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Weekly Flag Challenge Rules

This is the official set of rules for the Weekly Flag Challenge.

Only members on the overseer list may edit these pages.

Weekly Flag Challenge: New Challenges & Previous Winners - This is where you discuss the contest and post your entry.

Weekly Flag Challenge: Discussion & Entries - 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, 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) 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.
  • 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”.

  • 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.


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.

Guide for Winners

If you won the Weekly Flag Challenge, see this page for an easy guide on what to do, including templates.

Guide for Volunteers

If you are a Volunteer, see this page for an easy guide on what to do.

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 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.


We try to keep this competition friendly, so there are only two punishable offenses: Plagiarism and editing the official wiki pages without permission. First you will be warned, then you will be banned from the contest.


Director: Transparent Blue
Archivist: Petike


Banned entrants

  • [None so far]

See Also

alternate_history/weekly_flag_challenge_rules.txt · Last modified: 2020/02/09 21:21 by timothyc