20

I've noticed this in a few episodes now, and have not been able to figure it out. The screenshot below, with a circle added to highlight the flag, is from Star Trek: The Next Generation - Season 5, Episode 26: Time's Arrow, Part I.

enter image description here

What is this flag?

It appears to be just a plain, white flag. It's possible that it contains some fine-lined designs in a light or reflective color, but I haven't seen any. I would more expect there to be a white-on-blue or blue-on-white flag that has the United Federation of Planets emblem, but this is clearly not it. The flag makes appearances in other episodes where events take place at or near the Academy, but it is still similarly blank-looking in all that I've seen so far.

So, what is it then?

9
  • Perhaps someone used the wrong fabric with the white UFP logo? =^_^=
    – Izkata
    Jul 29, 2012 at 18:24
  • 2
    I'd love if it was a flag of peace, representing the Federation's core ideology. But that's probably not it.
    – bitmask
    Jul 29, 2012 at 20:06
  • 1
    @Keen: Looks like VOY.
    – bitmask
    Jul 29, 2012 at 21:26
  • 3
    That's the French Republic Flag, in honor of Pierre LaDruge, who taught Starfleet the secrets of pacifism and retreat.
    – John O
    Jul 30, 2012 at 20:43
  • 2
    It’s the flag of surrender. If anyone gets that far, they’ve won.
    – Adamant
    Sep 6, 2016 at 7:50

3 Answers 3

14

The flag being shown is likely to be this one:

Star Fleet Academy Flag

This is the flag from Star Fleet Academy. It has a mostly white field with a triangular logo in the center region. Using Netflix for a reference, the opening sequence to Time's Arrow shows the Star Fleet Academy headquarters and fluttering in the breeze show below is an oversaturated white flag showing an outline of a triangular shape. See below:

15 seconds into the episode, Time's Arrow

15 seconds into the episode, a fluttering flag shows a triangular image most likely to be the Star Fleet Academy flag shown above.

6
  • You do know, that these images are artificially constructed and that image saturation is likely the reason the logo whichever it is, doesn't show up as well as it should. Saturation is when an image's colors may be washed out or difficult to see due to how artificial lighting may be applied to the image. You are also aware that many of these images ARE THE SAME IMAGE, used again and again with only a foreground change of human elements. Jul 30, 2012 at 1:54
  • 1
    It's not a matter of the logo not showing up as well as it should. It's a matter of it not showing up at all. As I mentioned in the question, it would make sense if the flag contains some fine-lined design or uses a light or reflective color (like silver or grey). However, the flags you suggest use bold colors which should, regardless of saturation, still show some hint of their existence in these pictures.
    – Iszi
    Jul 30, 2012 at 2:02
  • As it stands, in my screen capture, you can just make out the flag against the clouds in the background. And, you can see subtle shadows on the flag that indicate it is waving in the breeze. Yet, at the same time, you suggest that bold logos such as that of the UFP or SFA are being obscured by saturation? It just doesn't make sense.
    – Iszi
    Jul 30, 2012 at 2:03
  • 1
    Ah, so if you pick just the right frame, squint your eyes, and turn your head... Yeah, I guess I could see it. I'm still not convinced it's the exact flag design chosen here, but it is more apparent now that it is at least a derivation of it.
    – Iszi
    Jul 30, 2012 at 2:52
  • 1
    Regardless of the exact design, it is the Starfleet Academy flag because that is Starfleet Academy. Jul 30, 2012 at 19:10
13

I've isolated the image from the bluray version of the episode TNG: Time's Arrow, Part 2.

enter image description here

As you can see, it's the same triangular symbol seen on other flags at Starfleet Academy, such as those in TNG: The First Duty

enter image description here

enter image description here

3
  • A little late, and effectively the same as the previously-accepted answer. But the evidence provided is much more compelling - have a check-mark!
    – Iszi
    Nov 8, 2016 at 14:36
  • @iszi - For the record, the other answer is partially wrong. The flag has the white variant of the Academy logo, not the yellow one.
    – Valorum
    Nov 8, 2016 at 14:39
  • Fair point, but it's still a far-better answer than the other one suggesting the flag would be for a completely separate governing body.
    – Iszi
    Nov 8, 2016 at 14:41
1

It is most likely the flag of the United Earth:

Star Trek: United Earth Flag

Here it is in a screenshot from Enterprise episode 4x20, Demons:

United Earth flag from ENT 4x20

1
  • A closer inspection shows that it isn't.
    – Valorum
    Nov 8, 2016 at 14:41

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