Alternative History Flags
One of the fun things about Alternate History is inventing flags for the history we have imagined. Below are some of the alternative history flags I have created.
Alternative History Flag: British North America
In an alternate history where the American Patriots lost the Revolutionary War, perhaps this flag would fly over the White House today. Perhaps, as in Canada, this would now be a historic flag after eventual US independence.
I imagine the flag in a glass case in a military museum, maybe at West Point. The plaque alongside would commemorate the United States’ contribution to expanding the British Empire across the American continent. It looks well worn, as if they’ve carried it on a few campaigns.
Inspiration: The Grand Union Flag
The flag of a British-dominated North America seemed like a bit of an obvious one. The first American Navy flag was very similar, probably because it was easy to convert the British Red ensign by sowing stripes on. That flag was known as the Grand Union Flag.
And of course, very many British ex-colonies have flags with a Union Jack in the corner.
Alternative History Flag: Isle-of-Man
This flag was a request for a flag for an alternate history in which magic transports the modern-day Isle-of-Man (a small island in the sea between Britain and Ireland) back to 1065. The story follows the inhabitants of the Isle-of-Man as they try to use their modern knowledge and technology to survive in a very different world.
The request specified that the flag should not be red, or include the ‘three legs of man’ that are on the country’s real flag. I went for a Celtic design still with threefold symmetry, a blue background to symbolise the sea and a gold and silver design to symbolise technology.
Alternative History Flag: German Dominated Europe
I produced this flag as part of my Fatherland project, about the bestselling alternative history thriller by Robert Harris. In Fatherland, Germany wins the Second World War and goes on to militarily and politically dominate Europe for decades. A German-dominated equivalent of the European Union emerges, and this flag is my interpretation of how it might look.
The original cover of Fatherland showed the Nazi German Flag flying next to today’s blue and gold European Union flag. That makes no sense. Instead, I think the ‘European Union’, dominated as it would be by the German hegemony, would take the colours of the Nazi Party – red, white and black. The four arrows, as well as being reminiscent of the swastika, represent the aggressive expansionism of Fatherland’s dystopian Europe.
Alternative History Flag: Dominion of Israel
In my novel A Kill in the Morning, the British Mandate of Palestine is a dominion of the British Commonwealth. Because of that, filling the canton with the Union Jack was obvious. So the flag is basically a cross between the flag of real-world Israel and the usual British Dominion design. I liked the sense of motion on this one. I imagine it whipping in the wind behind a gunboat of the Royal Israeli Navy as it powers across the Mediterranean.
Alternative History Flag: Gothia
This is a more unusual one, a banner. It’s for an alternate Gothic State in central Europe.
What do you think?
If you’ve got any requests for any more alternative history flags, please email me . Otherwise, please feel free to share these ones using the buttons below.