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Victoria 3 - Dev Diary #28 - Flags

16_9.jpg

Hi folks, welcome to another dev diary, and get hyped for what I know you're longing for: flags. I'm Ofaloaf, one of the designers on the game, and somehow they let me write a dev diary. Let's go!

Let's start at the beginning. What is a flag?

20211201_103509_sm.jpg

A flag is a thing of beauty.
A flag is a decorative design on a bit of fabric, often used to communicate something, such as a message or identity, to the viewer. In Victoria 3, all flags are flags associated with countries. They're neat designs that serve as visual shorthand for a state, and they just look pretty too, most of the time.

orange free state.PNG

In the Victorian era, what counts as the flag of a country was a bit… vague, depending on who you were asking. Some countries, like the United States and France, very clearly had a single flag that served as the national flag that everybody knew them by, but others weren't so clear.

Look - here's some period examples of what people considered Russia's flag to be:

Selection from 'The maritime flags of all nations', 1832, as seen on Wikimedia Commons
The_maritime_flags_of_all_nations,_1832_(FOL_LA_ROQ_1542_NOR)_croppo.jpg


Selection from 'Pavillons et cocardes des principales puissances du globe d'apres des documens officials', 1850, as seen in the David Rumsey Map Collection.
russie.png

First thing that's noticeable is that it's not just one flag. The tricolor that is used as the Russian Federation's flag now was just one of several in use in the 19th century up through to the 1850s, as a merchant flag or civil ensign used to identify civilian ships in foreign ports. The Romanov dynasty's emblem is also used as a Russian flag, and then there's two naval jacks - the flags with the blue saltires or diagonal crosses stretching across them- which are also widely recognized. Eventually, the Russian government started trying to consolidate everything and issued a decree on June 23rd, 1858, proclaiming a single "state flag", a black-gold-white tricolor. In 1883, the white-blue-red "merchant" flag was officially accepted as a national flag to be used on special occasions, and in 1896 it wholly replaced the black-gold-white tricolor as Russia's state flag.

Man, ain't that a doozy of flags to pick from! How are we supposed to pick which one to use in Victoria 3? Well, good news there - we can use more than one flag! We got dynamic flags triggered by script!

russianflags.png

Any trigger which is valid for a country, like checking if a specific state is owned by the player or if a war is happening, can be used to trigger a different flag in the game. We've used that to spice up flag varieties in different situations - for example, a united Scandinavian monarchy has a different flag depending on whether the Danes are in charge or not:

scandinavia.png

Spicy! And that's on top of just using the usual checks like governments, the number of states in a country, and so forth - right, yes, you probably want to see the stars in the American flag, don't you? I know I do. They do change based on the number of states in the Union.

I can taste the freedom.
freedom.png

There's even some unique flags for when one country becomes the puppet of another. In some cases, a generic "oh no I am a puppet now" design is used for the puppeted country's flag with the "master" country's flag inserted as a canton in the upper-left corner of the puppeted country's flag, while in other cases a wholly unique flag is made for a particular combination of puppeteer and puppet.

puppeteer and puppet.png

There's also a sort of fallback system, to provide flags for every polity even if we can't really settle on one particular design, or if they're feisty dynamic rebels, or what-have-you. Flags can be randomly generated, with particular triggers set so some flag elements only appear if a tag is of a particular culture, religion, or ideology, among other things.

randomflags.png

And, for the modders out there, it shouldn't be difficult for you folks to put together more flags if you want (and of course you want to make more flags, right?) - we use a system similar to the one Crusader King 3 uses for its coats of arms. France's default flag is a simple example of how the system works:

Code:
FRA = {
    pattern = "pattern_solid.tga"
    color1 = "blue"

    colored_emblem = {
        texture = "ce_tricolor_vertical.dds"
        color1 = "white"
        color2 = "red"
    }
}

All that's going on there is that a plain blue field is set as the background, and then a single graphical element with the central third and right third of the tricolor as colorable sections is slapped on top, with white and red respectively added in there to make a nice and tidy blue-white-red tricolore. Magnifique!

