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Animal Farm (book)

Last modified: 2007-04-07 by
Keywords: animal farm | book | novel | manor farm |
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Animal Farm

[fictional flag of animal farm]
[fictional flag of animal farm]
[fictional flag of animal farm]
reconstruction by
Ole andersen
reconstruction by
Marc Pasquin, 14 june 2005
reconstruction by
David Kendall & Eugene Ipavec, 16 june 2005
Based on the cover of the
Penguin Books paperback.
Based on the written description.
Based on the cover of the
Penguin Books paperback.
Snowball [Stuart's note: one of the porcine leaders of the revolution] had found in the harness-room an old green tablecloth of Mrs Jones's and had painted on it a hoof and a horn in white. This was run up the flagstaff in the farmhouse garden every Sunday morning. The flag was green, Snowball explained, to represent the green fields of England, while the horn and the hoof signified the future Republic of the Animals which would arise when the human race had finally been overthrown.

Animal Farm, 1945

The hoof and horn eventually disappeared from the flag, as did much of the ceremonial surrounding its use.
Stuart A. Notholt, 23 December 1998


Considering that the story is largely a criticism of soviet-style communism, it occured to me that a soviet-style design might be what George Orwell had in mind for the flag.
Marc Pasquin, 14 june 2005


I have a copy of "Animal Farm" in my library (it's one of my favourite books), the copy I have (a Penguin Books paperback, if that helps with the particular edition) that has a copy of the flag on the cover.

While Marc's drawing was probably more accurate (as Orwell was indeed parodying the old Soviet political system), since a drawing was not provided in the original text, one can only guess.

Keep in mind however, that just because this flag appeared on the cover of this particular edition of the book, doesn't mean that this is the official interpretation of how the flag should look (I still think I prefer Marc's rendition, it's probably closest to what the author intended, even if the "horn and hoof" is a bit too "fancy" for something a pig is supposed to have painted (as per the novel))
David Kendall, 14-16 june 2005


Since it has been published and sold to the thousands, the design on the cover of the penguin's book has a fictional "existence" of its own, though it would be interesting to know the author's ideas.
António Martins-Tuválkin, 16 june 2005


Banner for spontaneous demonstration

Apart from the green flag described before , there's also mention of another green banner, used in the weekly "Spontaneous Demonstrations":

Boxer and Clover always carried between them a green banner marked with the hoof and the horn an the caption, 'Long Live Comrade Napoleon!'

Animal Farm, 1945

Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 05 june 2002


flag history

First year:
21 June Rebellion at "Manor Farm"
22 June The farm is renamed Animal Farm
Summer A green flag with a white horn and hoof is introduced (designed by Snowball)
12 october The battle of the Cowshed
Third year:
Autumn The Battle of the Windmill: Afterwards a decoration is created by Napoleon called: The Order of the Green Banner.
Fourth year:
Winter Spontaneous Demonstrations (maybe earlier)
April Animal farm is declared a republic
Eight year:
Early Summer The address "Comrade" is dropped; A new plain green flag is flown; The farm is renamed "Manor Farm".

The first flag was the flag of Animal Farm, and was apparently used by the republic as well. The flag change is described as, paraphrazing the words of the leader of the republic:

His visitors might have observed, too, the green flag which flew from the masthead. If so, they would perhaps have noted that the white hoof and horn with which it had previously been marked had now been removed. It would be a plain green flag from now onwards.

Animal Farm, 1945

It's not mentioned whether in later years the green banner may have been used by other animals than the ones mentioned, but after the early summer of the eight year of the narrative it might no longer have been deemed politically correct, as it is based on the old flag, and uses the address "comrade".
Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 05 june 2002

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