By Cortney Moore
I am a vexillophile. I almost can’t believe there is a word to describe my obsession. It all started when a friend from Chicago told me about flags and their popularity in the windy city. She showed me pictures and it was official.
There are cute ones adorned with frogs in sunglasses sipping lemonade, colorful flip flops, bright cheery birds tweeting “Celebrate the Day!” or a bright motif simply stating “Live Happy!”.
Whichever strikes my fancy I will be buying lots of them, one for each season and more when they fade. Rain boots with ladybugs, popsicles screaming summertime, hummingbirds and dragonflies. Yes, please, I’ll take one of each.
Flags will flutter in the wind and welcome you to my garden. Flags will haunt the neighborhood in October with jack o lanterns and witches. Flags with smiling snowmen will cheer guests in winter when all life is buried under a blanket of snow. Flags will bring Christmas joy with Santa and stockings.
Vexillology is the scientific study of the history, symbolism and usage of flags or, by extension any interest in flags in general, according to Whitney Smith, founder of the Flag Research Center.
And a vexillophile is any person who likes, admires or enjoys flags. Yep, that’s me, and my garden flags will symbolize the carefree nature of my garden as well as be used to catch the eye of any passerby. Who can deny the lure of a fluttering flag, especially a garden flag with a quirky frog princess or wise owl staring back at them?
Ok, I might be taking this flag thing a little too far, but I truly do love them and I would say they are a must for any garden. This is coming from a seasoned vexillologist or someone who studies flags. I have run the gamut on these garden flags; performing studies on their durability, visibility and cuteness.
I personally prefer the appliqué flag style. It really stands out in any garden. It appears to handle moisture better too. But nothing flutters like the suede garden flag so once again I am torn. And I’ll just have to have 1 or 5 of each!
Maybe some of you will join me as a vexillophile and help me make garden flags as popular in Colorado as they are in the windy city.
Originally published on April 2nd, 2013. Updated on March 3rd, 2023.