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Earth flags

Last modified: 2016-03-01 by rob raeside
Keywords: earth | proposal |
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Earth flags

There is no worldwide accepted flag of Earth. Many flag makers have in their stocks several designs that they call “Earth flag”, which have no official status, of course.
James Dignan, 27 May 1996

We have had dozens of Earth/World flags “reported”, but only a few are listed here. These three seem to have (or have had) some sort of real world currency — the others are ignored.
António Martins, 28 Jul 2004

Why isn’t there a widely accepted Earth flag?

The UN flag, by virtue of its visibility and the organization behind it, is probably the consensus “flag of the world” today. However many world flag designers either don’t feel represented by the UN, or are trying to create some kind of an idea which cannot be adequately represented by a political entity. Very few of the world-flaggers actually advocate world government or world federalism. They seem to be attempting to represent universal ideals in their designs. It’s odd that there would be so many world flag designs if the concepts they are trying to reflect are indeed so universal. Perhaps the ideals aren’t as universal as they thought… or more likely, these grand and all-encompassing ideals can’t be neatly summed up in a single flag design.
Steve Kramer, 21 Jan 2003

[World flag proposal designs] attempt to symbolize a non-political idea with a symbol most of us regard as political, i.e., a flag. Flags have always had this sort of connotation, and there’s nothing intrinsically wrong about that. But you can’t use political language, so to speak, to express a non-political idea. One suspects that the proponents of this concept are trying to say "Let’s all join together and rise above national and ethnic differences and proclaim the unity of the human race and the oneness of mankind." Now there, mes amis, is an idea worth promoting. I’m just not sure a flag — any flag — can carry the message.
Bill Dunning, 22 Jan 2003

I think the problem is a bit different. A flag is a symbol of both inclusion and exclusion. It’s a ceiling under which we get reunited, and exclude them, the guys who do not belong under our flag. A flag, to work, needs both: a set of “us“ and set of “them”. So, a flag for the planet is not viable, because there’s no “them”. If, or when, we find or establish extraterrestrial populations, then a flag of Earth will naturally emerge, probably as a response of flags adopted by “them”, since the majorities are usually the last to adopt a flag.
Jorge Candeias, 21 Jan 2003

Why are there so many Earth flag proposals?

One possible explanation for so many world flag designs could also be, that these world flags are all fairly unknown to most people. Thus, when someone comes up with the idea that there should be a world flag, they don’t know that there already exist a couple of flags like that.
Elias Granqvist, 21 Jan 2003

I also don’t see how each new design actually improves the situation.
John Ayer, 21 Jan 2003

I’m afraid the goal is to improve the manufacturer’s and vendor’s financial situation.
António Martins, 22 Jan 2003

Needless to say, [world flag proposal designers] have got their design all picked out. And the entire world, which as we know agrees on so much else, will naturally agree on it. Perhaps just as there are parks in Russia containing the fallen statues of Stalin, there should be a special section of our site for all these vanity Earth flags…
Nathan Lamm, 20 Jan 2003

[World flag proposal designers] were wondering if you might like to list [their] flag on your site and thus give prominence to the idea.
Anselma Torres, 19 Jan 2003

However unofficial, naive or plain ugly, if any of these designs ever catches up we should report it in these pages. Considering that unflattering comments may end up added to the pages, having these designs on our site may not be the best way to publicize your very own world flag…
António Martins, 22 Jan 2003 and 24 Jan 2003

Why isn't there a widely accepted Earth flag?

Because most people only think of nations. They consider themselves citizens of that nation, members of that culture or society they were born into. Yes, flags are political by nature and many patriotic or nationalistic people will automatically reject any flag that threatens the sovereignty of their nation no matter how benign.

As for the others who don't feel particularly connected to a specific nation, or culture, or the ones who are actually born without citizenship of any kind, they seek an identity that no one will officially recognize. So the artistic ones will create their own, but mainly for their own use.

I consider myself a Terran, and I have been looking for a flag that shows my feeling of world citizenship. Someone cited a lack of a “them”. The “them” in this case is all other individual nations. I wouldn't mind using the United Nations flag if it was a more respected organization. As it is, it is largely ignored by all nations who go ahead and do whatever they want despite all the pomp about settling their differences through the United Nations.

The flag created by the farmer and used by SETI is fine. All the comments are nit-picking in lieu of finding any real flaws in the design. This design over all the others is the best and apparently is the most widely supported non-commercially. It is simple in its design. Easily recognizable as representing the Earth with its satellite the Moon, against the Sun in the background. No other symbolism of “unity of man” or any other philosophical intention. It represents the Earth…without comment.

The Earth Day or Authentic Earth flag was obviously created for commercial purposes only. The One World flag is okay, but it is a commentary on the human condition, not a representation of the world on which we live. The International flag looks like an abstract Japanese mon symbol which is not easily recognizable as being planet Earth. The Citizen of the World flag has too many negative concepts which could be construed to mean that conflict between peoples is not only inevitable, but acceptable. As for the World Service Authority flag, I can see groups calling it sexist already.

As for a flag representing the Internet. I have been using my own design. It may be that someone will notice. If they do you may be able to identify it for them easily from the information that I have provided on my blog here:
Rod Lockwood, 17 November 2015

Since Mr. Lockwood addresses several issues in his message, I'll try my best and answer (on my own behalf):

Earth flags: interesting as it may be, the point (or points) or why there is no general consensus over an earth flag actually has to do with such wide and thorough topics such as Cosmology (how they view the universe) and the Cosmogony (the answer to the origin of the Universe) of the Nations (not countries, but peoples) in a traditional cultural manner, as well as other important issues like language, religion, social, economic and government systems diversity, that makes it virtually impossible to decide on one single flag to represent us all. That's why past efforts have dealt with this topic and tried to gather as much influence and acceptance by using unifying concepts, such as a globe (remember the idea of a circumference shapped Earth was not widely accepted until the Middle Ages), a language (the Esperanto flag for instance), a political motive (like the Sufraggete flag), or even a social cause (the white flag of truce).

Flag for internet: when mentioning "flag of Internet", I would assume you are referring to WWW (World Wide Web), which is the most accessible network and recognized concept. Unfortunately there's no flag for it, not even his founder established one, nor successful efforts took place. As an alternative for this, there's ICANN: Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. But again, no flag for this organization either.

Finally, there's even a concept called "Interplanetary Internet", which would actually lead to several "Planet flags" (not only Earth) and also "other internets" flags.
Esteban Rivera, 18 November 2015