Friday, August 4, 2017

A Flag Worth Dying For
By Tim Marshall

We all know how we feel when we see our flag flying. The Stars and Stripes evoke a strong emotion whether it be positive or negative. But that is not an unique story. Many other flags across history and the globe have had that same affect on people. This is their book.

Tim Marshall is a journalist and broadcaster and has traveled extensively around the world. His first hand knowledge expands the scope of this book. I very much enjoyed the chapter on the United States flag because 1) it is my country's flag and 2) because Marshall is British and writes it from an outsiders perspective. 

The chapters on the Middle East and the subtle and unique pieces of their flags also intrigued me. Take, for example, Saudi Arabia. They have the shahada (Islamic declaration of faith) written on their flag. Because of the shahada is considered holy there is a very strong rule to never fly their flag at half-mast and to never print it on clothes or items. FIFA one year had plans to print a soccer ball with all of the FIFA Cup teams represented and Saudi Arabia asked not to be included because having the shahada kicked around was completely improper. 

If you are like me and like to flesh out your knowledge of things we see every day (or if you need random knowledge for Trivia Night!) then this is the book for you. It is well written and easy to follow.