Welcome To The Jungle
The sovereign island of Kinakuta is home to the world's first data haven — a place of unrestricted and unmonitored digital communication. Out of this haven it is issuing the first digital currency backed by physical gold. Untraceable, uncensorable transactions combined with encrypted communications drags the world into a new era: one where peoples oppressed by their governments have the tools to live, trade, and communicate freely, and a world where criminals can work in the complete and total cover of darkness. It's a dark age for surveillance, and a golden age for the chaotic, dangerous freedom of information. Like the rising of the sun, the dawning of this age cannot be stopped. Now, with economic turmoil, struggling central banks, and governments losing everything afforded by absolute control over digital communications, the threats of terror loom large, the prominence of the citadel has begun, and the human race grapples with the consequences of the final separation: money and state. One could judge Kinakuta as the destroyer of the old order, but the novus ordo seclorum is the consequence of many decisions made by free people. Who really is to blame? What good is it to assign guilt? Is humanity returning to what it once was, or becoming something new?
Kinakuta is a fictional island that appears as a central plot point in several of Neal Stephenson's books, including "Cryptonomicon", which I recently finished and absolutely would recommend to my fellow cypherpunks.
Inspired by the read, I designed a flag for Kinakuta, which despite Cryptonomicon being released in 1999 nobody seems to have undertaken. Of course, better flags could be imagined but this one bridges the gap between the concept of digital gold in the '90s to the concept of digital gold today, which is Bitcoin.
The letters at the bottom of the flag have the English letters KINAKUTA hidden in them among some accents and other diacritics to make it look like a vaguely middle-eastern script, as Kinakuta is described as being primarily settled by Malay peoples whose language borrows from Sanskrit, Tamil, Hindustani, Persian, Portuguese, Dutch, Sinitic, and Arabic languages.
The crest on the flag depicts the ED25519 cryptographic elliptical curve surrounding a tableau wherein two scimitars point outward symbolizing Kinakuta's sovereignty and representing the middle-eastern culture from which the sultanate descended; the scimitars overlay stacks of gold bars, representing the wealth that Kinakuta protects in terms of real gold and digital gold; the palm trees represent the island and its climate and culture; the two opposing keys represent the public key cryptography that secures the wealth of Kinakuta and all who use the data haven, and the ED25519 curve appears again as the mathematical truth that binds the keys together; the crown represents the sultan and his lineage. The ED25519 curve that surrounds the tableau opens upward as a cave opens to the surface, symbolizing the data haven which is deep under a mountain, immune to nuclear attacks.
The flag of Kinakuta represents loyalty to a new kind of sovereign nation. It isn't an island. It's a set of ideals. Unlike many nations who fail to live up to — or worse — abandon their founding ideals, the ideals that Kinakuta represents are incorruptable because they are woven into the fabric of every human heart and accessible by any digital device: truth, privacy, identity, opportunity, ownership, value, and time. All made possible by the opt-in nature of digital cryptographic systems and ubiquitous worldwide communication networks.