Hail, Britannia

1986–1991 H. A. Boucher† (LiberalProgressive Democratic majority coalition)
And here you can see a ripple effect of Alaska being Russian as well as a stronger French presence in New Hampshire. Henry Aristide "Red" Boucher was Alaska's Lieutenant Governor from 1970 to 1974 in OTL.

Here, his name is possibly Henri-Aristide Boucher and he stays in New Hampshire, where he was born, and ends up an elder Liberal statesman who finally gets the leadership in 1978 and leads the Liberals in their wilderness years before returning them to power.
 
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Updated map, with the overseas stuff!
Full list of the overseas stuff:
Top-left (top to bottom, left to right): Dakar, Kouang-Tchéou-Wan, Nouvelle-Caledonie, Alexandrette
Bottom-left (reading order): Guyane, Martinique, Guadeloupe, Réunion, Saint-Martin, Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon, Îles Australes and de Bass, Îles Kerguelen, Îles Marquises, Saint-Barthélémy, Tuamotu-Gambier, Wallis-et-Futuna, Comores
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Honestly, all I can say is poor France. In the first page of this thread, you see Britain as the world's uncontested superpower with massive chunks of land loyal to London...and than you see France with some small islands and a small piece of land from South America and Africa...and that's about it. I mean, I know that this thread is all about the Britwank, but it still hurts a little to see how low Britain's once greatest rival has fallen.
 
Honestly, all I can say is poor France. In the first page of this thread, you see Britain as the world's uncontested superpower with massive chunks of land loyal to London...and than you see France with some small islands and a small piece of land from South America and Africa...and that's about it. I mean, I know that this thread is all about the Britwank, but it still hurts a little to see how low Britain's once greatest rival has fallen.
Still, it is a significant improvement on OTL. They got a whole ass chunk of Algeria.
 
I mean, I wouldn’t really say poor France when they still own several presumably wealthy and lucrative cities in the Middle East, Africa, and East Asia, along with plenty of islands allowing power projection. Granted we currently don’t know what their domestic politics are like, and if they’ve embraced any policies similar to Francafrique that’d make their colonial empire appear far smaller then it actually is, so they might be far weaker then otl.
 
Honestly, all I can say is poor France. In the first page of this thread, you see Britain as the world's uncontested superpower with massive chunks of land loyal to London...and than you see France with some small islands and a small piece of land from South America and Africa...and that's about it. I mean, I know that this thread is all about the Britwank, but it still hurts a little to see how low Britain's once greatest rival has fallen.
I mean, I wouldn’t really say poor France when they still own several presumably wealthy and lucrative cities in the Middle East, Africa, and East Asia, along with plenty of islands allowing power projection. Granted we currently don’t know what their domestic politics are like, and if they’ve embraced any policies similar to Francafrique that’d make their colonial empire appear far smaller then it actually is, so they might be far weaker then otl.
Don't feel too bad for France :)

They've retained significantly more territory than OTL, and as @Lazer_Pages rightly points out three of those territories are the wealthy and prosperous port cities of Alexandretta, Dakar, and Guangzhouwan.

France is also the leading power of Europe, as the pre-eminent member of the European Union. The country managed to retain significantly greater influence during the Cold War as the "third power" alongside Britain and the Soviets. The French Union held together a bit stronger than OTL, an attempt to replicate Britain's success at colonial integration, but ultimately crumbled as OTL. Françafrique is still a thing, and although France has lost influence in West Africa (with the rise of the Commonwealth-aligned West African Community and the Nigerian Civil War), the Maghreb Union, Gabon and the Kongo are very much part of the French sphere. There was also a much clearer transformation of the French Community into the Community of La Francophonie - a loose organisation much like the OTL British Commonwealth, but one which has strengthened French global influence.

In many ways France is the third global power, behind the United Empire and the Soviet Union, but ahead of Japan, wielding significant global influence in terms of military and economic power. French global power largely comes from its leadership of the European Union and it economic hegemony in the Maghreb, Nigeria and the Kongo.
 
Two things to note here:

1) Yeah, the french are racists, and the city of Guangzhouwan is officially named "Kouang-Tchéou-Wan". I wonder if they're locally trying to change that...
2) So, France was a third force in the cold war, but was it a true third force, or was it more like the OTL unaligned states?
 
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Two things to note here:

1) Yeah, the french are racists, and the city of Guangzhouwan is officially named "Kouang-Tchéou-Wan". I wonder if they're locally trying to change that...
2) So, France was a third force in the cold war, but was it a true third force, or was it more like the OTL unaligned states?
1) Kind of assumed an antagonistic dynamic between Guangzhouwan (the inhabitants insist) and the French. For the most part they’re allowed to do their own thing, but expect protests whenever Paris hands them a law they don’t agree with. Generally pro-China, but not reunification, and appreciates its unique status as a gateway for European trade to Asia.

2) My thinking is it fills the gap left by the lack of the UK (with Britain as the USA analogue) in this timeline. So French power is very much a mix of OTL France and Britain. I’ve doing some more research on the Second World War and Cold War, and I have some ideas for the relations between Britain, Soviets and the French...
 
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So in an effort to break the deadlock that's going on in my head, I'd like your input on which Chinese flag to choose. The more I look at them, the more I'm leaning towards Option 7...

Option 1


Option 2


Option 3


Option 4


Option 5


Option 6


Option 7


Option 8 will be counted as votes for a new design

Poll here :)

The two highest polling flags will go into a runoff later this week.​
 
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If you must pick option three, I would suggest a different colour for the background than white.

Gold and silver are not supposed to go together in vexillology, except for the Vatican City.

Personally, I would like option one, but replace the background colour for dark blue rather than red.
 
