The Weekly Flag Challenge (WFC) was started in 2009, as an effort to supplant the scattered and overly one-shot flag challenges that dominated the board until then, with a regular, professionally organized competition. Taking inspiration from the Map of the Fortnight map challenge project, the WFC has grown into the premier regular flag competition of AH.com. RULES This is the official set of rules for the Weekly Flag Challenge. Threads Discussion & Entries (this one). This is where you discuss the contest and post your entry. New Challenges & Previous Winners. This is where you find the latest challenge announcements, and declarations of winners. DO NOT POST DISCUSSION OR ENTRIES IN THIS THREAD. The cycle The Weekly Flag Challenge works like the Eurovision Song Contest. The winner of a round chooses the theme for the next round and sets it up. 1.) New idea The previous winner thinks of an idea for a Weekly Flag Challenge. Restrictions on challenges: Challenges CANNOT require entrants to make anything other than flags and explanations. For example, you cannot require entrants to make maps or photographs. Challenges CANNOT limit the eligibility of entrants. For example, you cannot say “only the first 4 entrants will be considered”. If the previous winner cannot think of an idea, they can notify a Volunteer (see list below), who will use a random number generator to reuse a theme used at least 10 rounds ago. 2.) Announcement The previous winner announces the next challenge in the “New Challenges & Previous Winners” thread. If the previous winner is unwilling or unable to organize the next round, they can ask a Volunteer (see the overseer list below) to do it for them. The previous winner would still have the privilege of selecting the challenge's theme. The announcement should include the deadline with date, time and time zone. The round should close in four days (this works well from experience) but the round organizer may choose otherwise if necessary. 3.) Entry submission Entrants submit designs in the “Discussion & Entries” thread. Restrictions on entries: You CANNOT enter the round if you won the previous round, or if you are banned from the Weekly Flag Challenge. You CANNOT enter more than one flag unless the challenge specifically asks for multiple flags. You CANNOT enter anything other than flags and explanations. For example, you cannot add a supplementary map. You can change your entry as many times as you want before the closing date. The most recent design posted by a entrant will be considered their entry. Size limits: For an image in a single-flag entry, the shortest side must be 600 pixels or less, and the longest side must be 1200 pixels or less. For each image in a multiple-flag entry, the shortest side must be 400 pixels or less, and the longest side must be 600 pixels or less. If all sides are equal, the limit of the shortest side applies to both sides. 4.) What happens if not enough people enter If the round closes and there are less than two entries, the round organizer is allowed to extend the round by up to seven more days. If seven days has passed and there are still less than two entries, the round organizer is obligated to cancel the current round and start another one. 5.) Voting When the submission period is over, the round organizer makes a poll thread entitled “Weekly Flag Challenge #[round number] voting” in the Alternate History Maps and Graphics subforum. This contains all of the entries but they must be ANONYMOUS and labelled only by number, i.e. “entry 1”, “entry 2”, etc. The poll should close in three days (this works well from experience) but the round organizer may choose otherwise if necessary. 6.) Winning When the poll closes, the entry with the most votes wins. The winner and their flag are posted in the “New Challenges & Previous Winners” thread. 7.) The cycle starts anew The new winner gets to decide the next challenge, and the cycle continues. If there is a tie, the winners negotiate on the next challenge and who is responsible for making the new threads and posts. Changing the rules On the discussion page, anyone can recommend a change to the rules list. If enough members agree that the proposal has merit, a poll will be conducted on the Alternate History Maps and Graphics subforum. It will include the proposal and two options (FOR and AGAINST). It will close after four days and the option with the most votes will win. The rules on this page will be adjusted accordingly. Alternatively, Transparent Blue might see something very banal that needs adjusting (usually just copyediting or clarification) and edit this post. Offenses We try to keep this competition friendly, so we will only get pissy about plagiarism. First you will be warned, then you will be banned from the Weekly Flag Challenge. FAQ 1. Why are there two threads? By having a separate thread for new challenges, it makes it easier to tell when a new challenge has been posted. 2. Why are entries anonymous on the voting thread? Contrary to popular misconception, this is not strictly to prevent voters from finding out who made which entry. We are perfectly aware that members can look into the other threads and find out the authors. It is actually related to the halo effect, a verified psychological effect in which fame and reputation (or lack thereof) can bias selection behaviour. By excluding any visible indicators of the contestants, we aim to reduce this effect and produce fairer results based only on the quality of the entries. This technique does rest on the assumption that in judging the flag entries, voters will be satisfied with viewing the flag entries alone and not go out of their way to go to another thread to search for the identity of every entry's artist. However, there is no evidence that anyone has ever done that, nor that anyone would feel this is necessary to make a voting decision. 3. Why are winners of a round forbidden from entering the next round? To prevent winners from choosing a challenge theme they can win easily, and then winning it easily, starting a cycle that locks others out. 4. I tied with someone else in first place. In the next round, are we both forbidden from entering? Not necessarily. Only the member who thinks of the next challenge theme is forbidden from entering. If there are tied winners and only one of them thought of the challenge theme, the other member is still able to enter. However, if they both thought of the challenge theme, they are both forbidden from entering. 5. I won a round but then deferred the theme selection to a Volunteer. In the next round, am I forbidden from entering? No, you can enter. The restriction only applies to the member who thinks of the next challenge theme. 6. Why is there a size limit on entries? Before we had a size limit, some entrants would submit very large images. The size differences made it difficult to compare entries, the images sometimes went off the screen, and the images could not be viewed properly when browsing on mobile devices. A size limit was created to prevent these issues. 7. What happens if a contestant is banned from the site during a challenge? Can that entry still be voted on? Can that entry still win? All entries should remain eligible for voting and winning, no matter what happens to the member who made it. If a banned contestant's entry were to win, the runner-up would make the next challenge. GUIDE FOR WINNERS If you won the Weekly Flag Challenge, please click here for an easy guide for what to do, including templates. GUIDE FOR VOLUNTEERS If you are a Volunteer, please click here for an easy guide for what to do. LIST OF OVERSEERSDirector: Transparent Blue Archivist: Petike Volunteers: OAM47 Rarayn The Professor LIST OF MEMBERS BANNED FROM ENTERING THE WEEKLY FLAG CHALLENGE None so far, and let's keep it that way!