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Flags in cyberspace
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Date: Fri, 10 Nov 1995 05:10:37 +0100
From: Mario Profaca, Freelancer; Zagreb, Croatia
To: Multiple recipients of list CARR-L
(Computer Assisted Research and Report)
Subject: Flags of the Cyberspace

Surfing all over the Cyberspace I found many web sites were offering clickable flags of countries of the world. I used to click the Croatian one offered and so many times I was disappointed when a late communist flag of Socialist Republic of Croatia showed up on my PC monitor. I took one of my graphic editors and made myself the actual Croatian flag in gif format and sent it to some of those Web sites. But, I was wondering, how come that they had that old flag even five years after Croatia proclaimed independence and exchanged the flag, internationally recognised. One of webmasters I talked to told me he download it at NATO's Alpha CCIS page Flags of the World. I failed to believe that and went there to check it myself.

Connected to Alpha CCIS (it's a dead link now!)
I was welcomed with this WARNING:

This Computer System and all related equipment are to be used for the communication, transmission, processing, and storage of official North Atlantic Treaty Organisation or other authorised information only. All North Atlantic Treaty Organisation computer systems are subject to monitoring at all times. If monitoring of any North Atlantic Treaty Organisation Computer System reveals possible violation of applicable laws, all relevant information may be provided to law enforcement officials.
After reading and understanding the foregoing statement, you may continue or exit from this server.

Believe it or not - I continued. Anyway, I thought, if that computer system provides me an express consent to monitoring at all times as it reads, why don't take advantage of it and monitor it myself too. I went on and monitored Flags of the World page searching for the flag of Croatia. And there it was (and still is) at URL: there is that old communist flag of late Socialist Republic of Croatia (remember that big red star on it?) instead of the current flag of Republic of Croatia we have for more than five years.
I released that computer system in question was so busy monitoring it's visitors that it had no time for monitoring and updating it's contents. Well, in the mood for the "nobody's perfect" happy ending as in an old American movie ("Somebody likes it hot") I remembered , I went further on and wrote a comment to the webmaster . I took advantage of feedback utility provided on that hypertext server. I was so happy when it automatically generated the answer thanking me for that message of mine they automatically displayed too.

In short, I did it three times so far. I wrote them that they could (I didn't write they should) download the actual Croatian flag at my Web site: Mario's Cyberspace Station , or just jumping at Croatian flag to spare some time.

Naive as I might sound I thought they were going to exchange the flag of Croatia on their Web site as quick as possible.

For several days so far I'm monitoring that computer system and it's monitoring me monitoring it, but the late communist flag is still there.

Please, if anybody is monitoring me here too, do something to exchange the flag of Croatia at your Web sites here and there in the Cyberspace if you still have that communist one.

For all those not familiar with computers and networking, a group of Croatian alpinists recently sticked the Croatian flag on to the top of Himalayas too...

You see, we, the Croats, we love our flag at least as much as you love your one.
Mario Profaca
Freelance Journalist
Zagreb, Croatia

P. S. On December 1995, when I checked it again
there was still that old communist flag there.

Message-Id: <>
Date: Mon, 13 Nov 1995 09:06:50 -0800
From: "Johan A. Goossens"
Subject: Flags

Thank you very much for all your constructive comments.
I am sorry I didn't have a change to update the flags yet.
As NATO employees, we have a great deal of interest in your region
and I knew we were out of date. (some have even called it politically incorrect).
I've been away on a world trip for over two months so that is why nothing has happend yet.
I promise you that I'll update the flags this week.


P.S. I would like to know which links you use to get to my server.
You see, the wrong flag was there   for over five years, because the webmaster has "been away on a world trip  for over two months"! Anyway, a bigger surprise was waiting for me at  Institute on East Central Europe Home Page home page of  Columbia University, 420 W. 118th Street, New York, NY 10027, Phone: (212) 854-4008 Fax: (212) 854-8577

But, well, that's  another story ....