Good flags have simple designs that ``communicate effectively,'' says Dr. Smith. Take the Canadian flag: ``You can spot it a mile away. It is unique - no other flag like it,'' he says. ``Everybody remembers that maple leaf and red stripes. It's something schoolkids can sketch. It's inexpensive to make because of its simplicity,'' he continues, hinting at other considerations.
A flag should have a solid relationship - historical or political or symbolic - to the territory or group being symbolized, he adds. ``It should be simple, not too many colors, not too many symbols.''
Two of his other favorites are the flags of Sri Lanka and Mongolia because ``they are asymmetrical, but are harmonious and have good color balance and symbol.''