And to plug that bad boy into the game, all you need is a little scripting in another file that goes a little something like this:

Code:
FRA = { # France
    flag_definition = {
        coa = FRA
        subject_canton = FRA
        allow_overlord_canton = yes
        coa_with_overlord_canton = FRA_subject        
        priority = 1
    }
    flag_definition = {
        coa = FRA
        subject_canton = FRA
        allow_overlord_canton = yes        
        overlord_canton_scale = { 0.337 0.337 }            
        priority = 10
        trigger = { 
            coa_def_republic_flag_trigger = yes
        }
    }
    [And so forth. Find more flags by playing the game!]    
}

You can create as many flag definitions as you like, and you can plug the same flag design into multiple definitions or make a unique one for every definition if you want to go insane scripting it all up. Triggers are straightforward to plug in (and you can script generic triggers if you don't want to write the same combination of checks over and over again). If you want to mod flags, there's a delightful amount of flexibility with this system.

So there you have it! We got flags. We got lots of flags! We got randomized combinations of flags that go on for days! You could script more flags if you really want to poke at the game's innards! Flags.

Now, as we march towards the Holiday season, the dev diaries are taking a bit of a break. We will be back in January with a brand new topic in our first dev diary for 2022. Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year!
 
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This comment is reserved by the Community Team for gathering Dev Responses in, for ease of reading.

There is no player override system for which flag to use at the moment. Both that and an in-game flag designer would be really neat, but I wouldn't consider either of those things priority for release.

Eruth said:
How many stars will the USA's flag go up to in vanilla?
Edit: I assume each one has to be designed & implemented individually?
Yes and no. Each variant has to be scripted with properly positioned elements, but it's a lot less work than making and exporting an entire new flag image as you really just have to add and position the correct number of star elements.

DragonMaggot said:
I'm curious about something, as the DD leaves it ambiguous, but does the US flag dynamically change the amount of and rescale the stars based directly on the amount of states or are there several flags defined? I assume the former because the later would be a ridiculous amount of work, but if the former, is this handled directly in the flag definition script or is some form of hidden event called everytime the amount of integrated states change to update the flag with new parameters?
It has one star per incorporated state, up to 100. Each flag variant uses the same graphical elements, while the layout of those elements is determined in script.

Belph said:
How much control does a player have over the flag their country uses? If the player really likes one design over another can they force that one without mods?
Without mods, your best shot for sticking to a design you like is sticking to the conditions that lead to that flag appearing. Modding has some flexibility because of how much can be triggered through script, but it'll have to be through mods.

ABQGhostdog said:
Is that 83 Stars on the flag?
Maybe? I didn't count- tbh I just used console trickery to make a bunch of places into American states and didn't keep count. :p

Spartakusbund said:
“Or if a war is happening” is an interesting trigger. Is that just a hypothetical or is there a nation with a special battle flag in the game?
Hypothetical, I think. I don't actually remember all the triggers, but I knew the idea of war-specific flags would probably appeal to very specific sorts of flag posters and modders.

ajokitty said:
Can there ever be multiple nations which share a flag?
Yeah, that's quite doable. Looking at the France example in the first post, I could take another country (let's call it XYZ for the sake of an example) and make a flag definition like
Code:
XYZ = { # Hyoptheticalland
flag_definition = {
coa = FRA
subject_canton = FRA
allow_overlord_canton = yes
coa_with_overlord_canton = FRA_subject
priority = 1
}
}
and it'd just... reference the same FRA flag design that France proper uses.

Ferrous Will said:
Let's say I think the US flag is too cluttered, and it is in fact demeaning to use your own flag as a tally paper. I assume there is a way to mod a decision into the game so I can switch over to the Betsy Ross flag?
You can trigger a flag on anything, so having a decision that sets a flag that tells the game to always use a particular flag would be pretty trivial.

docbuck said:
Hm. Wish I could see this example. So I'm supposed to position each star element individually in the script, like decals?
Yeah. CK3 is a good guide to see how that all works, since the backend script systems are fairly similar.

Willem IV said:
Roman Mars wants to have a word with you

Click to expand...
But Roman Mars doesn't understand: that's the flag of Michigan. I am from Michigan. Ergo, it is a beautiful flag.

ApokaIypsis said:
Any chance we could get the British Republican flag as it existed from the early 19th to mid 20th centuries?

Republicanism in the United Kingdom - Wikipedia


en.wikipedia.org
en.wikipedia.org
Unless something has changed since I last worked on this, that tricolour is the standard British republican flag used in V3. The Cromwell-esque banner shown in the teaser was specifically for a British republic under more dictatorial circumstances.

