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Antarctica — flag proposals

Last modified: 2007-04-14 by antónio martins
Keywords: proposal | map | smith (whitney) | bartram (graham) | stripes: 5 | a | hands (2) | hand (white) | southern cross | stars: 5 | stars: southern cross | hamilton (dave) | aurora australis | star: 5 points (white) |
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Whitney Smith’s proposal

W. Smith’s proposal
image by Željko Heimer, 05 Jul 1996

History and meaning

At the 1978 annual meeting of the North American Vexillological Association (NAVA), Whitney Smith gave a talk entitled “Flags of Antarctica”. In it he proposed his design for Antarctica: an orange flag with two hands under a sort of bowl.
John Andrew Lowe, 29 Nov 1995.

Having asked Whitney Smith just about this flag years ago, here’s, in a nutshell, the guidelines for his design:

  • Orange colour: good visibility in the extreme Antarctic climate. And it does not resemble the national flag of any country active on that continent.
  • Emblem: the "A" is self-evident. The hands hold a segment of a disk representing Earth, in other words the part of the globe below the South Polar Circle.
  • Position of the emblem: next to the flagstaff, as it will still be visible if the rest of the flag is frayed, even torn away, by the strong Antarctic winds.

Jan Mertens, 03 May 2003

Unwarranted recognition

In L’Album this flag is shown and listed together with a paragraph explaining its usage by the vessels frequenting the southern polar region. Page 315-2 of the Recapitulative nº 1 (1995) [pie95]:

Antarctic ensign; hoisted by any ship frequenting or visiting this continent and by the bases which are located there (as well as elsewhere for meetings devoted to Antarctica).
(translated by Ivan Sache, 03 Jun 2000)
This may prove that even if this flag is indeed just a proposal, it may be that until now it came into de facto use by some southgoing vessels.
Željko Heimer, 22 May 2000

The Antarctica flag was removed from L’Album in one of the last corrections, nº 27 [pay97].
Željko Heimer and Ivan Sache, 03 Jun 2000

The orange A flag was added to the Album in 1995 and later found to be incorrect and altoghether discarded.
Armand du Payrat, 05 Jun 2000

But how did it appeared on the Album in the first place? Isn’t it “just” Smith’s proposal for an Antarctica flag?…
António Martins, 04 Jun 2000


Graham Bartram’s proposal

G. Bartram’s proposal
image by Graham Bartram, 22 Jul 1996

This is the symbolic flag for Antarctica I created for 3D Atlas. Since we’ve sold over 1,5 millions copies of this atlas I think this is now by far the most widely promulgated flag for the continent. It’s very simple — just an outline of the continent on a UN-blue background. I had to try very hard to come up with a flag with no political bias, so as not to get into the disputes between the UK, Chile and Argentina.
Graham Bartram, 22 Jul 1996


Dave Hamilton’s proposal

D. Hamilton’s proposal
image by António Martins, 19 Mar 2000

I invented and designed this flag. I have looked around other web sites and found Antarctic flags (when there is one shown) to be very stupid looking and boring. This one is very different, it is very simple and does have a meaning. The pale blue strip represents pack ice, the dark blue stripe represents the night sky and the yellow stripe is a representation of the aurora australis. The famous stellar constellation the Southern Cross is shown in the dark blue stripe at the right.
Dave Hamilton, 3 Mar 2000

This flag shows on a photo on those phony 50 “Antarctican dollars” bills. Depending on how widely these “banknotes” circulated, this flag might have become widely known enough to be listed here.
António Martins, 19 Mar 2000


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