Sunday, 16 December 2018


To illustrate that even truly awful, jingoistic and pointless maps can be thought-provoking in more than pedantic ways and worth one’s consideration, Big Think reviews a few of the charts and infographics curated by the self-evidently titled Terrible Maps. I would certainly take objection to their map comparing the number of countries with their flag on the Moon (1: the US) with the number of countries with the Moon on their flags (13: Islamic majority countries.
While the US was the only country so far to land human beings on the lunar surface and return them to Earth safely, the first terrestrial flag planted on the Moon was the flag of Soviet Russia and since the Apollo missions, Japan (Hinomaru is the Rising Sun), China (the stars are symbolic of the four classes of worker and the Chinese nation) and India (the round symbol is twenty-four spoked Ashoka Chakra). Though no flags with the Moon on the Moon yet, I count at least twenty-one national flags with crescents. The thirteen ensigns right facing with a star and crescent are based off of the symbol of the Ottoman Empire, though depending on one’s location above or below the Equator and how the flags are hoisted and the way the horns are facing, the orientation of the Moon’s increscence is not a reflection of astronomical reality. What do you think? One has to wonder if this misrepresentation isn’t intentional on an important level and not meant to be emblematic the Earth’s satellite at all. Like discussion and debate about the privileging nature of map projections is conversation that we were late to bring to the table, it’s worth examining one’s geographical and historic biases, which are sometimes presented to us with a key and legend.