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Vexillologist of the Year

Last modified: 2021-04-03 by rob raeside
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Each year the award of Vexillologist of the Year is made to a worthy individual on FOTW. The award was conceived and introduced by Edward Mooney in early 1999, who was at the time list-master.


  1. The nominee will be a recognized member in good standing.
  2. The nominee will be nominated by a member in good standing.
  3. No-one may nominate him/herself.
  4. The nomination must be seconded (or a second nomination made) by a member in good standing.
  5. Nomination can be for any service that contributes to the FOTW purposes.
  6. The role of the nominee for which the nomination is made should be briefly explained by the nominator.
  7. Service can be for a specific project, or for a leadership role.
  8. Voting will be by secret web ballot.
  9. A simple high vote will determine the winner.
  10. The winner and top three vote-getters are announced.

Past Vexillologist of the Year and Nominees

This is a list of the past winners of the Vexillologist of the Year Award and those nominated and seconded by the membership. Unfortunately, in the early years reasons were not given for the nominations, or in some cases even a list of all the nominees archived. After 2004, better records were preserved.

2020 Winner

  • Vexillologist of the Year 2020: Esteban Rivera: Esteban Rivera is one of those members of our community, I call scouts. He has given an enormous input within the last years. And he is a helpful person, giving preparation and support to the editors, and thus helps them to avoid unnecessary extra homework. His inputs have been widespread. In my case, he especially supported the Oxford colleges project. Playing this role he remains in my humble opinion (too) often in the shadow of painters and editors.
    Esteban is a tireless researcher of flags, hunting the Internet for photographs of flags "in the wild," both to supplement the information we already have displayed at FOTW, but also to bring to our attention new flags and variants to be explored and added to our catalogue. A quick Google search of his name for the host of FOTW reveals an incredible 2,240 instances of his name appearing, indicating at least that many instances of Esteban providing photographs or information about flags. He has been particularly helpful to me in my endeavors as the editor for both the Chile and Dominican Republic pages, helping to double-check my Spanish-to-English translations and helping me understand some of the nuances of Spanish terminology that my four years of high school Spanish class in the 1990s failed to prepare me for. Esteban has always been among the first to volunteer for group projects and efforts, helping hunt down those flag photographs you remember seeing on the Internet, but you can't quite remember where you found them. He will find them! Esteban and I have collaborated multiple times over the past few years, as he finds photographs and information about flags that he posts to the group, and I (and others) follow behind with the FOTW-standard graphic. Esteban Rivera is a prolific researcher and contributor to FOTW, and our site would be the lesser without his contributions and his professionalism in his vexillological endeavors.
  • Olivier Touzeau was nominated for his impressive and extensive contributions focusing mainly on French municipal (communal, intracommunal and metro areas) flags but also administrative and commercial organizations of French origin as well, including additionally unidentified flags and also native and indigenous peoples, not only doing careful and thorough research but also providing very detailed flag images in digital format as well as sending precise information of general interest on a permanent basis.

2019 Winner

  • Vexillologist of the Year 2019: Randy Young: His prolific contributions to Flags of the World as illustrator, editor, researcher and scholar over the last 20 years have added a rich contribution to the field of vexillology. His talents as an illustrator have provided hundreds of precisely detailed, and professionally drawn, flag images in a diverse number of fields that include, but are not limited to, municipal and governmental flags and badges, flags of many urban, county and state police forces, and even sports and Scottish clan flags.
    Randy has always been willing to help others. For example, he was one of the major contributors both in 2016 and 2019 providing hundreds of images and research to help establish the impressive collection of official and fan flags of the National Football League (NFL) and Major League Baseball (MLB) that now reside on FOTW. In his first nomination for Vexillologist of the Year it stated: "Randy has for the past few years worked as an editor for FOTW, with responsibilities for several Latin American areas, Vietnam, and flags of sexual orientation - all areas fraught with competing claims and evolving flag designs." This is all still true today.

