The International Flag for Planet Earth

Illustration by Ed Appleby
Illustration by Ed Appleby

What it looks like, and why have one?

By Brittney MacDonald, Life & Style Editor

Have you ever wondered what a flag to represent the entire Earth should look like? Well now we have one! The International Flag of Planet Earth (yes, that’s its name) was conceived by Swedish artist Oskar Pernefeldt, when it became apparent that various nations would have to pool their resources if they planned to have a Mars landing by 2025.

Personally I am glad that the mutual goal of planetary exploration has different space programs from all around the world working together rather than going into competition with one another, like what happened with the moon landing.

Pernefeldt decided to use blue and white as the main colours, because they are reminiscent of water which he feels is important because it covers so much of the planet and is so significant to life.

The centre design is actually an artistic rendition of the Borromean rings—a mathematical concept consisting of several circles interlocking, with the idea being that removing any one circle will then topple the structure. This is a similar idea to the Olympic Rings, but not entirely the same, because with Borromean rings it’s imperative that all the rings be interlocking with one another.

Symbolically I think it’s beautiful, that the Earth is a structure built on the cultures and differences of its people and that no single country is responsible for the integrity of the whole. According to a release put out by GlobalPost, Pernefeldt wanted to remind people “we share this planet, no matter of national boundaries … we should take care of each other and the planet we live on.”

From a more practical standpoint, I was initially a little put off by the flag. Though the individual ideas are good, combined the flag comes off looking very European, which is definitely a problem considering the technological super powers that you can expect will be contributing to the Mars landing (where the flag is supposedly going to make its debut) include Japan, China, Brazil, and India.

Though it’s looking like this flag will become the official flag for Earth, nothing is set in stone yet and probably won’t be until we’re a little bit closer to that Mars landing goal.