“Founder and chief prophet of vexillology” – Time Magazine
WHITNEY SMITH, PhD
Since the age of six, when his father gave him his first flag (a small 48-star US flag he still owns), Whitney Smith has been immersed in everything having to do with the history, symbolism, design, and usage of flags of all kinds.
After being graduated from Harvard, Dr. Smith served as a professor of political science at Boston University. By then he had already started making his mark in vexillology. For example, he coined that term — now used world-wide to refer to the study of flags — at the age of 17. Four years later he and a colleague started The Flag Bulletin: The International Journal of Vexillology, now approaching its 50th anniversary under his editorship.
In 1960 at the request of the premier of British Guiana, Smith submitted a design that was adopted six years later as the national flag of what is now known as Guyana. He has also been asked for professional flag-designing assistance by Aruba, the Royal Court of Kuwait, the Tennessee Valley Authority, the island of Bonaire, and the US Patent and Trademark Office, among others.
Smith’s research and lecture work have taken him to over 50 countries. He has often been interviewed on radio and TV and has been written up in Time, Smithsonian, The New York Times, The New Yorker, Martha Stewart Living, and other media.
He has been honored for his services to many businesses and scholarly organizations. Recognition includes the National Defense Act (Fellow, 1961-1964); National Independent Flag Dealers Association (Honorary Member, 1989); International Federation of Vexillological Associations (Laureate, 1991); North American Vexillological Association (Whitney Award, 1992); Ottfried Neubecker Cultural Merit Medal (1995), National Independent Flag Dealers Association (George Washington Award for Excellence, 1999).