JetPunk Flag Tournament - Results
First published: Monday January 9th, 2023
Exactly one month ago, on December 9th 2022, Abby and I set ourselves a goal to find the best country flag in the world with the help of geography-crazed communities, primarily the JetPunk community. Before we get to announcing the official results, we'd like to thank you all greatly for contributing to the forms and making the tournament possible. Determining the champion among so many flags is not an easy task, but we managed to do it thanks to the impressive average number of votes - 107.
About the final poll
In total, 106 votes were submitted and only one of them has failed during verification process, giving us the final number of 105 votes. Unsurprisingly, people's opinions were very split and it was impossible to predict the winner until very late into the finals. Both flags had to win many difficult duels to be worthy of appearing in the final matchup. The same things can be said about the flags that faced each other in the third place matchup - their rivalry was tense until the very end of the tournament.
Now let's congratulate the top 4 contestants!
4th place - Seychelles
This relatively new flag, adopted only in 1996, won many people's hearts. The oblique bands symbolize a dynamic new country moving into the future. The color blue depicts the sky and the sea that surrounds the Seychelles. Yellow is for the sun which gives light and life, red symbolizes the people and their determination to work for the future in unity and love, while the white band represents social justice and harmony. The green depicts the land and natural environment.
The unique design and the eye-pleasing combination of colors are what gives the flag the most charm. It should come to no surprise that the flag has made it to the semifinals. Seychelles won against Namibia in the first round, Nepal in the second round, Albania in the round of 16, and Canada in the quarterfinals. However its stride for the champion title ended when Barbados stepped in its way. Despite its impressive performance, Seychelles has missed its opportunity to stand on the podium by losing to Papua New Guinea 60-45.
3rd place - Papua New Guinea
The design of this flag was chosen through a nationwide design competition in early 1971. Interestingly enough, the winning designer was only 15 at the time. Susan Karike has impressed many vexillology fanatics around the world with the flawless execution of the flag, which combines the depiction of the Southern Cross and the silhouette of a Raggiana bird-of-paradise on the black & red background. Not only do these colors go well together, they have also long been traditional colors of many tribes in the country.
Papua New Guinea undoubtedly earned its bronze medal with the aesthetically satisfying presentation of symbolism on its flag. It had no major difficulties with defeating Angola in the first round, East Timor in the second round, and Antigua and Barbuda in the round of 16, but then it was matched up with Bhutan - the flag beloved by many, thanks to its magnificent depiction of a dragon. After a miraculous one-vote-difference win in the semifinals, PNG advanced to the semifinals where it met its demise in the match against Kazakhstan. Fortunately for the Oceanic nation, it proved itself worthy of its spot on the podium after yet another tough matchup, this time with Seychelles.
2nd place - Barbados
Surprisingly enough, this is the oldest flag among the top 4 finishers - it was adopted on 30 November 1966, the day the country gained independence. The flag was chosen as part of a nationwide open contest held by the government. Grantley W. Prescod's design was selected as the winner of a field of over one thousand entries, which was certainly the right decision. Even though the flag is a simple triband design, the head of the trident depicted in the middle and the appealing colors of the sea and sand made it stand out enough to be admired by many people.
Even though it has a quite neat flag design, Barbados made it further than most people probably would have expected. This doesn't mean it didn't deserve its spot on the podium though. It won against Guyana in the first round, Kiribati in the second round, North Macedonia in the round of 16, Brazil in the quarterfinals and just when many people thought it was doomed to lose, Barbados even defeated Seychelles in the semifinals. Its incredible journey came to an end when Kazakhstan won the final matchup 65-40. Despite its loss in the finals, many triband flags should learn from Barbados on how to make their designs more creative!
1st place - Kazakhstan
Give it up for the winning flag and its designer, Shaken Niyazbekov! The fantastic use of the gold color to depict a gold sun with 32 rays above a soaring golden steppe eagle earned the flag the golden medal in this tournament. The symbols are both centered on a soothing turquoise background, which adds to the beauty of the flag. The left side displays a national ornamental pattern called "koshkar-muiz" (the horns of the ram), also in gold.
Besides from pure aesthetics, the flag also has rich symbolism - the blue color is of religious significance to the Turkic people of the country and represents the endless sky as well as water; the sun, a source of life and energy, exemplifies wealth and plentitude; the sun's rays are shaped like grain, which is the basis of abundance and prosperity; the eagle has appeared on the flags of Kazakh tribes for centuries and represents freedom, power, and the flight to the future.
The flag is truly majestic for a multitude of reasons and hence we're happy to announce it the victor of the tournament. Kazakhstan is the only contestant that didn't lose to any other flag. It easily won against Czech Republic in the first round and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines in the second round, but then it had a struggle in the round of 16 match with South Korea. The countries were tied for the large part of the duel, but Kazakhstan pulled off a marvelous victory in the end. Neither Saint Lucia it faced in the quarterfinals, nor Papua New Guinea it faced in the semifinals were weak opponents, yet the Asian nation had no trouble defeating them. Even in the finals it emerged victorious with an impressive 25-vote-difference.
What are your thoughts?
For details about results in all matches, check out the tournament bracket here.
Remember to be civil and respect each other's opinions in the discussions! There is no objectively good or bad flag.