk down, as it might be seen on a polo shirt or side of a book:

So what's the verdict now?

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