Tips on designing communist flags?

A while back I had a thread on designing fascist flags. Based on recent discussion in the Flag Thread, I think it would be good to have a similar one for communism.
 
While this is true of any flag really, it definetly holds true in creating communist flags: have it make sense in the context that you are creating it. Simply slapping on a hammer and sickle, are an all red field with a golden colored symbol in the upper left corner, does not always make a good communist flag. Have it be realistic by understanding (even bare bones) how communism would have gain power in the nation you are making the flag for or what kind of history is behind it.

As an example, I offer the flag made for EdT's "Fight, and Be Right" series for the former United Kingdom: while it may not scream "communism!" as much as the OTL USSR flag, it makes sense in the contect of the story and still envokes a feel of realism and not "slap a symbol on a colored field" like some alternate Communist flags do.

FWRFlag.png
 

Thande

Donor
It depends whether you're talking about a POD after 1920 or so or not, whether the OTL USSR is around in a recognisable form to inspire other countries' communists in symbolism or not. As PCSwitaj says, people tend to be a bit narrow-minded about this--the hammer and sickle MIGHT show up as a symbol if it's a post-1920 POD and they're directly copying the USSR, but even in OTL a lot of countries replaced them with other symbols more appropriate for that country (such as a hammer and hoe, or a pair of compasses and a cogwheel). And it's really questionable if it's a pre-1920 POD and yet there are still hammers and sickles all over the place.
 
I actually do need a Communist/Socialist flag idea for a socialist movement in New York City in the 1880s and 1890s, anyone got any suggestions.
 
the hammer and sickle MIGHT show up as a symbol if it's a post-1920 POD and they're directly copying the USSR, but even in OTL a lot of countries replaced them with other symbols more appropriate for that country (such as a hammer and hoe, or a pair of compasses and a cogwheel)
I like the assault rifle and hoe (and book) of Mozambique myself.
 
I actually do need a Communist/Socialist flag idea for a socialist movement in New York City in the 1880s and 1890s, anyone got any suggestions.

New York City - one of the world's largest/fastest growing harbors. Anchors and Welders and the like.
 

Thande

Donor
New York City - one of the world's largest/fastest growing harbors. Anchors and Welders and the like.
I did a Socialist New England + New York + Pennsylvania one a while ago and used a cogwheel and book (for industry and learning/intellectualism) as the symbol, but your anchor makes a lot of sense too.
 
how about very simple, a red flag with in the center the windmill blade of the NYC coat of arms? (or maybe several of them)
 
I actually do need a Communist/Socialist flag idea for a socialist movement in New York City in the 1880s and 1890s, anyone got any suggestions.
A plain red flag. Even if they take control of a city, as in Paris, it is probably going to be a plain red flag—unless there's a serious anarchist movement involved—in which case it is likely to be alternating plain red and plain black flags.

It is too early to have defaced flags in the 1880s and 1890s.

yours,
Sam R.
 
I have to agree with some fellows before me to say, the Hammer and Sickle are not Communism incarnate, and it is ignorant to have them without some reason. The reason in the OTL is that they were the symbols of the USSR, and since every Communist movement afterward was usually involved with the USSR, they adopted similar flag properties, among which are the Hammer and Sickle or similar, and red and yellow.

In a power dissociated from the USSR, either through it not being, or being at odds, or perhaps some power comes out before the Soviets, then all those go out the window.
What you will have, however, is symbols of workers and labor and industry, often with a flag color scheme symbolizing those same things, along with freedom, democracy, and so on.

For example, here is a flag I did for a Marxist Germany pre-USSR.



Note, no hammer and sickle. But, there is a cog to symbolize industry and labor and so on. Note it is also not in the upper left corner like the Soviet flag. The flag does entail red and yellow, but only because those are the colors in the flag used during the democratic Germany movements of 1848 (I think). It has nothing to do with the USSR.
 
I really like Iserlohn's take on a Soviet-carved Moravian-Slovak Socialist Republic :





Partly because its eeriely reminescent (in colour) of the horrid but all too real Slovak CoA used during OTL 1960-1990 :

 

mowque

Banned
For example, here is a flag I did for a Marxist Germany pre-USSR.



