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Flag Societies Around the World

Vexillology (the study of flags) is a comparatively recent addition to the field of knowledge as a separate and distinct discipline. The word is derived from the Latin Vexillum (flag) and the Greek -ology (the study of). Vexillology was first established in an organised form on 1st February 1962, when Dr. Whitney Smith founded the Flag Research Centre in Boston, USA. Since then, flag associations have been established in a steadily growing number of nations.

In 1969, the International Federation of Vexillological Associations was founded as an association of flag groups. It is usually referred to by its French initials: FIAV - Fédération Internationale des Associations Vexillologiques. There were initially 12 members, and there are now 59 member entities, including Flags Australia.

The current office bearers of FIAV are:

President: Michel Lupant, Belgium, pres@fiav.org

Secretary-General: Charles Spain, USA, sec.gen@fiav.org

Secretary-General for Congresses: Graham Bartram - UK, sec.cong@fiav.org

FIAV organises an International Congress of Vexillology every two years. The 1st ICV was held in the Netherlands in 1965. The 23rd ICV was held in Yokahama, on 12-17 July 2009, hosted by the Japanese Vexillological Association. The 24th ICV was held in Alexandria, near Washington DC on 1-5 August 2011, hosted jointly by the North American Vexillological Association (NAVA) and the Chesapeake Bay Flag Association. ICV25 was held in Rotterdam on 5-9 August 2013, being jointly hosted by the Netherlands Vexillological Association, the Netherlands Flag Museum and the Rotterdam Flag Parade Foundation. 

icv26 flag

ICV26 was hosted by Flags Australia in Sydney on 31 August - 4 Septmber 2015. A website with full details of the event is at http://www.icv26.com.au. ICVs are an opportunity for the world's flag experts to meet and socialise and share their interest over a week-long period.

ICV27 flag

The most recent flag congress was ICV27, hosted by the Flag Institute in London on 7 - 11 August 2017. A website with full details of the event is at http://www.icv27.co.uk. The Congress venue was Imperial College in Kensington (Huxley Building). A tour of Maritime Greenwich on the Wednesday incuded a visit to the Old Royal Naval College and the Royal Observatory. The companion program consisted of visits to tourist sites in the Royal Kensington and Chelsea area, including Royal Albert Hall, Kensignton Palace, Leighton House, Hyde Park and Holland Park. 

The following flag congress (ICV28) will be held in August 2019 and hosted by the Vexillological Association of the State of Texas (VAST) in San Antonio, Texas.

Flags Australia has, since 1989, sponsored the Vexillon, which is awarded by FIAV to the person regarded as having made the most important contribution to vexillology during the two years between flag congresses.  In 2015 the Vexillon was awarded to Fred Brownell, the designer of the South African national flag.

FIAV has recognised the significant contribution to vexillology and service to FIAV of several members of Flags Australia by the award of Fellow of the Federation to:

Ralph Bartlett (2003), Tony Burton (2015), Ted Kaye (2015), Ralph Kelly (2007), Gerald Naughton (2015) and Ron Strachan (2015).

In addition, Ralph Kelly's lecture at the 21st ICV in Buenos Aires on flag changes in Latin American flags, was recognised as Best Paper of that Congress.


Links to other international flag societies

International Federation of Vexillogical Associations - www.fiav.org


Member societies of FIAV that operate a website in English are:

Bandiere Storiche ["Historical Flags", Italy] - http://bandierestoriche.wix.com/bandiereflags

Bulgarian Heraldry and Vexillology Society heraldika-bg.org/indexEN.htm

The Canadian Flag Association - www.facebook.com/pages/Canadian-Flag-Association-LAssociation-Canadienne-de-Vexillologie/317266027131

Chesapeake Bay Flag Association [US]- cbfa.vexillology.info

Croatian Heraldic and Vexillologic Association - www.hgzd.hr/en

Flag Data Centre [Czech] - http://www.vexi.info/svi/indexen.php

Flag Heritage Foundation [US] - www.flagheritagefoundation.org

The Flag Institute [United Kingdom]- www.flaginstitute.org

Flag Parade Rotterdam Foundation - www.vlaggenparade.nl/?t=2

Flags of the World (FOTW) - www.flagspot.net (also at other mirror locations)

Great Waters Association of Vexillology [US]- gwav.tripod.com

Macedonian Heraldry Society - heraldika.org.mk/en

National Flag Foundation [US] - www.americanflags.org

New England Vexillological Association [US] - www.midcoast.com/~martucci/neva

North American Vexillological Association [US and Canada]- www.nava.org

Portland Flag Association [US] - www.portlandflag.org

Southern African Vexillological Association - www.savaflags.org.za

State Council of Heraldry at the Parliament of Georgia - http://www.heraldika.ge/?lng=eng

Vexillological Association of the State of Texas [US] - www.texflags.org


Other member societies of FIAV that operate websites are:

Centro Italiano Studi Vessillologici - www.cisv.it

Ceská vexilogická spolecnost o.s. - web.uhk.cz/cvp/cvp.htm

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Flaggenkunde e.V. - www.flaggenkunde.de

Fundación Centro Interdisciplinario de Estudios Culturales [Argentina] - www.funcidec.org.ar

Heraldischer Verein "Zum Kleeblatt" von 1888 zu Hannover e.V [Germany] - www.zum-kleeblatt.de

Instytut Heraldyczno-Weksylologiczny [Poland] - www.pl.info.pl/IHW_WWW/index.php

Kevarzhe Vannielouriezh Vreizh [Brittany] - www.drapeauxbretagne.canalblog.com

Nederlandse Vereniging voor Vlaggenkunde - www.vlaggenkunde.nl

Nordisk Flaggselskap [Scandinavia] - www.nordicflagsociety.org

Partioheraldikot r.y. [Finland] - heraldikot.partio.net

Polskie Towarzystwo Weksylogniczne - www.weksylologia.pl

Russian Centre of Vexillology and Heraldry - www.vexillographia.ru

Sociedad Española de Vexilogia - www.vexilologia.org

Société française de vexillologie - sfvexillo.pagesperso-orange.fr

Swiss Society of Vexillology - www.vexilla.ch

Ukrayins'ke Heral'dychne Tovarystvo [Ukraine] - uht.org.ua




    © 2016 Material Copyright to the Flag Society of Australia Inc and Pennant Advisory Services Pty Limited. Text and illustrations by Ralph Kelly. Web Design by Elizabeth Kelly of ELK Prints.