This page is part of © FOTW Flags Of The World website

FOTW Official Flag

Last modified: 2003-08-16 by rob raeside
Keywords: fotw | proposal | internet | stars: 6 | animated image | pentagon |
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[Official FOTW flag] by Mark Sensen
The FOTW Official Flag was chosen by the members of FOTW mailing list among eleven proposals. It was drawn by Mark Sensen who describes it as follows:
White on the hoist stands for peace, blue on the fly for progress. The six colours of the stars are the main colours used in flags. The stars help to make one bigger symbol. The way the stars are all connected to each other represents the Internet.
The flag was created on 11 November 1995, and adopted on 8 March 1996.

See also:

Designer Mark Sensen displaying his FOTW flag, August 1999. Photographed by Jarig Bakker in Amsterdam.

The other proposals for FOTW flag were:

Here is the text of the announcement by Giuseppe Bottasini on 8 March 1996:

I am happy to announce that "habemus vexillum" ! Here are the results of the vote for the Official FOTW Flag:
Proposal                                        rate
No. 3 Sensen's "Six stars"                       163
No. 7 Exner's "WWW"                              142
No. 4 Heimer and Sensen's "Six stars per bend"   137
No. 8 Exner's "WWW night and day"                135
No.10 Bottasini's "Net and FOTW soyombo"         133
No. 1 Justice's "Circle and arrows"              119
No. 2 Heimer's "Tinctures and metals"            105
No. 5 Dignan's "Infinite regression"             105
No.11 Fruhlinger's "Golden sun"                   78
No. 6 Engene's "Mice"                             72
No. 9 Ormaetxea's "Vexilos"                       70

Therefore the Official FOTW Flag is "SIX STARS" by Mark Sensen.

Vertical hanging of FOTW flag

[Official FOTW flag, vertical] by Mark Sensen

The FOTW flag follows the general rule that the upper hoist keeps its place as explained elsewhere on this site.
Mark Sensen, 5 July 2001

FOTW Burgee

[Official FOTW flag, vertical] by Ivan Sache

I would like to start this new year by sending you a flag-related present, i.e. a proposal for a FOTW burgee. This is just a 3:5 version of Mark Sensen's official FOTW flag.

Ivan Sache, 1 January 2002

Yugoslav newspaper article about FOTW

Ivan Sarajcic reported that the Belgrade daily Newspaper Danas carried an article (translated by Ivan):

Symbols of crusaders, islands, arabian tribes...

Vexillology is a discipline dealing with identification, design and use of flags of the world, not only flags of the states, but also of religions, sports, diplomacy, boy-scouts and many more. This is the site where you can read more than 5900 pages and see more than 11000 different flags. These are various types of "usual" state and well-known flags, as well as some almost identical (that we rarely find different), city flags and house flags, made-up flags used in literature or films, and finally the review of historical flags. At the same place you can see the flags of crusaders, arabian tribes, nazi and neo-nazi parties, or the flags of the pirate leaders, not to mention those used by seaman today. The site is of a special interest to the people eager to research. You can search by the name of the state, the world map, key-words, mini-icons or glossary of vexillological terms. There are also black and white images of flags that are to be accurately coloured by the user. There are also a plenty of bibliographical reference and links for fans. Have you ever wanted to know the meanings of the symbols on the flags of the world? Have you ever thought of heraldic concepts on some of them? What are the "military signs" and why are there different crosses? It is almost unfamiliar to you that the flag of Scotland has St. Andrew's cross. The islands that are Scottish territores, such as Orkney or Shetland islands have Scandinavian cross on their flags, because they belonged to the Kingdom of Norway until 500 years ago. This is the way to show its kinship with Scandinavian states. It is to be pointed out that many flags have their names or nicknames. The pirate flag with skulls is known as "Jolly Roger", japanese one is called "hinomaru" ("the flag of the rising sun"), while the French are "tricolore" because of three-coloured flag. Most of the information is sent on the site by the vexillologists around the world, prominent specialists for heraldry, as well as many other people, who have seen, e.g. during their travels, unusual flags and thought of sharing their experience (sometimes not known at all). There are just a few information about the history and the flags of our country on the site, while the ex-Yugoslav republics have been presented in more details. There is even the history of the flag of the Croatian yachting club "Galeb"! Let's try harder...

