A Flag for All Mankind in the 21st Century

By David W. Ferriday
Originally published in The Vexilloid Tabloid #31, December 2011

There are thousands of flags representing many different groups of people around the world.  The United Nations flag and the Olympic flag are the most inclusive.  But there is, I believe, a need for a flag that represents each and every one of us, as a member of the human species, and so I have designed a flag with that in mind.

The UN flag.  Adopted 1946, emblem designed by Donal McLaughlin.
The UN flag. Adopted 1946, emblem designed by Donal McLaughlin.
The Olympic flag.  Adopted 1914, designed by Pierre de Coubertin.
The Olympic flag. Adopted 1914, designed by Pierre de Coubertin.

People are divided by race, religion, nationality, and many other factors large or small. Recent developments in science, and concerns for the ecological stability of our planet, have brought some people together and pushed others apart.  We need to be reminded of our common humanity and our home.

Flags appear regularly in the news as emblems of our various interests and alliances, and are surely a very important means of communication and representation.  This is one reason why I have chosen to express my feelings and my understanding of some of this extremely complex set of factors with a flag.

A flag for all mankind in the 21st century, designed in 2011 by PFA member David Ferriday.
A flag for all mankind in the 21st century, designed in 2011 by PFA member David Ferriday.

The specific design is representative of earth, air, fire, and water (elements found in many historic, religious, and early scientific contexts), as well as the sun—the ultimate source of power for our world. The colors express these: earth—black, air—white, fire—red, water—blue, and the sun—yellow.  In addition to the extremes of black and white are added the three primary colors.

The particular graphic way in which I have brought these together in the form a flag are simply my own sense of design.

From Vexilloid Tabloid #33.
From Vexilloid Tabloid #33.
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Author: SDM

Ethnography * Technology * Design

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