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Adbusters "World Flag" competition

iosaf | 15.06.2008 17:40 | Culture | World

The fine people at "Adbusters" have decided what we all ought to do is consider entering their competition to design a flag we can all rally around and under. Or in their words:- "We invite you to create a flag – free from language and well-worn clichés – that embodies the idea of global citizenship. A symbol that triggers pride and cohesion, whether worn on a backpack, displayed on a door, or flown on a flagpole. A symbol for anyone to declare membership in a growing and vital human cooperative" Gurgle. Deadline for entries are the first of December 2008.

you won't win a competition with this one
you won't win a competition with this one

I know you're not supposed to be into flags if you're an anarchist. I wrote as much yesterday reporting on how an old geezer had his republican flag confiscated in the Spanish congress.

But that much said there's something nice about unfurling a jolly roger or waving a black flag about & nobody who has ever sat around a campfire singing the internationale in esperanto would have a bad word said against a big red standard. (Yes, I know esperanto is an anarchist language but campfires are campfires and here are the lyrics )

I suppose entering the competition will do nothing to harm your future employment prospects in media, graphic design or whatever, especially if like many you were too young to play your part in "make poverty history". Indeed this competition might be perfect for many contemporary lefties of the "irish anarchist indymedia" ilk.

But if you are so keen and perhaps not so able, allow me to offer you pointers along the way. First off - make sure your flag is original. Thankfully modern internet technology does not mean this will cause you to engage the professional services of a vexologist. Which is just as well, they're quite as hard to find as freelance stenographers these days. You could check the wikipedia list of flags to make sure your flag idea is unique -

Try not to be too funny or politically complex in your flag. Chances are someone else will already have thought of putting swastikas instead of stars on the flag of the USA. Just because they burnt it afterwards doesn't mean their idea is out of copyright. The last thing you want is to face hefty litigation bills for infringement. Curiously enough the fine people at "Adbusters" seem to have overcome the copyright challenges involved in the now popular "Corporate America" flag which appears on the competition webpage and sees multi-national-corporation logos replace those swastikas on the US flag.

My personal favourite flags are the black flag of revolution and the white flag of surrender. Both are quite easy to make but alas neither of these are very practical. The judges of the "Adbusters" competition will of course be looking for a practical design.

The black flag loses its dye very quickly and there is nothing less inspiring to the oppressed working class than a youngster waving an off grey banner in their face. The white flag of course gets very dirty very quicky. The only snow white flags of surrender are those in Hollywood movies and on telly. I assure you after a hard time battling and being routed - the last bit of kit you have is a bleached clean sheet. Nonetheless the White Flag is recognised by the Geneva Conventions without any clauses about smudges or stains.

Best of luck of doing your bit in the future of Design activism and of course ensuring your future career in anti-globalisation. If you win this competition you might be no the piggies' back in no time.



Display the following 2 comments

  1. Fly the Stars and Stripes — Dirk, Weylan Yutani Corporation
  2. Lovely idea but not very practical. — ipsiphi