Iris Miljkovic

Caption under the photo:"Designer Mark Spenser [sic] with the official flag of the Site, created by himself."

The "Pentagon"

Some people have noticed the pentagon described by the outer five stars on our flag. Questions have been asked about the significance of the pentagon.  We asked the flag designer, Mark Sensen, who replied:
To tell you all a little secret: after I designed my proposal I discovered the pentagon in the stars. I was thinking about adding an extra explanation, since the predecessor of the Internet was an idea from The Pentagon. (For those who know the history of the Internet better: correct me if I'm wrong). But I decided to stick with my explanation as intended.
Mark Sensen, 9 October 2001

Want some FOTW icons for your computer?

People have requested they be able to obtain small gifs of the FOTW flag to use as links to FOTW for their computers. Here are three sizes for you. Click on any one of these to download it:

Click here to obtain an .ico file. To use the .ico file, fotw.ico, place this anywhere you like (inside the FOTW directory would be appropriate), and use the "Change Icon" function to point to it.
by Alvin Heims, 4 March 2001

Alternatively you may prefer these unfurled flags:

Click here to obtain an .ico file.
by Bob Kee, 4 March 2001 Others have already provided the procedure, but I wanted to share this icon with you. I use is both as a desk-top icon (32x32 px) and as small icon in the taskbar (16x16px). Click here to obtain an .ico file.

Alternatively, you can link to Flagspot, which has provided an icon that can be used with FOTW mirrors.  If you aren't familiar with favicon files, they are the custom images you see when you save an Internet Shortcut in newer versions of most browsers. This image should be placed in the root directory of the FOTW website.

Provided by Jim Popovitch, 11 November 2001

I've made a collection of flag icons for Mac OS X, available for download at: Hope there are some Mac users here on FOTW who can enjoy them.

Kjell Roll Elgsaas, 24 July 2002

I am sending an FOTW icon image that I have been using as a desktop icon for the FOTW site. How does one get the icon to appear in the favorites list? Please feel free to use the image for FOTW.

Edward Mooney, 19 August 2002

Click here to obtain this image as a .ico file.

To use it (assuming Internet Explorer):

Well, normally, you get them to appear in the favourites list by bookmarking a web site or page that has one already associated with it. It's probably possible to change a favourite whose icon you like to make it point to where you want to point a favourite, but that will most likely suffer from Internet Explorer cleaning up from time to time.

But, what you do to add your icon to your bookmark permanently would basically be:

  • If you haven't done so before, visit the web-page you want to mark with this icon, and select "add to favourites" (or whatever short-cut you're using).
  • Check your icon is a 16x16 icon and named 'somethingorother.ico', and store it somewhere where there's no house cleaning (almost any folder that's not called 'Temporary something'. A folder you will be able to recall six months from now has its advantages.
  • Open the favourites list, point at the favourite, right-click for the context-menu and select "Properties".
  • Select "Change Icon", browse to your folder and icon, and open it.

Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 21 August 2002

Want to use a flying flag as your screensaver?

You can include a flag as your screensaver using MS Windows 3D Flying objects/Textured Flag screen saver (available in all versions up from Windows 95 plus).

1. Since the background is black, change to dark grey any black areas of your flag

2. Windows will stretch your image to a square. You can't beat this, so join to it by adding below your flag a black area (real black this time, to match the background). Unless you're using a square flag, of course.

3. The fluttering flag will be shown with the hoist to the viewer's right hand, which is not the way most flags are shown by default. Consider this for vertically asymmetrical flags, but mind different-sized designs, usually showing lettering or maps.

António Martins-Tuválkin, 11 September 2002