2018 Winner and Nominees

  • Vexillologist of the Year 2018: Clay Moss:: for his huge collective contribution to FOTW that has been steady for the last 17 years. Having illustrated well over 1000 quality images for the FOTW database Clay once stated "I am most proud of having been able to update a good many colonial British ensigns, union or Governor's flags, and yacht ensigns along with their burgees. Some have never been drawn before with clarity, as best as I can tell. These British ensign images are the most 'borrowed' of my FOTW contributions, as I see them utilized on lots of other websites." More importantly, from an FOTW standpoint, he has always been willing to assist without seeking nor expecting recognition. His visible efforts have resulted in FOTW pages such as the "Mississippi's Magnolia Flags" page based on his research and others. Last summer, Clay drew and giffed all of NAVA's annual meeting flags so that they could be used simultaneously on NAVA's website, and on FOTW's NAVA page. This recognition would not be complete without mentioning the British Arctic Territory April Fool's joke first made back in 1995, that continues to flourish and grow to this very day. In conclusion, Clay is well known for his sense of humor, and that is something that is sometimes sadly lacking on the list.
  • Olivier Touzeau was nominated for his tireless effort aimed at the increase and improvement of vexillological knowledge. Particularly interested in municipal vexillology, Olivier made in the past decisive contributions to our knowledge of municipal flags in Greece, provincial flags in Thailand etc.. For a couple of years, he has been a keen observer and reporter of French local flags in a changing administrative structure. Olivier's contributions are always well structured and supported by documentation or his own observations. His attitude towards the list members is a model for all of us.
  • Randy Young has been a prolific illustrator for FOTW for nearly 20 years, with over 500 flag images presented, primarily on the U.S. pages. His graphics are of professional quality, many drawn from often inadequate fleeting glimpses of flags flying, or hanging limply on indoor flagpoles. Not only does he produce impressive images, but he does so usually within a day or two of the photographs being presented on the mailing list. In addition to municipal and government office flags, Randy has researched badges and flags of many urban, county and state police forces across the U.S., adding a wealth of detail to our municipal pages. Randy has also for the past few years worked as an editor for FOTW, with responsibilities for several Latin American areas, Vietnam, and flags of sexual orientation - all areas fraught with competing claims and evolving flag designs. For his long commitment, precise graphics, and willingness to help, Randy was nominate for Vexillologist of the Year.

2017 Winner

  • Vexillologist of the Year 2017: Tomislav Šipek: is one of our most prolific illustrators who is responsible for over 4000 flag images currently in use on FOTW. In 2014, he was recognized by being nominated for Vexillologist of the Year for his special research and drawing over 2,500 Japanese municipal flags, both current and former. Since then Tomislav has continued to turn his research skills and illustrator's talents to the flags of other countries, especially Turkey this past year and added greatly to our knowledge of Turkish flags and ensigns.
    A second nomination reads: Tomislav is being recognized for his relentless contributing in the area of subnational flags. His three years long project of completing the FOTW information on Japanese municipal flags, with high-quality images and valuable explanations of these, would be sufficient in itself for recognition. His ongoing work on Turkish municipal flags, while maintaining the same level of image quality, also proves his determination to present the accurate information only, for he is presenting not only the entirely new entries but also numerous corrections and updates of existing ones. The updates to local flags of countries such as Norway, Serbia and Montenegro, which he contributed in between, adhere to the same high standards.

2016 Winner

  • Vexillologist of the Year 2016: Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg: has been one of the most consistent and tireless contributors to FOTW both as an official and unofficial editor. A recognized international flag scholar and presenter, he somehow has managed to juggle his interests in vexillology and his busy teaching career in the process. His demanding commentary on a wide variety of subjects, his questioning nature, and in-depth scholarly research have been valuable assets to all of our research efforts, and his behind the scenes activities on maintaining our website is legendary. Today FOTW is without a doubt one of the largest public flag databases in the world, and Peter's efforts and improvements on the site-building engine has helped make it possible. On top of this, he has always been willing to assist his fellow editors and Vexillologist both on line and off, something greatly appreciated by them all.