Note, no hammer and sickle. But, there is a cog to symbolize industry and labor and so on. Note it is also not in the upper left corner like the Soviet flag. The flag does entail red and yellow, but only because those are the colors in the flag used during the democratic Germany movements of 1848 (I think). It has nothing to do with the USSR.
My Tl was going to have a flag almost just like that (it goes Red). But in the end I figured changing the flag was too traumatic and I just have them keep the old one. But it looked JUST like that...hmm.
 
I must agree with everyone in regards to the imagery depending on the country, history and situations.

For example the following flags are all different flags for a Leftist/Communist Spain, the first for a Syndicalist-based movement
while the second and third for one in which Christian Communism was the major backing component;

Flag Example.png
 
Avoid copy and pasting the DDR symbol onto generic tricolour flags, it's boring and an abuse of a symbol created for specific nation.
 

Thande

Donor
I must agree with everyone in regards to the imagery depending on the country, history and situations.

For example the following flags are all different flags for a Leftist/Communist Spain, the first for a Syndicalist-based movement
while the second and third for one in which Christian Communism was the major backing component;
I like the cross and sickle symbol. Reminds me a bit of the hammer and dove symbol used by some British Communists who emphasised pacifism.
 
I did a Socialist New England + New York + Pennsylvania one a while ago and used a cogwheel and book (for industry and learning/intellectualism) as the symbol, but your anchor makes a lot of sense too.
Do you have a link to it, I'd like to see it.
 
A communist flag doesn't even have to be much different from a non-communist one - see the Eastern European ones, which preserved the previous colors with the addition of communist coats of arms. The Bulgarian one even incorporated the year the first Bulgarian state (and monarchy) was founded along with the date the regime was established, presumably turning to nationalism to shore up support for the new regime.



I wouldn't be surprised if any American communist state heavily emphasized the "spirit of 1776" in its symbology.
 
Or use other syimbols like a sickle, spade and sorghum. Has they appear in the flag and various seals and medals of the Khorezm People's Soviet Republic

various Khorezm People's Soviet Republic.png

various Khorezm People's Soviet Republic.png
 
What's important is that there has to be a history behind the choices made for the flag elements. And obviously, it should be aesthetically pleasing as well. That's the number one reason to avoid going the defacing route. Some flags, particularly the American one, look hideous if you try to deface them with any sort of symbolic device.

The path I took in designing the flag for the UASR in Reds! was based on creating a visual contrast between the Soviet Union and the American revolution. While both are driven heavily by Marxism-Leninism, the experience of class conflict in America was more inclusive and less Manichean. A democratic Marxism-Leninism that could derive nourishment from home-grown American anarchist movements as well as traditional American appeals to liberty and populism.

That was the reason for the red and black field. And the device in the center dually suggested a break with the legacy of the old United States as well as independence from Moscow and the Soviet Union. Since the revolution happened in the thirties, and the US communists playing a fairly independent, number two role in the Comintern due to the size of the party and its relative power, a blind copy-paste of soviet heraldry was inappropriate. The hammer and sickle meme ends up pretty much strangled in its cradle, eventually becoming limited only to the Soviet Union.

The components of the central device were chosen based on the broadness I had previously developed. It wasn't the simplistic copypasta of "peasants and workers". That's inappropriate, especially in the US that doesn't have a peasant class. So the American communists represent a broad coalition of people who have been intensely disenfranchised from the pre-revolution status quo. Yeoman farmers and sharecroppers, represented by the wreath of grain, are a core constituent of the party (since I'm not much of an artist, I borrowed the vectors from the DDR coat of arms). The gear is included to represent industrial workers, another mass constituency of the party. The hammer itself, though, has a different meaning than in the Soviet flag (the vector was borrowed from the angolan flag). It represents a specific class of proletarians: miners, who are a constituency with a unique consciousness within the party, and function as a distinct political bloc. The compass, of course, represents intellectuals, obviously of the proletarian kind. Alienated brainworkers who end up filling up much of the core of the party's hierarchy. Those were also borrowed from the DDR flag.

The result turned out to be fairly aesthetically pleasing. The tight grouping symbolizes the unity of the different groups as a single proletarian class, and all that comes with it.

Some elements I chose just for pure aesthetic regard. Like the 2:1 length/height ratio, just seems to appeal to me more than the more common 3:2 ratio.
 

Attachments

Top