Recently, a new user posted a question asking to identify a specific flag they saw in a documentary.

While the question was answered, and stands at +7/-1, it accumulated 3 close votes as: "This question does not appear to be about governments, policies and political processes within the scope defined in the help center." On the one hand, it is Politics.SE, not Vexilology.SE and there should be flag questions that are off-topic, but on the other hand, flags are certainly relevant to politics, and we have a number of highly upvoted questions about flag identification:

I'm wondering if there's any community consensus about to what extent questions about flag identification and significance are on-topic.

2 Answers 2


I think these questions are okay in general. Flags are a type of political messaging, meant to convey one's affiliation. In that sense, I would compare them to questions which ask about the meaning of political messages. Just like an insignia or a slogan, a flag can be a way to convey such a message.

These flag questions are mostly objective, there is no issue of ambiguity. That means it fits the Q&A format.

  • 7
    Also the level of modern-day "politicalness" in a flag can't really be known if one doesn't know what a flag represents to begin with (which in flag identification questions is basically the case), so a presumption that a flag does have some political contents is not unreasonable. Even if the flag turns out to be mostly historical, so perhaps somewhat neutral or (almost) "apolitical" to modern day politics (which this site is mainly about), politics doesn't have to be about highly contentious (ideological) issues only. Mar 2, 2021 at 4:51

I agree with JJJ, and I'll add regarding this particular question (which turned out to be about the Halle flag) that I think the context of this question, in which the flag to be identified was displayed next to one that was clearly related to modern day politics (i.e. next to that of Identitäre Bewegung Deutschland) makes it squarely on-topic.

Also consider that the question asker is from a Algeria (according to their user page) and there is some level of similarity between the Halle flag and some star and crescent flags of some (modern day) Islamic countries (e.g. look at that of Mauritania), which is also intriguing if one is unaware of how Ottoman heraldry (which itself may or may not have had something to do with the Byzantine one--that might make a good question on history SE) influenced several later developments.

So there are two prongs on which this question is surely on-topic here, and both were stated to some extent in the question. The former one was made with respect to the documentary the OP said was watching, which was about modern day right-wing movements. The 2nd point was not that explicit, although I guess the OP was baffled by the six-pointed star (which the OP did mention, albeit misidentifying it with the Star of David) on the flag in question since modern day Islamic flags (following the Ottoman one) almost universally have stars with five points next to the crescent.

One thing I would suggest (or quibble about) is that titles of such questions should be made more descriptive/informative, so we don't end up with 20 questions titled just "what flag is this". E.g. this one could have been titled "what's this six-point star and crescent flag (displayed next to the flag of an Identitarian right-wing movement)" or something like that.

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