2015 Winner and Nominees

  • Vexillologist of the Year 2015: Zoltán Horvath: has maintained an enormous amount of updates and cleared backlogs, especially in the regions of the Middle East, Latin America, East Asia and in supranational entities, altogether more than 80 countries. Furthermore he has created and maintained the OPEP project. For his huge efforts to edit long backlogged areas - the Middle East, the Far East, especially Japan, and Central and South America, his willingness to help out anywhere, and work as assistant list-master.
  • Clay Moss: has made a huge collective contribution to FOTW that has been steady for over 13 years. During this time he has always been willing to assist others with their various vexillological projects and been content to remain in the background neither seeking nor expecting recognition for his efforts. He has contributed over 1000 images that are now part of the FOTW database. His scholarly research, which has been used extensively in Mississippi as his home state debates whether or not to change to their state flag, appears frequently on the FOTW website in many places. An example of his original research can be found on the "Mississippi's Magnolia Flags" page which is entirely based on his research. His illustrations' quality is always on the high level, and given the complexity of designs which he is reproducing, it shall be appreciated even more. His addition of a humorous section to the FOTW website shall also be recognized, starting the British Arctic Territory flags project (or "project") which was later joined by other FOTWers in a fine spirit of cooperation.
  • Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg: for his tireless and uniquely conscientious work both as a FotW-ml contributor and as a FotW-ws editor, and also for his pioneer efforts in creating a replacement for Giuseppe's site-building engine, and for his constant and thorough comments on several topics related to flags, varying from countries, to organizations, worldwide. His line of work is very diversified and enlightens all of us with his in-depth research.

2014 Winner and Nominees

  • Vexillologist of the Year 2014: Tomislav Todorović: a constant presence on the list and help on many special FOTW projects over the years. He has been a prolific FOTW illustrator since 2004 and an active list member since 2011, always demonstrating a wide range of vexillological interests in the process. His main strength is his helpfulness and willingness to work quietly behind the scenes on others' projects, seeking little recognition for his assistance while doing so. His work is consistently of a high standard, scholarly, helpful, positive, and he is always courteous and respectful when dealing with others on the list. He has been, and remains, a positive addition to our vexillological community.
  • Zoltan Horváth: he has maintained an enormous amount of updates and cleared backlogs, especially in the regions of the Middle East, Latin America, East Asia and in supranational entities, altogether more than 80 countries. Furthermore he has created and maintained the OPEP project.
  • Tomislav Šipek: spent almost three years to complete images of Japanese municipal flags with accuracy and high speed. He continued to post the images every day for three years. The number of the images he made is about 2,500 including former municipal flags which are very difficult for even Japanese to find out the related information and the picture. He has a special research and drawing ability since he does not understand Japanese language at all. As a result, all 1,741 current Japanese municipal flags are on FOTW with his continuous efforts for the last three years which will help non-Japanese people travel around Japan and understand Japanese local history/culture through the flag images.

2013 Winner

  • Vexillologist of the Year 2013: Klaus-Michael Schneider was chosen for in recognition of the "incredible amount" of images and contributions to FOTW pages. As a member of the German Editorial Team (GET) he added numerous new pages for German sports such as canoeing, rowing, athletics, and history of athletics in Germany. He added new municipal pages for Baden-Württemberg, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern; Schleswig-Holstein, Lower Saxony; Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Brandenburg, Baden-Württemberg; and reorganized the whole German municipal flags section. He has added to the Hamburg pages many new military and other historical flags. He added to and reorganized the Saxony pages and the historical flags of Saxonian duchies. He completely reorganized and redesigned the German shipping line pages, clearing a long backlog in the process, and added numerous new dockyards flags from two old flag charts he discovered.
    On top of all this he contributed 40 new Portuguese and 130 new Spanish flags (mostly municipal, but a few historical, university and sports flags), and also contributed to the British historical ensigns in the process. He is undoubtedly one of the most consistent and prolific contributors to the FOTW pages on a weekly basis, and extremely dedicated to vexillology and Flags of the World.