SaintDaveUK said:
Unless something has changed since I last worked on this, that tricolour is the standard British republican flag used in V3. The Cromwell-esque banner shown in the teaser was specifically for a British republic under more dictatorial circumstances.
That is the case, yeah. The flag of Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector of England (Puritan! Born in 1599 and died in 1658 September! etc.), is the dictatorial republican flag, sans escutcheon, while the Chartist tricolor is still the democratic republican flag.

Txini said:
Also guess we can have some flags being the same for different regimes?
Yes. Forget the rigid V2 system where there are 4 regimes and 4 flags.

In V3 some flags are very general and some are very specific. France for example can use the tricolour whether they are monarchist or republican, but maybe a particularly absolutist monarchy would adopt the ancient fleury banner.

Myrten said:
So what actually decides which flag Russian Empire is using?
Russia is one of those countries that we went into a little more detail with. As a general rule for flavour, absolute monarchies are represented with the historical personal banner of the monarch ("I am the state"), which is why Russia starts in 1836 with the Tsar's yellow flag and not the tricolour. As you draw power away from the emperor, the Russian flag may develop into the modern one.

Idle America said:
On the flipside, if Scotland were to secede, would Britain remove the blue from its flag?

I love flags almost as much as I love trains, so this has gotten me excited!
We've approached the idea that the Great Britain tag is fundamentally the union between Scotland and England (both of which exist as separate tags), and so Scottish elements will not leave the flag.

However if Britain no longer holds onto any Irish states or subjects then they will remove the St Patrick saltire, or if they are an absolute monarchy using the royal banner, they will drop the Irish harp.
 
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So, thank you for this very aesthetically pleasing DD! Now, a German Question!

Is Germany going to get various options of national flag, with differences depending on which state forms it? Like the Scandinavian case? If so, what are the options? Austria/Prussia/German Minor?
 
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How much control does a player have over the flag their country uses? If the player really likes one design over another can they force that one without mods?
 
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Kaspar Osraige

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This is a cool diary and is quite informative about dynamism, certain inner mechanics of countries and vassals but I honestly expected more about politics. A dev on the Discord said that was also quite dynamic, could we get some examples or at least some information about variations of flags according to interest groups, governments and politics
 
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Please, dont use the flag on my avatar for monarchist Chile...

Its a liberal flag. With a random cross of burgundy on top of it.

If we got to restore the monarchy... we would have asked Spain to return to rule of over us and we would have used their flag, it could be a very interesting set of events, a re-re-conquista as a inside job!
 
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Hi folks, welcome to another dev diary, and get hyped for what I know you're longing for: flags. I'm Ofaloaf, one of the designers on the game, and somehow they let me write a dev diary. Let's go!

Let's start at the beginning. What is a flag?

View attachment 786428
A flag is a thing of beauty.
A flag is a decorative design on a bit of fabric, often used to communicate something, such as a message or identity, to the viewer. In Victoria 3, all flags are flags associated with countries. They're neat designs that serve as visual shorthand for a state, and they just look pretty too, most of the time.

In the Victorian era, what counts as the flag of a country was a bit… vague, depending on who you were asking. Some countries, like the United States and France, very clearly had a single flag that served as the national flag that everybody knew them by, but others weren't so clear.

Look - here's some period examples of what people considered Russia's flag to be:

Selection from 'The maritime flags of all nations', 1832, as seen on Wikimedia Commons
View attachment 786430

Selection from 'Pavillons et cocardes des principales puissances du globe d'apres des documens officials', 1850, as seen in the David Rumsey Map Collection.
View attachment 786431
First thing that's noticeable is that it's not just one flag. The tricolor that is used as the Russian Federation's flag now was just one of several in use in the 19th century up through to the 1850s, as a merchant flag or civil ensign used to identify civilian ships in foreign ports. The Romanov dynasty's emblem is also used as a Russian flag, and then there's two naval jacks - the flags with the blue saltires or diagonal crosses stretching across them- which are also widely recognized. Eventually, the Russian government started trying to consolidate everything and issued a decree on June 23rd, 1858, proclaiming a single "state flag", a black-gold-white tricolor. In 1883, the white-blue-red "merchant" flag was officially accepted as a national flag to be used on special occasions, and in 1896 it wholly replaced the black-gold-white tricolor as Russia's state flag.

