With its 2010 volume, Raven resumes its standard format: several excellent articles on varied flag topics. All were presented first as papers at the Association’s 2009 annual meeting in Charleston, South Carolina; they represent the pinnacle of vexillological scholarship in North America and include the winner of the Captain William Driver Award and the recipient of the Honorable Mention. Unusually, two of the members of the editorial board of Raven contributed articles—demonstrating the deep commitment its members have to vexillology and furthering their personal research in the field.
Juxtaposing Symbols in Civil Religion: The Lady and the Flag
Scot M. Guenter, founding editor of Raven and coordinator of the American Studies Program at San José State University—San José, California
In a timely analysis, the leading proponent of observing the flag as the centerpiece of the country’s civil religion now explores how Sarah Palin, the 2008 vice-presidential candidate, embodied the archetypes of the female essence of America—Good Mother, the Woman Warrior, and the Sex Goddess—all juxtaposed with the American flag. Extensively illustrated.
Flags of the State Navies in the Revolutionary War: A Critical Overview
Peter Ansoff, former president of the Association and U.S. Navy contractor—Annandale, Virginia
Ten states created their own navies, separate and distinct from the Continental Navy organized by Congress, to fight the British. Categorized into “blue water,” “brown water,” and “minor” navies, they played an important role in the Revolutionary War and the development of the nation’s early flags.
Ensigns of New Zealand
Dean Thomas—expatriate and vexillologist for the XIV Commonwealth Games in Auckland—Beebe, Arkansas
While the roots of the country’s ensigns lie in those of the United Kingdom, those of New Zealand have often “broken the mold” with a potpourri of tradition and originality. The article describes over a dozen ensigns ranging from the national flag to the Ministry of Transport ensign.
Soviet Children’s Flags
Anne M. Platoff, Slavic Studies Librarian, The University of California, Santa Barbara—Goleta, California
In the Soviet Union (1922-1991) small flags designed for and used by children were more than just toys. Deep scholarship and extensive illustrations of flags from the author’s collection show how such flags played a significant role in the socialization of Soviet children.
The Presidential Flags of Cuba from 1909 to the Present
Maikel Arista-Salado y Hernández, Cuban immigrant and historical scholar
How could the flag of the chief of state of this Caribbean nation have been portrayed with the wrong color in otherwise-definitive flag books (such as Neubecker) for most of its history? The author shows how a misreading of the original description led to the use of a light blue field instead of the standard dark blue, and proposes an update to the design of the flag.
Scot M. Guenter, San José State University
Anne M. Platoff, University of California, Santa Barbara
John M. Purcell, Cleveland State University (emeritus)