A flag is a graphic element on the first page of a newspaper that indicates its name and is typically placed in the top-left corner, above its masthead. A masthead is a nameplate with pertinent details like publication name, logo, publication date, and issue number.
Journalism defines a flag as the name and address of a newspaper appearing prominently at the top of its first page, usually near its title. A flag is integral to newspaper layout, helping readers easily recognize it and quickly identify the publication. A typical flag will contain its city of publication and country information (if distributed outside). Furthermore, flags may include graphics associated with their publisher, such as logos.
Flags are usually the first thing a reader sees when browsing newspapers, making it essential that they stand out and can easily be read. Placing it prominently on the front page (such as the top left-hand corner) with text large enough for distant reading should help achieve this effect.
The flag is an essential part of a newspaper’s identity and branding. Readers typically see it first when opening up the paper, so it needs to be appealing and easily identifiable. Legibility is also vital; otherwise, readers need help identifying it. A newspaper flag can serve many functions–attracting attention, setting the mood, and engaging readers simultaneously! When designed carefully, it becomes an invaluable component in branding the newspaper as part of its identity.