North American Vexillological Association

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North American Vexillological Association
Flag of NAVA.svg
Flag of the North American Vexillological Association
FormationJune 30, 1967; 54 years ago (1967-06-30)
North America
Official language
Peter Ansoff

The North American Vexillological Association (NAVA) is a membership organization devoted to vexillology, the scientific and scholarly study of flags. It was founded in 1967 by American vexillologist Whitney Smith (1940–2016), and others. Its membership of 600+ comprises flag scholars, enthusiasts, designers, collectors, conservators, educators, merchants, manufacturers, historians, and hobbyists.

NAVA publishes Raven: A Journal of Vexillology, an annual peer-reviewed journal and Vexillum, a quarterly magazine (combining the previous Flag Research Quarterly and NAVA News). They cover vexillological topics and inter-disciplinary discussion as well as the Association's proceedings and other vexillological news.[1]

Its known publication, "Good" Flag, "Bad" Flag, a guidebook to flag design, articulates the basic principles of vexillography and has influenced flag-design efforts across the U.S. and beyond. It has been translated into Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Slovenian, and Russian.

NAVA honors achievement in the field with several honors and awards:

  • Captain William Driver Award: presented to the individual who presents the best paper at the association's annual meeting;
  • The Vexillonnaire Award: recognizing a flag scholar who becomes personally involved in a significant and successful act of creating, changing, or improving flag design, or promoting good flag usage or altering it for the better;
  • Kevin Harrington Award: presented to the individual who authors the best article to appear in a non-vexillological publication during the preceding year;
  • John Purcell Award: presented to an individual for an exemplary contribution that promotes public understanding of vexillology in North America;
  • Doreen Braverman Award: presented to an organizational member who supports the association's mission by making a significant contribution to the vexillological community;
  • Whitney Smith Fellow: an individual who makes an outstanding contribution to North American vexillology may be elected to this honor by NAVA's executive board. An honoree is entitled to use the postnominals "WSF"; and
  • Honorary membership: honors an individual who renders distinguished service to the association or vexillology.[2]

NAVA is the largest vexillological organization in the world and a charter member of the International Federation of Vexillological Associations.

Principal officers, 2019–20[edit]

  • President: Peter Ansoff
  • First Vice President: Steven A. Knowlton
  • Second Vice President: Stanley K. Contrades
  • Secretary: Edward B. Kaye
  • Treasurer: James J. Ferrigan III
  • Editor, Raven: A Journal of Vexillology: Scott D. Mainwaring
  • Editor, Vexillum: Steven A. Knowlton

Organization flag[edit]

The association's flag consists of a large white "V" (an inverted chevron) separating a blue triangle above from two red triangles on either side. The length of the top side of the blue triangle is the same as the width of the flag. (Note that a flag's "width" is its vertical dimension when flying from a flagpole.) The flag proportion is 2:3.

The "V" represents vexillology. The colors are taken from the flags of the two countries covered by the association: Canada (red and white) and the United States (red, white, and blue).

Annual meetings[edit]

Since 1967, the association has held annual meetings across the United States and Canada for all those interested in flags to present and discuss research, share their passion for flags, and to honor vexillological achievement. Since 1977, it has marked each meeting with a distinctive flag.

See also[edit]

  • American City Flags, Canadian City Flags, Russian Regional Flags, Flags of the Native Peoples of the United States, and Vatican Flags, books published by the association.


  1. ^ "Publications: Overview". Retrieved 2016-10-17.,
  2. ^ "Honors". Archived from the original on 2013-02-13. Retrieved 2013-02-24.,

External links[edit]