Vexillology rule are quite stupid and could perfectly be different in an ATL
Firstly, they are based on the colour rules for coats of arms, so they are very old.

Secondly, the colours need to be distinguishable from a distance. Light colours are difficult to distinguish from a distance.

Thirdly, I don't particularly care for yellow on white anyway. But that's me.
 
If you must pick option three, I would suggest a different colour for the background than white.

Gold and silver are not supposed to go together in vexillology, except for the Vatican City.

Personally, I would like option one, but replace the background colour for dark blue rather than red.
Vexillology rule are quite stupid and could perfectly be different in an ATL

So just do something that looks good, I prefer 1 personally
The reason I've gone away from Option 1 is that I think the red is too dark. But any lighter and it just looks like a Han dominated state - which China is but the flag needs to be a neutral representative symbol of all people of China.

Blue is out as its the colour of the Mongols on the flag, plus the use of blue in the flag of Kuomintang China makes it a no go.

I feel as though gold probably needs to go, as it represents the Manchu - who are independent - and Manchuria uses a gold flag with the imperial seal.

Basically it's a modern take on the Five Races flag:
Red = Han
Blue = Mongols
White = Hui
Green = Zhuang
Black = Yi​

So thanks to you I know have more designs!! I've gone back to amend the poll to add these as options. I'm leaning towards Option 7 now: The two highest polling flags will go into a runoff later this week.
 
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Nobu Shirase - First person to reach the South Pole
Following up the Antarctic claims, here's the first person to reach the South Pole ITTL. Thanks to @Turquoise Blue for bringing his existence to my attention. I'd never heard of a Japanese Antarctic expedition IOTL, so it was interesting to hear about it.


Nobu Shirase (白瀬 矗, Shirase Nobu; 20 July 1861 – c. 17 January 1921) was a Japanese army officer, explorer and a key figure of the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration. He led the first Japanese Antarctic Expedition, which became the first expedition to reach the South Pole in 1911. He established the first Japanese claims in Antarctica on King Edward VII Land, now part of the Tominami Dependency. Shirase disappeared in 1921 in the Ross Sea, while leading a second expedition to consolidate Japanese claims to the area.

Shirase had developed a passionate and enduring interest in polar exploration since youth, inspired by tales of European explorers. In 1881 he was commissioned as a lieutenant in the Imperial Japanese Army. During his military service, Shirase participated in the 1893 expedition to the northern Kuril Islands to establish a permanent Japanese settlement. Althought the venture was poorly organised and unsuccessful, it provided him with useful training for future polar exploration. He went on to serve in the Russo-Japanese War. Shirase had long intended to lead an expedition to the North Pole, but tensions between Russia and Japan, along with Roald Amundsen's planned expedition [1], caused him to switch is attention to the south.

Able to attract modest government support for his Antarctic venture, backed by Sigenobu Okuma, a prominent politician and advocate of scientific exploration, Shirase launched from Tokyo in the converted fishing vessel Kainan Maru, on 29 September 1910 [2]. Four months later, the expedition arrived at the eastern edge of the Ross Ice Shelf, at the Bay of Whales, on 12 January 1911. Shirase established his base camp there, and using skis and dog sleds created supply depots along a line directly south to the Pole. Unbeknownst to Shirase and his expedition, Robert F. Scott was leading the British Terra Nova expedition with the intent of also reaching the South Pole. While Shirase was unaware of the competition, Scott was determined to beat him to the Pole, calling the Japanese expedition their "rivals". Favouring Inuit-style furred skins over heavy wool clothing, Shirase and a small group set out on 22 September and arrived at the South Pole on 3 December, two and a half months before Scott's group. Shirase renamed the Antarctic Plateau as "Emperor Meiji's Plateau" [3]. The team returned safely to base camp on 19 January 1912, making their way off the continent and to Sydney, Australia, where Shirase publicly announced their success and telegraphed news to Tokyo.

Shirase and his companions were treated as heroes on their return to Japan, given a triumphal parade through the streets of Tokyo and Shirase was inivited to give a personal acocunt of his experiences to the imperial family. Japanese national interest in Antarctica waned over the following years, but Shirase's memoir, published in 1914, kept the continent in the national conscience during the First World War. In 1919, Shirase began planning a second expedition, with the support of the Japanese government, to consolidate Japan's claims to Antarctica as part of the Nanshin-ron doctrine [4], and in July 1920 the Kainan Maru set sail for Antarctica. Shirase disappeared on or around 17 January 1921 while sailing in the Ross Sea. It is believed the Kainan Maru became trapped in pack ice and was slowly crushed, and that Shirase and his crew either died on the ship or when the sea ice disintegrated. The wreckage of the Kainan Maru has never been found. Owing to Shirase's significant accomplishment in polar exploration, several places in the Antarctic are named after him, notably the Shirase-Scott South Pole Station, operated by the British-Commonwealth Antarctic Program, which was jointly named in honour of Shirase and his rival.


[1] - A slight Point of Divergence, ITTL the expeditions of Frederick Cook and Robert Peary either never take place, fail, or never claim to have reached the North Pole. Therefore Amundsen doesn't feel the need to divert to Antarctica, and becomes the first person to reach the North Pole. Amundsen ITTL is remembered as an exclusively Arctic explorer and figure.
[2] - With government backing, Shirase's expedition is able to leave earlier, and hence arrive in Antarctica in time to make landfall and start his planned polar trek.
[3] - Yes this is a direct parallel to Amundsen's renaming to "King Haakon VII's Plateau" IOTL.
[4] - The Nanshin-ron doctrine is the main philosophy of Japanese expansion ITTL, especially with their gains from Germany after the First World War.
 
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