2012 Winner and Nominees

  • Vexillologist of the Year 2012: Pete Loeser was chosen for his relentless effort in updating especially the German pages, being part of the German Editorial Team (GET), but also for his comments on other topics of world flags and for posting up-to-date remarks on both historical and current flags, as well as for being very academic, thorough, and above all, respectful in his comments. During the last two years he has: 1) reorganized the UFE pages; 2) implemented a new front page of FOTW: 3) added the memorial pages, and 4) continuously updated German historical pages and party flags.
  • Klaus-Michael Schneider nominated for his tireless dedication, incredible output, and general enthusiasm about the flags of Germany. His efforts have resulted in completely updating the Germany pages and adding much new scholarly content to FOTW in the process. He is also responsible for an incredible amount of new flag images and art work to support his work on the German pages. He posts up-to-date remarks on both historical and current flags, and is very academic, thorough and above all, respectful in his comments.
  • Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg nominated for his many contributions, his dedication, and his efforts to add accuracy to the website.
  • T.F. Mills nominated for his big eyes, attention to detail, broad knowledge, and clear thinking. Todd has been a major contributor to the Swiss section of the website.

2011 Winner and Nominees

  • Vexillologist of the Year 2011: Valentin Poposki who has been prodigious in locating images of flags across the web, particularly in the area of municipal flags of the USA and Canada and being pivotal in bringing new members to the FOTW list and encouraging of all those who seek out flags. A real vexiferret!
  • Ned Smith nominated for his contributions that are always well thought and well researched; the rare times he's mistaken he's never shy to correct them; in spite of his vast expertise in certain areas he's never arrogant and also he often offers very interesting insights outside those areas; and finally he's always polite and warm yet never allows himself to wander off topic.

2010 Winner and Nominees

  • Vexillologist of the Year 2010: Eugene Ipavec for his relentless giffing without which FOTW almost would run dry, as well as for his apt comments.
  • Pete Loeser nominated for both for his energetic handling of the UFE pages and for injecting enthusiasm into multiple projects around FotW.

2009 Winner and Nominees

  • Vexillologist of the Year 2009: Ivan Sache as the quintessential, ideal FotWer - a keen, prolific, and meticulous contributor, editor and listmaster. Ivan an inspiration for all of us. He has been around for a very long time and his involvement has never flagged. He has been a keen, prolific, and meticulous contributor, both in original research and in scholarly analysis. He has been an editor with unmatched ability for fast, accurate, and high in- and out-put work. He is serving a term of very smooth and effective listmastership. Finally Ivan is a FotWer who doesn't shy from adding his thoughts about most (if not all) matters aired on list, yet one whose patience seldom fails.
  • Eugene Ipavec nominated for his relentless giffing without which FOTW almost would run dry, as well as for his apt comments.
  • Jörg Majewski nominated for his long and ongoing series of German municipal flags, the sort of contribution that makes FOTW "the" source for all things flag on the Internet.

2008 Winner and Nominees

  • Vexillologist of the Year 2008: Jarig Bakker for his relentless service to FOTW in providing graphics of municipal flags and his long-standing editorial duties.
  • Eugene Ipavec nominated for the great effort he has put into sending top quality images as a giffer (some of them in Arabic text and other difficult languages to draw), plus the patience and interest he has displayed over the past years as an assiduous contributor to the website, to the extent that he has taken editorial responsibilities for several sections of FOTW, most recently Spain.
  • Marcus E.V. Schmöger nominated for his unselfish and heart-warming contribution to his peers and fellow fotw-ers by means of his tireless work via scanning the great volumes of historical flag books, thus enabling his colleagues to indulge in further research into a very-often underestimated science and to which ends, people will profit from.

