Flags of Humanity

Flag design workshop and installation in collaboration with Karenza Sparks

“We asked people from around the world to design a flag to represent humanity, considering what unites us as a species, and if there are any universal symbols or values that we all share... Through these flags we can observe a variety of perspectives on humankind, and perhaps imagine a united and borderless human future.”

The workshop starts with an introduction into flags and how they function, exploring the design of country flags and how they represent their nations. The first of three tasks is to make a flag for yourself; expanding out in the second task to design a flag for a group you are part of, and then a flag for humanity as a whole. This progression eases the participant through the design process and into thinking about humanity as a collective.

The workshop is written as to be accessible for all ages, and completed without guidance however sessions were also run over zoom. A selection of the submitted flag designs were created and displayed at the exhibition ‘Reconnecting’ at the OXO Bargehouse in June 2021.

We aimed to encourage empathy and collectivist thinking, rather than individualist ideas of humanity - each of these flags tells us a story about our shared experiences. Flags have the power to rally and unite people and these flags imagine a united Earth, reminding us of our similarities.

A printed explainer flag hung with the hand-made flags displaying the designer’s explanations as follow

Jocelin, 22, Indonesia
“White represents honesty, green represents growth. It is divided diagonally and equally to represent balance and togetherness. Symbol: fire. To be the light and source of heat in life that is sometimes cold and dark.”
Erin, 25, England
“Earth displayed abstractly: no matter where we are, our lives depend on our forests. No particular nations shown, a reminder of our shared responsibility to protect our environment. Blue sky, sun and moon are the features of the sky we all share. The clear and cloudless sky represents the ideal of a collective unity.”

Alex, 24, Switzerland
“I chose pink as the background for the humanity flag to represent the compassion and love necessary for our survival. The symbol in the center represents our blue planet with its changing day and night cycle. On one hand it represents something we all experience daily, on the other the fact that humanity has good and bad qualities.”
Helen, 47, England
“The red circle is the destruction, cruelty and greed that mankind has shown to itself and the planet. With the green circle we remember, but contain and grow. The arrow directs us to a yellow future of kindness, equality and hope.”

Stacey, 53, New Zealand
“A flag of ‘inhumanity’ where money (green) separates those whose life is golden from those who live in the dirt.”

Access the workshop here

The workshop remains open for submissions at sendusyourflags@gmail.com

previous submissions: