The Landscape Flag of Greenland

The Greenlandic flag, called Erfalasorput (our flag) or Aappalaartoq (the red) in Greenlandic.  Designed by Thue Christiansen.
The Greenlandic flag, called Erfalasorput (our flag) or Aappalaartoq (the red) in Greenlandic.

The distinctive flag of Greenland turns 30 today; Inuit artist and leader Thue Christiansen’s design was adopted 21 June 1985.

Thue Christiansen.  Photograph by Rimdal Th. Høegh (http://sermitsiaq.ag/groenland-positiv-fokus).
Thue Christiansen. Photograph by Rimdal Th. Høegh (sermitsiaq.ag/groenland-positiv-fokus).

According to its designer it depicts the sun reflecting on the ocean as it sets beneath the horizon, and the glaciers, ice cap, and ice bergs so prominent in the island’s landscape.

Mark Eischeid
Mark R. Eischeid

In 2010 artist and University of Oregon Landscape Architecture professor Mark Eischeid (www.markeischeid.com) traveled to Ilulissat, Greenland where he was inspired to make a series of screenprints reinterpreting the Erfalasorput based on the actual colors he sampled from the landscape there.

Eischeid

The Ingleby Gallery writes:

Each flag represents colours of landscape elements captured by photograph on a particular day and time. For the Objects at Sea flags, the top band represents the sky, the bottom band represents the sea, the top half-circle represents an iceberg above the water, and the bottom half-circle represents the same iceberg below the water. For the Objects on Land flags, the top band represents the sky, the bottom band represents an adjacent rock outcrop, the top half-circle represents a building, and the bottom half-circle represents the concrete foundation of that same building.

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Author: SDM

Ethnography * Technology * Design

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