Flag of the Earth
The cold war between the Soviet Union and the United States brought massive competition in a number of arenas, possibly the most interesting, the space race.
While Russia put the first human in the air, managed the first dual man flight, the first woman in flight, and the first space walk… NASA decided the only way to “win” in the eyes of the earth was to get a man on the moon. The United States put Apollo 11 on the moon in 1969, and effectively “won” the space race. There hasn’t been another man on the moon in 40 years.
Next up… MARS.
As the world extends it’s potential to plant flags on extraterrestrial soil and in the interests of international cooperation we may be looking to plant an “Earth Flag” on the surface of Mars.
Graphic designer Oskar Pernefeldt from Beckmans College of Design in Sweden put together “The International Flag of Planet Earth”.
“The flag was designed with the help of companies including LG and BSmart, and Nasa appears to have been involved to some extent too according to the project’s website — though exactly what they provided for the design isn’t clear.” – Wired
While this design is lovely, well thought out, extremely modern and honestly looks as good or better than any sci-fi movie has managed… what other options make sense for planet earth?
Other Options For The Flag of Earth
“Flag of Earth”
In 1970 a farmer in Illinois named James W. Cadle proposed the following flag showing the sun, earth, and moon. It’s since found popularity among SETI researchers and is flown at the Ohio State University Radio Observatory. It was lowered to half mast when Carl Sagan died.
United Nations Flag
In the 1960’s it was suggested to use the United Nations flag instead of the U.S. flag during the moon landings as it, for many, represents “world unity”. This seems unlikely as it would be frought with political issues as an already existing organization.
A user on reddit put together not only his interpretation of a minimalist design “earth flag” but also created a progression of possible revisions as humans expand beyond earth.
The Stracraft video game franchise ended up having multiple “human” factions. Ultimately though the flag you fly is that of the “Terran Dominion”. Though it’s expressed that multiple factions exist at this point “The Dominion” is the ruling government. Probably not an ideal inspiration to unite our planet and express our peaceful intentions.
United Federation of Planets
One of the best representations of pop culture space travel that has been with us in some form for our entire lives, is Star Trek. They have humanity largely represented under “The United Federation of Planets” which is clearly heavily influenced by the United Nations flag.
While science fiction seems to suggest we will ultimately need a flag to represent our dominion of, or alliance of, many planets; Even deciding on one flag to represent earth and humanity might be a little pre-mature. Though the race to “Mars” is up, it likely won’t be relevant until 2030.
Oskar’s International Flag for Planet Earth may have to wait before it’s raised at the World Cup of soccer. Though his design seems headed in the right direction, a blue planet, teeming with life, interconnected in it’s systems, joined in unity.
It’s a heart warming thought.