Man, ain't that a doozy of flags to pick from! How are we supposed to pick which one to use in Victoria 3? Well, good news there - we can use more than one flag! We got dynamic flags triggered by script!

Any trigger which is valid for a country, like checking if a specific state is owned by the player or if a war is happening, can be used to trigger a different flag in the game. We've used that to spice up flag varieties in different situations - for example, a united Scandinavian monarchy has a different flag depending on whether the Danes are in charge or not:

Spicy! And that's on top of just using the usual checks like governments, the number of states in a country, and so forth - right, yes, you probably want to see the stars in the American flag, don't you? I know I do. They do change based on the number of states in the Union.

I can taste the freedom.
View attachment 786435
There's even some unique flags for when one country becomes the puppet of another. In some cases, a generic "oh no I am a puppet now" design is used for the puppeted country's flag with the "master" country's flag inserted as a canton in the upper-left corner of the puppeted country's flag, while in other cases a wholly unique flag is made for a particular combination of puppeteer and puppet.

There's also a sort of fallback system, to provide flags for every polity even if we can't really settle on one particular design, or if they're feisty dynamic rebels, or what-have-you. Flags can be randomly generated, with particular triggers set so some flag elements only appear if a tag is of a particular culture, religion, or ideology, among other things.

And, for the modders out there, it shouldn't be difficult for you folks to put together more flags if you want (and of course you want to make more flags, right?) - we use a system similar to the one Crusader King 3 uses for its coats of arms. France's default flag is a simple example of how the system works:

Code:
FRA = {
    pattern = "pattern_solid.tga"
    color1 = "blue"

    colored_emblem = {
        texture = "ce_tricolor_vertical.dds"
        color1 = "white"
        color2 = "red"
    }
}

All that's going on there is that a plain blue field is set as the background, and then a single graphical element with the central third and right third of the tricolor as colorable sections is slapped on top, with white and red respectively added in there to make a nice and tidy blue-white-red tricolore. Magnifique!

And to plug that bad boy into the game, all you need is a little scripting in another file that goes a little something like this:

Code:
FRA = { # France
    flag_definition = {
        coa = FRA
        subject_canton = FRA
        allow_overlord_canton = yes
        coa_with_overlord_canton = FRA_subject     
        priority = 1
    }
    flag_definition = {
        coa = FRA
        subject_canton = FRA
        allow_overlord_canton = yes     
        overlord_canton_scale = { 0.337 0.337 }         
        priority = 10
        trigger = {
            coa_def_republic_flag_trigger = yes
        }
    }
    [And so forth. Find more flags by playing the game!] 
}

You can create as many flag definitions as you like, and you can plug the same flag design into multiple definitions or make a unique one for every definition if you want to go insane scripting it all up. Triggers are straightforward to plug in (and you can script generic triggers if you don't want to write the same combination of checks over and over again). If you want to mod flags, there's a delightful amount of flexibility with this system.

So there you have it! We got flags. We got lots of flags! We got randomized combinations of flags that go on for days! You could script more flags if you really want to poke at the game's innards! Flags.

Now, as we march towards the Holiday season, the dev diaries are taking a bit of a break. We will be back in January with a brand new topic in our first dev diary for 2022. Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year!
Hi folks, welcome to another dev diary, and get hyped for what I know you're longing for: flags. I'm Ofaloaf, one of the designers on the game, and somehow they let me write a dev diary. Let's go!

Let's start at the beginning. What is a flag?

View attachment 786428
A flag is a thing of beauty.
A flag is a decorative design on a bit of fabric, often used to communicate something, such as a message or identity, to the viewer. In Victoria 3, all flags are flags associated with countries. They're neat designs that serve as visual shorthand for a state, and they just look pretty too, most of the time.

In the Victorian era, what counts as the flag of a country was a bit… vague, depending on who you were asking. Some countries, like the United States and France, very clearly had a single flag that served as the national flag that everybody knew them by, but others weren't so clear.

