Categories: BrandingLaura

America’s Visual Hammer

Happy Birthday America! We are celebrating the Fourth of July holiday in the United States today!

I'm also using today to kick-off my new Visual Hammer of the Week series.

It should be no surprise that this week's selection for Visual Hammer of the week is the Flag of the United States of America.

A country is a brand and its flag can become a powerful visual hammer. However not many countries have a strong flag hammer because most of the world's flags are too similar that they can't be identified. Only a handful of flags like the U.S., U.K, Canada, China, Japan and Israel truly stand out.

The biggest mistake of most flags is the use for too many colors. Singular colors like China's and Israel's work best.

The second mistake is not having a unique design or symbol. The unique design of the U.S. flag and the U.K. flag stand out. As does the brilliant Maple Leaf on Canada's.

But getting the design right is only half the job. The best flag hammers also drive a verbal nail into the mind. They say not only who your country is but communicate what it stands for.

The hammer flag of the United States says freedom. This country was built on freedom and we are known around the world as the "land of the free." The United States is a country that believes all people are created equal and deserving of the unalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Happy Birthday America and congratulations for winning Visual Hammer of the Week.

Laura Ries :

View Comments (8)

  • I like your blog. However, you are a bit off here. Maybe some flags stand out to you because the countries they represent are more predominant. China's flag is actually two colors not a singular color. How about Vietnam? It is yellow and red like china's. How does the Swiss flag stand out less than the Israeli flag? Granted there are many flags with verticle and horizontal stripes that are hard to tell apart, but the list of visually striking flags is longer than the ones you mention.

  • Dear Evan:
    You are right, there are some other flags that I didn't mention that stand out.
    But I would argue that horizontal lines are used by too many that even the Swiss one with one color isn't that identifiable as others. The Israeli flag has a Jewish star which definitely makes it stand out.
    China benefits from it's size, when you are the largest communist country your flag stands out above the rest. China is strongly identified with the color red. "Red China." The yellow in the flag is minor.
    I love the Vietnam flag. But it is too close to China's. I bet many people guess it belongs to China. When you think Red Star most people think China first.

  • Very informative post. Every design of flag has the meaning behind it and we can not based only in the design to stand out the flag.

  • Obviously, Laura has run out of topics for this blog. Your analysis has no structure, do you know the concept/ history behind the flags of other countries?? Take for instance South Africa which has a rich history and its flag which represents this.
    Double thumbs down on this post.

  • like your blog. However, you are a bit off here. Maybe some flags stand out to you because the countries they represent are more predominant.

  • Then you'll know which is right for you. Me and my friend were arguing about an issue similar to this! Now I know that I was right.