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Flags of the Night Sky: Why Some National Symbols Carry Heavenly Signs

By: Andrea G Bordeleau(Author)

220 pages, 30 colour & 20 b/w illustrations


Paperback | Nov 2013 | #200153 | ISBN-13: 9781461409281
Availability: Usually dispatched within 1 week Details
NHBS Price: £29.99 $38/€33 approx

About this book

Many national flags display astronomical features – Sun, Moon, stars – but are they really based on existing astronomical objects? The United States flag sports 50 stars, one for each state, however none of them are linked to real stars. Further, the lunar crescent is often shaped like the Sun being eclipsed by the Moon. At times, stars are seen right next to the crescent, where the darkened disc of the moon should be! This book will present true astronomical objects and patterns highlighted on national flags and link informative capsules about these objects to the political reasons why they were chosen to adorn such an important symbol.


- The southern cross
- Oceania: Australia and Meiwi (Aboriginal)
- New Zealand
- Papua New Guinea,- Samoa
- Niue
- South America: Brazil
- Mercosur
- Antarctica: Argentina
- Chile
- New Zealand
- Orion
- Asia: India
- The Big Dipper
- Europe: Ireland
- Spain
- North America: Alaska
- Cherokee Nation
- The Pleiades
- North America: Durham, Georgia, USA
- Polaris
- North America: Nunavut, Canada

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Andre G. Bordeleau has been an amateur astronomer since 1982. He got involved with the astronomy club at the University of Guelph, in Ontario, Canada while he was completing a Master's degree in Political Science (1984) and competing internationally for Canada in rifle shooting from 1978 to 1990, in which he was invited to two Olympic trials (1984, 1988). Bordeleau spent the 1980's with the club, selecting topics for the meetings, presenting talks as well as offering guided tours of the University's observatory. He was named a Lifetime Honorary Member in 1987 and gave guided tours of the observatory and astronomy talks to outside groups and schools on behalf of the University of Guelph's Outreach Program from 1987 until 1990. Bordeleau has been involved in the fight for eradicating light pollution since 1987 and has written several articles on popular astronomy topics in both English and French, many of them specifically on light pollution.

He has published in Sky & Telescope (both the American and Australian magazines), The Griffith Observer, The Planetarian, and the Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society in Canada. He has also translated four astronomy books from English to French, including one published by Patrick Moore and another written by Stephen James O'Meara. Bordeleau has been a Planetarium lecturer since 1994, and around that time travelled to Australia and New Zealand in order to admire the southern sky. He fell with it and wishes for another opportunity to return, this time armed with a telescope, to resume his observations.

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