Golden Bauhinia Square

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This lovely card from Hong Kong arrived today as well. Thank you to Polly from Hong Kong who has chosen it. The postcard shows the Golden Bauhinia Square (Chinese: 金紫荊廣場) outside the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre on the waterfront in Wan Chai. The square was named after the giant statue of a golden Bauhinia blakeana at the centre of the area, where the ceremonies for the handover of Hong Kong and the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region was held in July 1997. A flag-raising ceremony is held every day at 8:00am.

The sculpture, a gilded flower bauhinia, is 6 meters high. The major part is composed of a bauhinia on a base of red granite pillar on a pyramid.

I would really love to visit Hong Kong soon.

 

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Flag of Lithuania

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This wonderful and colourful flag card has arrived today from Leeds. Thanks to Laima who generously agreed to swap some cards with me and will complete Lithuania with postcards of the flag and from Vilnius. Looking forward to it.

The flag of Lithuania is actually a very young flag compare to many other European countries. The flag of Lithuania consists of a horizontal tricolour of yellowgreen and red. It was re-adopted on March 20, 1989, almost two years before the re-establishment of Lithuania’s independence following the end of the Soviet Union and the end of the Soviet occupation of 1944-1991. It was first used in Lithuania’s first period of independence (in the 20th century) from 1918-1940, which ceased with the occupation first by Soviet Russia and Lithuania’s illegal annexation into the Soviet Union, and then by Nazi Germany (1941-44). This flag (1918-40) had lighter colours. During the post-WW2 Soviet occupation, from 1945 until 1989, the Soviet Lithuanian flag consisted first of a generic red Soviet flag with the name of the republic, then changed to the red flag with white and green bars at the bottom. The last alteration to the current flag occurred in 2004 when the aspect ratio changed from 1:2 to 3:5. The flag is identical to the flag of the Danish island Ærø, also located by the Baltic Sea.

Amsterdam Centraal Station

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This lovely card arrived today. It shows the Centraal Station in Amsterdam many, many years ago. The station was first opened in 1889 features a roof span of approximately 40 metres fabricated in cast iron by Andrew Handyside of DerbyEnglandAmsterdam Centraal is twinned with Liverpool Street station in London, in the United Kingdom, the other terminus of the Dutchflyer rail-ferry service. It was under construction for the past 2 years to allow access to a new tube line.

It is actually funny how other people’s postcards make you remember things. On this card it was mentioned to visit the Van Gogh Museum, which I have not been yet. However, I do remember visiting the Rijksmuseum. I was most impressed by Rembrandt’s “The Night Watch”. This amazingly detailed and huge painting really took me in and I was watching it for over an hour as there was so much to explore. For me, an absolute must visit attraction in Amsterdam even if you are not a big fan of galleries and paintings. This museum will change your mind.

St. George’s Flag

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The St. George’s Flag or the Cross of St. George is the official flag of England. The red cross on a white background is associated with Saint George since the time of the crusades.

The association of the red cross as an emblem of England can be traced back to the Middle Ages, and it was used as a component in the design of the Union Flag in 1606; however, the English flag has no official status within the United Kingdom. Since the 1990s it has been in increasingly wide use, particularly at national sporting events.

 

The oldest tricolour flag

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The flag of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. It looks really pink in this scan but it is supposed to be red. Did you actually know that this flag was the first ever tricolour flag in the world (1572). This is a long time back in history.

The horizontal fesses are bands of equal size in the colours, from top to bottom, red (officially described as a “brightvermilion“), white (silver), and blue (“cobalt blue“). The flag proportions (width:length) are 2:3. The first stadtholder of the Dutch Republic was William I of Orange, who joined with Dutch nationalists and led the struggle for independence from Spain. Partly out of respect for him, the first flag adopted by the Dutch was a horizontal tricolour of orange, white, and blue. It became known as the Prinsenvlag (“Prince’s flag“) and was based on the livery of William of Orange. The orange dye was particularly unstable and tended to turn red after a while, so in the mid-17th century, red was made the official colour. The flag has flown since then, but was confirmed by Royal Decree only in 1937, at the same time the colour parameters were exactly defined. As the first revolutionary flag, it has had a seminal influence throughout the world, particularly on the Pan-Slavic colours of Russia. Until about 1800, in the case of both the orange- and the red-striped versions, the number of stripes and their order frequently varied.

There are many similar flags using the same colours or layout, for example Russia, France, Croatia, Luxembourg, Kingdom of Yugoslavia and Paraguay. Some of them are accidentally similar some are actually to be proven similar for a very specific reason. However, it is sad that the orange is gone from the flag as is it such a distinctive colour and still proudly used by fans from all over world to represent their heritage and nation.

Siniristilippu

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This postcard shows the flying Finnish National Flag. A very simple design but beautiful. It is also very easy to remember as the colours already show that it is a cold country. And here is a bit about the history and meaning of this flag.

The flag of Finland (FinnishSuomen lippuSwedishFinlands flagga), also called siniristilippu (“Blue Cross Flag”), dates from the beginning of the 20th century. On a white background, it features a blue Nordic cross, which represents Christianity.The state flag has a coat of arms in the centre, but is otherwise identical to the civil flag. The swallow-tailed state flag is used by the military. The presidential standard is identical to the swallow-tailed state flag but also has in its upper left corner the Cross of Liberty after the Order of the Cross of Liberty, which has the President of Finland as its Grand Master. Like Sweden’s, Finland’s national flag is based on the Scandinavian cross. It was adopted after independence from Russia, when many patriotic Finns wanted a special flag for their country, but its design dates back to the 19th century. The blue coloring is said to represent the country’s thousands of lakes and the sky, with white for the snow that covers the land in winter.

Union Jack

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As I am a UK resident, this is my home flag. In my personal opinion, probably the worlds most known flag as it is part of many countries flags that are part of the commonwealth. And here a little bit about it’s history:

The Union Flag, commonly referred to as the Union Jack, is the national flag of the United Kingdom. Originally, Union Jack was the name given to a flag flown on a ship of the Royal Navy. The Union Jack flag also enjoys an official or semi-official status in some Commonwealth realms; for example, it is known by law in Canada as the Royal Union Flag. Further, it is used as an official flag in some of the smaller British overseas territories. The Union Jack also appears in the canton (upper left-hand quarter) of the flags of several nations and territories that were former British colonies.

The origins of the flag date back to 1603, when James VI of Scotland inherited the English and Irish thrones (as James I), thereby uniting the crowns ofEnglandScotland and Ireland in a personal union (which remained separate states). On 12 April 1606, a new flag to represent this regal union between England and Scotland was specified in a royal decree, according to which the flag of England (a red cross on a white background, known as St George’s Cross), and the flag of Scotland (a white saltire on a blue background, known as the Saltire or St. Andrew’s Cross), would be joined together, forming the flag of Great Britain and first union flag.

The current design dates from a Royal Proclamation following the Union of Great Britain and Ireland in 1801. The flag combines aspects of three older national flags: the red cross of St George for England and Wales, the white saltire of St Andrew for Scotland (which two were united in the first Union Flag), and the red saltire of Saint Patrick’s Flag to represent Ireland.