Flagging up an old new year

New Year greetings

New Year greetings

Let me first get up-to-date with some old business, just to clear the decks!

In my New Year post (here), I invited readers to waste some time by identifying the flags I’d used, and to guess why they had been chosen. At long last, and to put you out of your undoubted misery, here they are (in message order):





H: Bulgaria – my adoptive home. Also, a cryptic reference to someone whose name contains the initial form H (but in Cyrillic);

A: China – emerging powerhouse, not necessarily for human rights; biggest investor in US bonds;

P: Egypt – from western-tolerated dictatorship to democracy or theocracy?

P: Greece – neighbours revolting against monetarists; twice the PPP of Bulgaria ($27,624 to $13,597); what price the Euro?

Y: Iran – powder keg of the Middle East, and beyond?

N: Iraq – what did ‘we’ achieve?

E: Macedonia – at present, an almost indiscernible identity, despite the monumental propaganda efforts of its ruling statue-constructors;

W: Wales – “You can take the boy of out Wales, but you can’t take Wales out of the boy!”;

Y: Japan – crushed by nature in 2011;

E: North Korea – crushed (again) by the ruling succession in 2011;

A: Russia – political musical chairs at the very top, and a stranglehold on European energy sources;

R: USA – words fail me – unlike the present (well, for now) US ambassador to Bulgaria.

There you have it – prejudices laid bare!


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