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Flags of constructed languages

Last modified: 2017-03-30 by antónio martins
Keywords: globe (white) | bolak | vikto | flower (orange) | sun: 8 rays | occidental | interlingue | yin yang | interlingua | latino sine flexione | map: world | eagle | europanto | language: constructed | linguistics |
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Constructed languages:

(Rough estimates for number of speakers) See also: External links:
  • Conlangs, a very comprehensive site about constructed languages
    reported by António Martins, 25 Aug 2004
  • Constructed language, at the English Wikipedia
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Introduction

There are nowadays maybe six or seven “living artificial languages” — from a total of several hundered “dead” ones, with new ones popping every year. The other “living” ones (meaning that a speaker community, however small, does exist), as far as I know, are Interlingua (IALA), Klingon, Lojban, Quenya, Ido, Volapük (sort of), and, of course, Esperanto.
António Martins, 04 June 1999

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Conlang flag

Conlang flag
image by Arnt Richard Johansen, 05 Aug 2006

The conlang flag represents both the Conlang mailing list, and language inventors and constructed language aficionados worldwide. It was flown at the 1st Language Construction Conference in Berkeley, California in 2006. The general idea of the conlang flag was decided as a result of a poll of the subscribers of the Conlang mailing list in 2004. The first proposal that included the Tower of Babel was submitted by Jan van Steenbergen, and the first proposal that included a rising sun was submitted by David Peterson. Multiple list members submitted designs that combined the two elements, the first of which was by Leland Paul. The final version of the flag was drawn by Christian Thalmann, who has released it to the public domain.

The flag depicts a silhouette of a ziggurat in front of a rising sun. The ziggurat is a reference to the biblical story of the Tower of Babel, representing language and linguistic diversity. The terraced structure of the ziggurat is also an iconic representation of the way a typical artistic language is created piece by piece, and is never quite completed. The rising sun represents the rise in notoriety and recognition of language construction as an art form.

The following Pantone values were used for the flags flown at the 1st LCC: black: Pantone Black; yellow: PMS 123; purple: PMS 527.

Arnt Richard Johansen, 05 Aug 2006

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Earlier proposal

An earlier proposal for the design had a red sky. This was later changed to purple, to avoid the association with anarchism that the red-black combination would have. In addition, purple is seen to symbolise creativity.
Arnt Richard Johansen, 05 Aug 2006

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Bolak

(conjectural flag)
Bolak logo
image by António Martins

Leon Bollack published his language project in 1899, and insisted with some more learning and reading material for some two years, with limited success. The name "Bolak" meant "blue [language]", and it used this color as symbol, standing for the sky surrounding the earth. I don’t know of any specific logo.
António Martins, 04 June, 1999

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Interlingua / Latino sine flaxione

(conjectural flag)

LSF flag
image by António Martins, 05 Jun 1999

Originally called Interlingua, this 1903 project by G. Peano is currently known by its alternate name, latino sine flaxione, due to another, later and more successful language of the same name. According to Rodríguez, it had a very classical symbol (in tune with the classical, as in Latin, origin of the language project): an eagle (Roman?) over the Earth globe, here in a conjectural black on white 2:3 logo flag.
António Martins, 05 Jun 1999

In Panorama in interlingua 2/1991: p.16 “Ab le archivo” [ial91a] black and white symbols of constructed languages from «our archive» (probably the image sources as for [rod97]?), which I quote: «Latino sine flexione, 1903» (dates are probably language publishing, not symbol creation, judging from 1887 for Esperanto), as in [rod97].
António Martins, 13 Aug 2007

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Neo

In Panorama in interlingua 2/1991: p.16 “Ab le archivo” [ial91a] black and white symbols of constructed languages from «our archive», which I quote «Neo, 1968» (dates are probably language publishing, not symbol creation, judging from 1887 for Esperanto): a joint-hemispheric (azimuthal equatorial) world map with "NEO" on it (one letter in each ocean, at the equator).
António Martins, 13 Aug 2007

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Occidental/Interlingue

(supposed flag)
Occidental flag
image by António Martins, 24 May 2003

Occidental was proposed by De Whal in 1922, renamed to Interlingue in 1945 for political correctness; in the early 80’ies all adepts had “upgraded” themselves to the very similar Interlingua. According to Rodríguez, they used as a symbol a “ying-yang” like device, standing for a world inter-relating and united.
António Martins, 05 Jun 1999

In Panorama in interlingua 2/1991: p.16 “Ab le archivo” [ial91a] black and white symbols of constructed languages from «our archive» (probably the image sources as for [rod97]?), which I quote: «Occidental Interlingue, 1923» (dates are probably language publishing, not symbol creation, judging from 1887 for Esperanto): the yin-yang like symbol as in [rod97], but much thicker.
António Martins, 13 Aug 2007

Rodríguez (pers. comm.) informs also that the usual colors used for the emblem of Occidental are red on white.
António Martins, 24 May 2003

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Vikto

(supposed flag)
Vikto flag
image by António Martins, 04 Jun 1999

Rodríguez refers that this language was created by Bosz Vilmos, a Hungarian, but doesn’t give the date. It’s logo is an orange five petal flower contour with a large white V on it; under it the motto «Vivat vikto!» (meaning more or less «Long live vikto!»), composed with an ornamental face.
António Martins, 04 Jun 1999

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Europanto

Europanto is not really a serious project of an international planned language (but then again, neither was Klingon!), rather a joke started by a Italian EU-translator making fun of the Euro-babylon at Brussels HQ, but it did became highly popular (as such). It may evolve as a half planned, serious pidgin, maybe into something more stable — who knows? As far as it goes any current symbol for Europanto would be some humourous version of the E.U. flag.
António Martins, 04 Jun 1999


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