Friday, January 22, 2016

Flag Friday: Workers' Republic of Nebraska by Vizio

When I was a lad, I read Back in the USSA by Kim Newman and Eugene Byrne. It was an alternate history/fictional mashup in the style of Kim's Anno Dracula series, but this time set in a world where the United States experienced a communist revolution, not Russia. I became obsessed afterwards with creating a "realistic" version of the story, one without all of the fictional characters and pop culture references. I never shared what I created (I'm assuming its somewhere on my hard drive), but the experience left me with a soft spot for early 20th century American socialist/communist states.

That's probably why I liked this flag of the Workers' Republic of Nebraska by Vizio:
There really isn't much of story that goes with this flag, other then the alternate Nebraska being governed by "First Citizen Eric Hass". I was surprised to learn that Eric Hass is actually a real person and is best known for being the four-time Socialist Labor candidate for President of the United States. Although born in Nebraska, it looks like he spent a lot of time in New York and elsewhere in his adult life, so whatever point of divergence created this state couldn't have happened any later than the 1920s. My guess is we would be looking at a balkanized North America with a similar story to Crimson Skies the game. I would be curious to know what the rest of the country looks like, but such speculation isn't the purpose of Flag Friday.

Although you don't see many "workers' republic" flags that are not majority red, I still think the flag looks good with just a red star set in a sun (which I assume is rising). The yellow probably would stand for the bountiful harvest of the states and the blue would be the sky because I doubt this Nebraska would have access to the sea. Admittedly the dimensions seem a bit off, but I really do like this flag for the greater alternate history it seems to represent.

Honorable mention goes to "Reichskriegsflagge for the Australian Capital Territory" by LorisUmbrella. If you want more fun with flags (yes I just made a The Big Bang Theory reference) then I would check out this article where Western Sydney University examines Australians relationship with their flag.

* * *

Matt Mitrovich is the founder and editor of Alternate History Weekly Update, a blogger on Amazing Stories and a Sidewise Awards for Alternate History judgeWhen not writing he works as an attorney, enjoys life with his beautiful wife Alana and prepares for the day when travel between parallel universes becomes a reality. You can follow him on FacebookTwitter and YouTube. Learn how you can support his alternate history projects on Patreon.

1 comment:

  1. While I have no clue as to what your attempt to make Back in the USSA plausible entails (and I enjoyed the book as well, its warts notwithstanding), a USSA fan fiction set in the modern, post-Marxist America, using investigators (or journalists) who are trying to set the historical record straight, separating facts from propaganda.

    To use one example, the book mentions the Abe statue at the Lincoln Memorial crying tears of ice, in 1912 (1913?), yet the memorial didn't exist yet. Would it be stretching plausibility to imagine that Party propagandists might have retroactively placed the memorial back in 1912-13, after it was complete, revising history for dramatic reasons? As the Soviets engaged in historical revisionism--and airbrushed/eliminated those fallen out of favor from the history books--it's within the realm of possibility that many of Byrne and Newman's historical gaffes could be explained away in an identical manner.

    Those doing the investigation could be alt-versions of Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, aided by a shadowy Deep Throat-like character, who warns them of the dangers of angering powerful, rabidly nationalistic types in high places who don't look kindly upon their nation's history being challenged or darkened--shades of very similar nationalists in Putin's Russia. (Or apologists for Japan's imperial past. Or similar figures in Turkey, as regards Armenia.)

    For those who don't mind following Byrne and Newman's practice of using pop culture figures in their fiction (and yes, I know your feelings on the matter, but this isn't an attempt to influence you, just my idle thoughts), the investigators can be alt-versions of Fox Mulder and Dana Scully, both employed by the former Federal Bureau of Ideology (Mulder being motivated by the regime having disappeared his sister during his childhood), who get close to learning dark lies in the historical record, but are thwarted by through the machinations of a cryptic, shadowy, cigarette-smoking antagonist/nationalist.

    As for the Nebraska flag above: Yes, it's a beautiful piece of work, but I wouldn't mind finding out what sort of timeline the artist for this flag had in mind. And your explanations for the color scheme sounds as plausible as anything else.

    ReplyDelete