2007 Winner

  • Vexillologist of the Year 2007: David Prothero for his work on the research of the British maritime flags, his continuous contributions about ensigns and his scholarly mastery of the UK Public Records.

2006 Winner

  • Vexillologist of the Year 2006: Christopher Southworth for his continued and tireless work on the Dictionary of Vexillology. Christopher has been editor-in-chief, scouring documents for terms not-yet defined and presenting them for review. Many times, his original draft is letter perfect, skillfully capturing accurate and concise definitions of the terms. This documentation gives vexillology a firm foundation for the future, and Chris' vision for the document and dedicated work is responsible for much of it. He continues to be the driving force and inspiration for the ongoing expansion and refining work being done on the dictionary. The award has been made by acclamation to Christopher Southworth.

2005 Winner and Nominees

  • Vexillologist of the Year 2005: António Martins-Tuválkin; for his efforts as former list master, tireless critic, precise editor, and promoter of quality on the FOTW website.
  • Jarig Bakker nominated for his work and contributions of houseflags and for his devotion and diligence as editor of more then 5000 FOTW pages.
  • David Prothero nominated for his scholar contribution to the study of flags, specially British Ensigns, always well documented and explained.
  • Christopher Southworth nominated for being the chief author of the newly released Dictionary of Vexillology together with his contribution to the accuracy of the information included in FOTW website.

2004 Winner and Nominees

  • Vexillologist of the Year 2004: Rob Raeside for his long term as director and running the website and being the front-man for all visitors. Rob in his quiet and gentle way is directing the website with outstanding commitment and he is the main reason for FOTW to become the site that we know. Beside directing, Rob is doing also regular editing and representing FOTW when needed.
  • Jarig Bakker nominated for his outstanding commitment to the development and improvement of the FOTW-ws and the sharing of vexillological information. For two consecutive years he has not only keep his post as Editor of various FOTW pages, but very patiently and imaginatively fought to make the Czech pages a very orderly and sensible source of information including making half of them solely by himself.
  • Antonio Martins nominated because he has done more than any other member of FOTW to ensure the quality of FOTW is maintained. This, of course, comes both from his role as ml listmaster, but much more as constant watchdog, editor, graphic artist, and bibliography manager. Not only has his vexillological input been of the highest quality, but he has occupied the post of listmaster with ability, understanding, firmness, and above all with a sense of humor.
  • David Prothero nominated because he has consistently provided FOTW with research on British and British Colonial flags which are impossible to locate in many flag books coupled with his impressive writing skills. His carefully researched contributions are always worth studying in detail
  • .


  • No award.


  • No award.

2001 Winner and Nominees

  • Vexillologist of the Year 2001: Željko Heimer for his scholarly and graphical contributions to provide accurate national flags based on Album des Pavillons (2000).
  • Joe McMillan was nominated because he had contributed a wealth of information and flags to the list over this last year.
  • The following were also nominated this year without the reasons recorded: Jarig Bakker, Jan Oskar Engene, Željko Heimer, Istvan Molnar, Blas Delgado Ortiz, Jens Pattke, Rob Raeside, Marcus Schmoeger, Stefan Schwoon, and Juan Manuel Gabino Villascan

2000 Winner and Nominees

  • Vexillologist of the Year 2000: Pascal Gross for his graphical work in Swiss communal flags.
  • The following were also nominated this year without the reasons recorded: Jarig Bakker, Phil Nelson, Jaume Olle, Rob Raeside, Antonio Martins, Armand Noel du Payrat, and Pascal Gross

1999 Winner and Nominees

  • Vexillologist of the Year 1999: Dov Gutterman for his extensive vexiferreting of the Internet and contributions to uncovering flags.
  • Unfortunately, we do not have a list of who else was nominated this year.

1998 Winner and Nominees

  • Vexillologist of the Year 1998: Edward Mooney for services rendered in support of the mailing list and editing of web pages.
  • Unfortunately, we do not have a list of who else was nominated this year.

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