Graticule of the United Nations flag

The United Nations flag, reproduced below, shows crossed olive branches encircling a north polar equidistant azimuthal equidistant projection of the Earth. The projection is clipped at latitude 60 S: if it continued to the South Pole, the Southern Ocean would unbalance the map; worse, Antarctica would wreath all the other continents.

the United Nations flag

The map also has a graticule comprising five projected parallels of latitude and eight projected meridians. The prime meridian is at bottom center; Simplicity suggests that the projected parallels correspond to parallels on the globe spaced at 30 degree intervals (60 N, 30 N, 0 N, -30 N, -60 S) and that the projected meridians correspond to meridians on the globe spaced at 45 degree intervals (0 E, 45 E, etc.). The official flag page on the United Nations website does not describe the graticule in any detail. In this page, I will provide geographical arguments that confirm that these parallels and meridians are positioned at the latitudes and longitudes above. I will also show that several unofficial drawings of the UN flag are inaccurate.

If the UN flag reproduced above is too small to follow the geography, look at this this higher-resolution .pdf (unfortunately, in this rendering the graticule doesn't overlap landmasses).

Projected parallels:

Projected meridians:

Several online renderings of the United Nations flag have the graticule mispositioned. For example, the UN flag on Wikipedia reproduced below has both its meridians and parallels misaligned: the 90 W meridian passes through the East Coast and the 30 N parallel is south of Cuba!

Wikipedia's wrong UN flag