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QnA with Zar Antonov, Head of the Society of Dracology

dragon interview with zar antonov

Today, we have a long overdue QnA with Zar Antonov, who reached out last year about his project.

As a vexillologist (one who studies flags), Zar is known in certain circles as “The Flagman.” Zar is also a major dragon enthusiast who loves to travel (we at Dragonsinn enjoy traveling too).

Zar started a project titled the Society of Dracology to collect the position of every dragon statue and monument in one place, to make it easier for travelers to find draconic sites of interest while on the road.

Here are some details about the project and more!

QnA on Zar’s project—

Hello! Could you give us a quick introduction?

zar_portrait
The President of Obscurium – Zar Antonov

Zar: Hi there! My name is Zar Antonov, I’m 23 years of age, live in Northern Germany and my main interests include history, vexillology, travel, and dragons. I’m also the President of a self declared state (a so-called micronation), the United Republic of Obscurium.

I was born in Athens, Greece and spent the first 4 years of my life there before moving to Germany, where I’ve lived ever since. But that hasn’t stopped me from travelling to all sorts of places within Europe and even the USA and Canada.

Right now, I’m attending a special course in economics to get a degree which will allow me to study at a university to become a history teacher.

In my spare time I run Obscurium, host a micro-national summit in Czechia each summer, create flags and coats of arms and always continue to educate myself on the topics of history and dragons.

You can find me on social media by following these links:

If you need a flag or coat of arms made, don’t hesitate to contact me at gov AT obscurium DOT info!

My services are always free of charge.

Thanks for the intro! Tell us more about your interest in vexillology. 

Zar: It all started when I was in Canada in 2014. I was 14 and traveling with my Grandparents and when we were in Vancouver, I saw them selling Canadian flags in souvenir shops.

On the bus ride to Calgary I thought about those flags and about getting some for myself. So in Calgary, I got a Canadian and Albertan flag.

Since that moment I have been collecting flags from every place I have been to. That combined with my first attempts at designing flags myself in 2017 caused me to study the topic of vexillology in more detail.

Do you have a favorite dragon flag or emblem?

Zar: I sure do! There are a few I really like.

Rohovládova (Czech): Simply because the dragon looks hilarious.

Qing Dynasty Yellow Dragon Flag (China): The Welsh dragon is nice but he has that crooked nose while the dragon of Bhutan faces the “wrong” direction (Heraldic Animals should always face towards the left). The Qing dragon is just perfect, which is why I even have that flag hanging in my room.

Meriwether Lewis: Meriwether Lewis is perhaps most famously known for leading the Lewis and Clark Expedition but he also had a coat of arms, depicting a dragon’s head chewing on a severed hand. What’s not to love about that?

Where was your first dragon sighting?

Zar: The first one I can recall was in London.

In the City of London, there are of course a bunch of spots were one can find the City Arms or the famous boundary markers (also dragons), but the one I saw first was right inside the white tower of the tower of London.

The dragon’s name is Keeper and he was constructed using alls sorts of weapons and armour.

keeper_dragon_tower_london
Photo of Keeper dragon by David McKelvey, shared under a CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 DEED license

What a marvelous sight that was to 15 year old me, a sight which only furthered my love for dragons and greatly inspired me. I have visited Keeper 3 times since.

Amazing, I need to make a long overdue trip back to London! Do you have a favorite European dragon story?

Zar: My favourite European dragon story must be the story of Siegfried and the Lindworm. It’s not unheard of that the dragon and dragon slayer kill each other, but the way it happened in the Nibelungenlied and the far reaching consequences it had is quite interesting (more on that in an upcoming dragon research post that Zar kindly contributed to).

I also have to note that’s one of the dragon legends I grew up with, so I’ve known it for a very long time already.

What’s the best thing about travelling? 

Zar: There are three things which are best about travelling—

  1. Learning about the places I visit (especially the history).
  2. Meeting new people and forming friendships with them.
  3. Finding unexpected dragons in some hidden corner 🐉

Tell us more about the inspiration behind your website.

Zar: The Idea of the Dracology website came about as I was working on another similar project, the Micronational Flag Archive.

It might be difficult to find all dragon statues and places but it is certainly nigh impossible to have every single micronational flag in one place. (Here’s a quick definition of micronation.)

And since the definition of a micronation is so broad and anyone can found a micronation at any time anywhere, it is really difficult to track down every micronation to add their flag to an archive. But I wanted to do that regardless, because I could still feasibly collect enough micronational flags for the archive to have the highest concentration of micronational flags anywhere.

This project has been quite successful until now. I’ve received help and contributions from many micronations. But while I was working on the archive one day, I thought to myself about doing the same thing for dragons, for the simple reason that I had almost walked past a few dragon statues and other such sites in different places due to there being no single place to look them up online. Hence, I wanted to create that place to make it easier for fellow dragon enthusiasts and travellers to see dragons they otherwise would’ve missed while they are in a certain areas.

I incorporated the idea into my micronational project, under the name “Ministry of Dragons” and started adding (almost) all my own sightings. Recently, I changed the name to “Society of Dracology” to make it less reliant on my micronation and also give it room to potentially expand in the future.

For example, after compiling a list of dragon emblems for the German Dragon Museum Lindenfels, I got the idea to post such an overview on the Dracology site as well.

Feel free to share anything else with our website visitors.

Zar: I’m always happy to receive reports of “dragon sightings” for the website, ideally with a photograph of the dragon(s) in question. More on that on the Society of Dracology website.

I also made a documentary about the German Dragon Museum Lindenfels which can be found here:

It was edited over a period of 1.5 years which is the cause of certain inconsistencies in the quality of the video.

But I believe it helped me somewhat improve my editing skills which I will use for more such documentaries in the future.

Also, there are some dragon stories that I wrote down and translated (with references). I’m quite satisfied with what I compiled and hope Dragonsinn.net visitors will as well.

Thanks so much, Zar, and best wishes with the awesome website projects.

We’ll share your dragon research notes ASAP!

(UPDATE: German Dragons posted)

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Categorized as QnA

By Jess

Jess Chua is an award-winning writer and sketch artist. She's been the keeper of Dragonsinn since 1999. She works in the online writing/editing field and enjoys yoga, reading, and design. Join Dragon Mail for printable welcome gifts, giveaways, and a healthy dose of dragon inspiration!