The premise of the book sounded quite intriguing. What are flags? Why do we use flags to represent nations? Why are there certain protocols and procedures when treating certain flags? How have flags changed over time? Author Marshall takes the reader though that question.
Countries, entities like the European Union and their member states, flags of revolution, flags of particular groups, etc. all get a look. From the US Stars and Stripes to the Olympic flag the author gives a look at the history, how it changed, variations, bits of trivia and the like. Some countries like the US get a greater focus (and indeed, the US flag is the first one examined). Some like the countries that make up the EU have a few paragraphs.
I liked the idea but overall I didn't think it was great. As other reviews note it's not an academic work so don't expect a great deal of historical explanations or detail. One huge detriment for me was that kept wishing there were pictures embedded in the text instead of slapped in the middle of the book. Yes, pictures can be distracting. But when discussing the changes of a flag I would have found it much more helpful if there were pictures running along the text.
The book seemed very relevant especially in light of the Confederate flag being removed from official buildings and appearing in protests. But I honestly felt like this was a guy talking about a quirky interest he has in flags at a dinner party. I haven't read Marshall's other work but based on what I know of it I'm wondering if this work might have been some sort of side project or off-shoot of his 'Prisoners of Geography' work that wasn't quite relevant for that book and ended up being shuffled into its own text.
Mildly interesting but I didn't like it as much as I hoped I would. Borrow from the library.