Happy Flag Day! (June 14, 2011)

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
In the United States, June 14th is celebrated as the anniversary of the 1777 adoption of the familiar 'stars and stripes'. So, what better day to look at some flags of the Terran Confederation?

The end of Wing Commander I offers up the first flag in Wing Commander history, with soldiers erecting it on Venice in reference to the famous Iwo Jima photograph. Unfortunately, the scene is all done in silhouette, so the details were unknown. The first visible flag in the Wing Commander canon appears in a cutscene in The Secret Missions 2: Crusade. The Firekkans stand under a bejeweled rock column and the Terrans under a distinct blue flag with two white five-point stars and a red stripe:

It's worth noting that the Confederation went without a single distinct emblem for quite a while. Both a five-point star and the distinctive "Origin logo" roundel appear at various places in the earlier games. In Wing Commander II, Ferrets have red Origin logos on their wings but Terran capital ships have yellow stars. In Wing Commander III, the familiar logo is more prevalent but pilots also wear a 'sword in star' logo on their uniforms. Super Wing Commander even has a different elongated star!

It wasn't until 1996 that the series would show us a new flag. Wing Commander IV created a flag for the Confederation by placing the now-familiar roundel on a blue field (sometimes with a white trim).
Wing Commander IV has another treat for flagophiles: 16 other flags hanging above the assembly, likely representing different Confederation members:

Then came the Wing Commander movie! The wonderful opening sequence actually shows another Confederation flag, one that is almost a mix of the Secret Missions 2 and Wing Commander IV versions (and part Texas State flag). Unfortunately it is only a faint image that is overlayed over a map of the galaxy. Star*Soldier uses a version of the Wing Commander movie flag on two pages, offering a canonical color scheme:
Later, concept art of the sketches from the movie intro were discovering--allowing Bob McDob to create an image of how he believes that flag should be colorized!

Original update published on June 14, 2011
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Rear Admiral
Since vexil~~~ogy has been an interest of mine since I was very young (yes, I am a man of many hats), I’ve always wanted to rectify the different designs seen in Wing Commander.
I know this has probably be discussed some time ago, but here’s my take.


Now, I realize that the mostly blue design seen on Star*Soldier is sort of an amalgamation of designs, but its likeness also appears in a piece of concept art, apparently flying over an academy.


Its presence on an official poster leads me to believe that this flag is probably both the Confed state flag and war flag: Flown on public buildings, unarmed government vessels and (oddly enough) military buildings.


The flag with the red on it (which bears a closer resemblance to Chile), is seen being raised by (what is implied to be) colonists or explorers (perhaps the Confederation Exploratory Service?).


Needless to say, the design doesn’t appear in any military related pictures, leading me to believe that it might be similar to the like-colored British civil ensign (also known as merchant flag or merchant ensign).

So let’s call this one the Confed civil flag: Flown by citizens planet-side and on private vessels (merchant ships, cruise ships, yachts, etc.).


As for the flag depicted in Wing Commander 4, it ties into the main flag design.
Historically, both the United States, Confederate Stats, and Chile (to name a few) used naval jacks which were just the canton of the national flag.


So this flag we can tentatively call the Confed navy jack or war ensign: Flown on warships and certain other vessels.


The designs seen in Wing Commander 1 and 2, while slightly different (save the color of the stars and the direction of the red stripe), are similar enough that they "might" be considered the same design. Given its presence on Firekka, we can safely assume that this is the Confed diplomatic flag



Why this flag was present at Blairs court-martial, I’m not sure, unless the gold-star variant represents some sort of judicial flag. The lack of such a flag at Tolwyn’s court-martial probably (rather using the navy jack, a military flag) probably indicated the severity of the trial.

While the exact symbolism on the flags is open to some debate, given Chris Roberts’ English background, any similarity between the design and function of the Confed and UK flags (while almost entirely coincidental) is just to funny to pass up.

Conclusion: “Confed loves them some flags.”
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It's possible the Sword over Star flag is the victory's ship flag. Of course, it could just be the flag of the TCSF.

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
The sword-in-star isn't just on the Victory - it's the floor of Tolwyn's office at Torgo in WC3 (and then in various far flung art in the CCG.) At the time it was intended to be a sort of coalition logo, the unified war effort of the Confederation and allies... but that was never really canonized clearly.