flags and maps are great - aren't they? 2 totally opposite devices to describe a place: one conveying a massive area with a symbol of just a few marks and the other depicting the same land in explicit detail. with the advent of satellite imagery, now nowhere escapes their dirty laundry being out in public.
city and prefecture symbols in japan are beautifully simple - one of my favourites is the tottori emblem which symbolises a bird (tori) and is also a play on the character for to ("toe"). 'a lot of birds' as I understand. as a lot of modern graphic design (advertising) in japan is so cluttered it's good to see the simplicity of these marks from time to time. dead clean. dead nice.