What if England had flags?

Here’s a fun thought experiment for you. What if we took England’s nine separate regions, and designed them each their own flags?

As it is, they don’t have flags – in fact, these regions only barely exist in the public consciousness as statistical areas and electoral constituencies for the European Parliament. But, if we imagined transforming the UK into a federation (stay with me, people) with sub-national provinces made out of Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, and the Nine Regions of England, then wouldn’t that be interesting? Especially for flag lovers?

As a lover of a good, old flag, I’ve clearly given this some thought. And now I’ve put those thoughts onto paper – fly with me now, nerds! Fly like the flag-filled wind!

Continue reading

Advertisements

Interconnections: Space, Time, and Magical Pagan-God-Rocks

Though the big Eurasian rail trip finished a few months ago, and I’ve long traded the backalleys of Bukhara for the familiar backroads of Brixton, there’s one enduring sensation that’s really stuck with me from those fancy-free travellin’ days: interconnectedness.

My submission to the Londonist's "Time Travel London" series. What if you layered the Saxon meeting point of "Beorhtsige's Stone" with modern day Brixton? Would ancient Saxon lords queue up for a pepperoni pizza at Franco Manca? (oh yes they would)

My submission to the Londonist’s “Time Travel London” series. What if you layered the Saxon meeting point of “Beorhtsige’s Stone” with modern day Brixton? Would ancient Saxon lords queue up for a pepperoni pizza at Franco Manca? (oh yes they would)

Space!

Before I took the trip, Brixton was Brixton. The centre of Lambeth, south of the river, fond of reggae, and famous for both its checkered past and its nice vegan cupcakes. This identity, however colourful and complex, seemed relatively determined and well-bounded.

Now, though, it’s laced into everything, everywhere. The train from Brixton to Victoria has become more than a little fifteen-minute commute – it’s a tiny branch on a continent-traversing mega-web of railways that can take you seamlessly to Tashkent, Chengdu, even Singapore if you wanted. You could board a train at Brixton and, without even once leaving a train station or metro system, end up on the opposite edge of the world.

As far as I’m concerned, it should even be doable on Oyster Card. If Amersham is Zone 6, then sure, Hong Kong might have to be Zone 72, but at least we’d recognise that all of it, everywhere, is connected.

It’s fun talking about the interconnectedness of space. What about interconnectedness of time? Continue reading