The Skeptics’ Guide to Vexillology – Dr Tom Williamson

January 12, 2023 @ 19:00 (check your local time)

Watch the replay here:

Flags! They’re everywhere, from battlefields to Pride marches to the World Cup. But what secrets and mysteries do flags hold? Why do some people get upset if you say Union Flag instead of Union Jack? Are remainers right when they say they want their star back? Why do the bad guys have such well-designed flags? And just what does it mean to fly at half mast?

Tom Williamson, whose fascination with the subject began with investigating his grandfather’s souvenirs, will attempt to answer these questions and more in this taste of vexillology, the study of flags. Every aspect of this diverse field will be covered, so look forward to history, politics and design. Flags: not just colourful pieces of cloth!

Graduating with a PhD in Systems Biology from the University of Manchester, Tom Williamson has decided to do nothing with it whatsoever and instead spends his days designing tills for some of the UK’s biggest charities. When he’s not doing that, Tom is one half of the Retrospecticus podcast, a show that examines The Simpsons and the events in modern history that surround it. Outside of that, Tom developed the word salad generator Wisdom of Chopra, a website that was used to win an IgNobel prize.