Look - here's some period examples of what people considered Russia's flag to be:

Selection from 'The maritime flags of all nations', 1832, as seen on Wikimedia Commons
View attachment 786430

Selection from 'Pavillons et cocardes des principales puissances du globe d'apres des documens officials', 1850, as seen in the David Rumsey Map Collection.
View attachment 786431
First thing that's noticeable is that it's not just one flag. The tricolor that is used as the Russian Federation's flag now was just one of several in use in the 19th century up through to the 1850s, as a merchant flag or civil ensign used to identify civilian ships in foreign ports. The Romanov dynasty's emblem is also used as a Russian flag, and then there's two naval jacks - the flags with the blue saltires or diagonal crosses stretching across them- which are also widely recognized. Eventually, the Russian government started trying to consolidate everything and issued a decree on June 23rd, 1858, proclaiming a single "state flag", a black-gold-white tricolor. In 1883, the white-blue-red "merchant" flag was officially accepted as a national flag to be used on special occasions, and in 1896 it wholly replaced the black-gold-white tricolor as Russia's state flag.

Man, ain't that a doozy of flags to pick from! How are we supposed to pick which one to use in Victoria 3? Well, good news there - we can use more than one flag! We got dynamic flags triggered by script!

Any trigger which is valid for a country, like checking if a specific state is owned by the player or if a war is happening, can be used to trigger a different flag in the game. We've used that to spice up flag varieties in different situations - for example, a united Scandinavian monarchy has a different flag depending on whether the Danes are in charge or not:

Spicy! And that's on top of just using the usual checks like governments, the number of states in a country, and so forth - right, yes, you probably want to see the stars in the American flag, don't you? I know I do. They do change based on the number of states in the Union.

I can taste the freedom.
View attachment 786435
There's even some unique flags for when one country becomes the puppet of another. In some cases, a generic "oh no I am a puppet now" design is used for the puppeted country's flag with the "master" country's flag inserted as a canton in the upper-left corner of the puppeted country's flag, while in other cases a wholly unique flag is made for a particular combination of puppeteer and puppet.

There's also a sort of fallback system, to provide flags for every polity even if we can't really settle on one particular design, or if they're feisty dynamic rebels, or what-have-you. Flags can be randomly generated, with particular triggers set so some flag elements only appear if a tag is of a particular culture, religion, or ideology, among other things.

And, for the modders out there, it shouldn't be difficult for you folks to put together more flags if you want (and of course you want to make more flags, right?) - we use a system similar to the one Crusader King 3 uses for its coats of arms. France's default flag is a simple example of how the system works:

Code:
FRA = {
    pattern = "pattern_solid.tga"
    color1 = "blue"

    colored_emblem = {
        texture = "ce_tricolor_vertical.dds"
        color1 = "white"
        color2 = "red"
    }
}

All that's going on there is that a plain blue field is set as the background, and then a single graphical element with the central third and right third of the tricolor as colorable sections is slapped on top, with white and red respectively added in there to make a nice and tidy blue-white-red tricolore. Magnifique!

And to plug that bad boy into the game, all you need is a little scripting in another file that goes a little something like this:

Code:
FRA = { # France
    flag_definition = {
        coa = FRA
        subject_canton = FRA
        allow_overlord_canton = yes
        coa_with_overlord_canton = FRA_subject      
        priority = 1
    }
    flag_definition = {
        coa = FRA
        subject_canton = FRA
        allow_overlord_canton = yes      
        overlord_canton_scale = { 0.337 0.337 }          
        priority = 10
        trigger = {
            coa_def_republic_flag_trigger = yes
        }
    }
    [And so forth. Find more flags by playing the game!]  
}

You can create as many flag definitions as you like, and you can plug the same flag design into multiple definitions or make a unique one for every definition if you want to go insane scripting it all up. Triggers are straightforward to plug in (and you can script generic triggers if you don't want to write the same combination of checks over and over again). If you want to mod flags, there's a delightful amount of flexibility with this system.

So there you have it! We got flags. We got lots of flags! We got randomized combinations of flags that go on for days! You could script more flags if you really want to poke at the game's innards! Flags.

Now, as we march towards the Holiday season, the dev diaries are taking a bit of a break. We will be back in January with a brand new topic in our first dev diary for 2022. Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year!
I understand that for many this topic is exciting. I must say I hoped that this dev diary would at least cover country names too, as these subjects are connected. I especially wonder about whether getting a theocracy in ispamic country will make it called Caliphate or Islamic Republic.. Any chance to know when we can learn that?
 
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Teethmangler

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Jun 21, 2019
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Wait, so are there other circumstances than war except for a passation of power in which a flag can change??