Subject: An eyesore over Europe?
The image created for the European flag by Rem Koolhaas may indeed be bold and brash, but beyond that fails almost every requirement that can be presented for it.
It seems that Mr Prodi commissioned this new design - without, it would seem, a great deal of input from the people of Europe - solely on the basis that the existing flag would become "too complex" were it to reach a total of 25 stars. And yet the proposed replacement already contains around 50 bands of colour of various widths, a number which, we must assume, must almost double if all those countries seeking admission to the EU were to be successful. This alone has been enough to convince many of my colleagues that this must be a hoax, but alas, it appears not to be.
Leaving aside the flag's dismal failure to fill its primary aim, let us then consider other uses and purposes to which it might be put. A flag is, after all, intended to be a stirring, rousing banner to which people can attach their pride, but how can they be proud of something that is so complex and impossible to reproduce? All that this psychadelic test-pattern arouses in me, I'm sorry to say, is my breakfast.
And who can own a flag that they cannot draw? Each of us could, quite easily, create an image of the Union Jack or the current EU flag, but, even if we could memorise the order of all the bands of colour, it would require a score of crayons (including, it would seem, five or more different blues) to reproduce it, not to mention a very closely-graded measure! Certainly, there would be no loosely whimsical representations of it, as is common practice with the Union Jack and EU flag - it would be almost useless to the tourist industry! And it is indeed fortunate that their is no single european football team, as the fans would despair of ever finding the right facepaint.
This, then, is a flag for computers, and precise ones at that - at the 100 pixels at which it is displayed on your website, much detail is already lost - a mortal insult surely to the Scots and Greeks, whose narrow bands of colour simply blur away. And gone are the hopes of cheap, efficient reproduction in two-tone printing or black and white - anything less than photographic colour, and the flag is unrecognisable. (In fact,it's unrecognisable in full colour - who would ever notice if the order of the bands were switched?). The costs to the EU bureaucracy of producing every memo in this colour depth would surely be astronomical.
While one might support the usually sensible Mr Prodi's attempts to inject some colour into European politics, I suspect that this time, he might care to reconsider. Or at least, provide us all with sunglasses.