Variations on a Theme: Flag of Goldharbour

In anticipation of the imminent release of The Bandits of Goldharbour, I’ve been doing some work on designs for the Goldharbour flag, which I’m planning to use as the cover art for the story. I decided on several basic elements that all of the versions would share and started playing around with them: the field of the flag is yellow, or, technically, gold (duh), and the images on the flag are white, the main element on the flag is the letter G (also duh), surrounded by a laurel wreath, with a Latin (technically Elvish) monogram standing for “Free Mercantile City”.

Technically, it probably shouldn’t be a G, if the rest of the words are in Latin (technically Elvish), in which case “Goldharbour” should be rendered as something like “Portus Aureus”. However, I have decided that places with names in English (technically Gardian) are Latinised (technically Elvenised(?)) with the original Gardian stem, rather translated, which is how this sort of thing works in real-life Latin (Japan is Iaponia and not “Pricipium Solis”).

Incidentally, all of the versions of the Goldharbour flag have a 2:3 height:width ration.

A flag.
First attempt at a Goldharbour flag.

This was the result of my first attempt. Overall, it’s perfectly cromulent, but I wasn’t satisfied with how the laurels turned out, and I couldn’t fit an element I really wanted to add (and did, in the later versions) on this design. In this case, the monogram stands for “civitas libera mercans”. In Latin (technically Elvish), there about a hundred ways to say “free” “mercantile” and “city”, plus about another hundred possible combinations of arranging them, so I had a lot of freedom to play around with that.

Another flag
Second attempt, featuring gryphons.

This is the second attempt, and the first where I managed to fit the gryphons I wanted from the beginning. In Classical mythology, gryphons are associated with gold and treasure, so it made sense to use them as the symbol for a stupendously-rich trading city. In this version of the flag, the G for Goldharbour has a H (for, uh, Goldharbour) and the monogram replaces the C for civitas with a U (rendered as a V, as is the case in Latin (technically Elvish)) for urbs.

Once again, a flag.
Third attempt at the flag.

The third version, in exchanged for embiggening the GH and monogram, did away with the laurel wreath and made the monogram, once again using a U for urbs, more noticeable. This one isn’t necessarily my favourite, but I do prefer the positioning of the gryphons closer to the edges of the flag.

I'm running out of funny ways to describe these things.
Fourth and final flag.

This flag includes my attempts at making the laurel wreath actually perfectly symmetrical, but I can’t tell if it worked (I think it did?). This one has, I think, the smallest lettering, and the biggest gryphons. Which is probably a good thing, mythological beasts are probably more impressive than letters. Speaking of the letters, I changed the ordering of the monogram, because I started feeling like “VLM” looked to much like a word in itself, rather than an abbreviation. I also went back to having the G be by itself, rather than having the H with it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s