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Amerika (television mini-series)

Last modified: 2014-03-15 by peter hans van den muijzenberg
Keywords: amerika | american unity party | heartland | lincoln (abraham) | lenin (vladimir) |
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Introduction

In the middle of the 1980s in the USA a TV series was made called Amerika, a fiction about Soviet occupation of USA.
Victor Lomantsov, 3 March 2001


Former United States of America

[Soviet United States of America]
image by Jorge Candeias, 3 March 2001

I saw photos from the movie. I remember the flag of the occupied USA – "Soviet United States of America" – 'Stars and Stripes' with white hammer and sickle in the canton and without stars.
Victor Lomantsov, 3 March 2001


[Soviet America]
image by Albert S. Kirsch, 3 March 2001

The Soviet America fictional flag with the party star in red.
Albert S. Kirsch, 3 March 2001


[Occupied US]
image by António Martins and Joe McMillan, 4 July 2010

The US flag on the United Nations-like flag lacks stars, so that's the US flag in this fictional universe, although what this occupied US is, is unclear: Not an independent country, for sure, and not even an occupied one, as Heartland, at least, is scheduled for independence. The canton of the flag itself is purposefully starless, that's not an artifact of small size and/or lack of detail.
António Martins, 4 July 2010 & 21 December 2011

The Wikipedia article confirms that the occupied U.S. national flag (and flag of the new North American Alliance to-be?) has a starless canton.
António Martins-Tuválkin, 19 November 2011


Administrative Regions

In the series, the U.S. had been broken up into ten or so "administrative regions" – essentially groupings of states destined to become separate countries (i.e., California and Nevada comprised the "California Special District"; Kentucky, Tennessee and West Virginia comprised "Appalachia", and so forth). The general design of the flags for these regions seemed to be a dark blue field with a centered golden-yellow map of the states in the region; and the name of the region towards the bottom in gold letters.

The traditional Communist colors are red and gold. The only reason I can think of why the designer of these flags made them blue and gold is that the flags of many, if not most, U.S. states feature a state seal or other design on a dark blue background (i.e. Alaska, Oregon, Indiana).
Jeremy March, 29 November 2002

Whereas it is true that the flags of most communist parties worldwide do use predominantly red and gold, the same does not happen with national flags. If you look closely at world flags of the period between WWII and 1990, you'll see that the only flags of socialist states that became red and gold were those of the USSR, China and Vietnam (plus a couple of briefly flown African flags). All other socialist countries, regardless of their ties with the USSR or China, kept their national colors, simply adding (or sometimes removing) emblems to them. Strictly speaking, not even Vietnam got away from its traditional colors, since South Vietnam also used red and gold – the question there was simply about what color was predominant.

So, the choice of the people responsible for the series makes perfect sense in view of reality. In such a scenario, the flags would very probably be local, perhaps with socialist-style emblems added to them. Even the map-on-blue-with-name is consistent with the American local flag tradition.
Jorge Candeias, 30 November 2002


South Central

[South Central]
image by António Martins-Tuválkin, 19 November 2011

An outline of these regions is given in more detail in the English Wikipedia. Based on the description above and the given make-up for South Central, I made the flag for South Central.
António Martins-Tuválkin, 19 November 2011


American Unity Party

The series referred to an organization called the "American Unity Party". A scene shot in the office of a local party official showed a yellow banner with a red border and a black scales-of-justice design in the center above the black words "American Unity Party".
Jeremy March, 29 November 2002


Heartland

Towards the end of the series, one of the "administrative regions" – consisting of Illinois and several other Midwestern states – formally became an independent country called "Heartland". The flag, briefly displayed, consisted of three vertical stripes of dark blue, golden yellow, and dark blue, with a Soviet-style emblem on the center stripe. I believe the emblem showed a wreath of wheat intertwined with a blue, white and red tricolor flag, with a six-pointed red star in the center. The star seemed similar to the red stars on the current flag of Chicago, which was supposed to be Heartland's capital city.

The emblem in the center of the flag seemsed to be consistent with traditions of Communist heraldry (wreaths of wheat and a red star).
Jeremy March, 29 November 2002

In the Wikipedia article it is stated that, unlike what Jeremy March wrote, Heartland will have Omaha as its capital upon independence, with vexillological implications. (Note however that this Wikipedia article atypically lacks sources supporting most of its statements.)
António Martins-Tuválkin, 19 November 2011


Unidentified United Nations flag

[Defaced UN flag]
image by Marc Pasquin, 17 Decemer 2011

A United Nations-like flag was frequently displayed in the series. This flag was sky blue, with a white United Nations emblem located between an American flag (minus the stars in the canton) and a Soviet flag.
Jeremy March, 29 November 2002

I think that the reds in the American flag and the Soviet flag are indeed the same shade.
Marc Pasquin, 25 December 2011


It was never clear whether this was the future flag of the United Nations (unlikely, given that the series assumed that the U.S. had ceased to exist as an independent country) or the flag of the Soviet-led, U.N. peacekeeping force stationed in the former United States.
Jeremy March, 29 November 2002


Lincoln Week Parade

[Lincoln Week Parade flag]
image by Marc Pasquin, 2 July 2005

Red flag with two white ovals with portraits of Lenin and Lincoln.
Victor Lomantsov, 3 March 2001

The flags depicting the pictures of Lincoln and Lenin were featured in a "Lincoln Week" parade in Omaha, Nebraska, in the second episode of the series. Parades in Communist countries often used decorative red banners bearing the likenesses of Communist leaders or historical national heroes who had been "adopted" as historical role models by the Communist governments. Thus, probably these flags were used solely for decoration, and did not represent any particular party or organization.
Jeremy March, 29 November 2002

I recently found a, monochromatic, vidcap of a scene that show the flag pretty well. On a red field, I assume, 2 ovals containing the images of Lincoln at the hoist and Lenin at the fly.
Marc Pasquin, 2 July 2005