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Flag of Earth

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Some individuals and organizations have promoted designs for a flag representing the planet Earth, though none have been officially recognized as such by any governmental body. Widely recognized flags associated with Earth include the flag of the United Nations. Listed below are some of the most commonly recognized flags of Earth:

United Nations flag

Adopted in 1946, the flag of the United Nations has been used to indicate world unity, although it technically only represents the United Nations itself. It has a geographical representation of the planet, and its high visibility usage makes it a well-known contender for representing Earth. During the planning for NASA's Moon landings of the 1960s, it was suggested that a UN flag be used in place of the flag of the US.[1][2]

Other private proposals

John McConnell's flag

McConnell's original 1969 design

Designed by John McConnell in 1969, the Earth flag's dark blue represents the atmosphere, while the white represents the clouds, and the light blue represents the oceans.[3] McConnell presented his flag to the United Nations as a symbol for consideration.[4] Because of the political views of its creator and its having become a symbol of Earth Day, the flag is associated with environmental awareness, and the celebration of the global community.[4] The Blue Marble image was placed in the public domain, and the public nature of this image was the basis of a legal battle that resulted in the invalidation of a trademark and copyright that was originally issued to the Earth Day flag through its original promotional entity, World Equity, Inc.[5] This does not invalidate the official history of McConnell's flag, only the official documentation that was issued on it.[4]

James W. Cadle's flag

Flag of Earth by James Cadle

In 1970, James W. Cadle, a farmer from Homer, Illinois, created his own version of a flag of Earth.[6] Cadle's flag consists of a blue circle representing Earth in the center of the flag, a segment of a large yellow circle representing the Sun and a small white circle for the Moon, all on a black background. It is particularly popular among SETI researchers and is used by the SETI League.[7] The flag flies at the Ohio State University Radio Observatory and was lowered to half mast when Carl Sagan died.[8] Flag of Earth Co. International, which sold the flag, was also founded by Cadle. The Flag of Earth entered the public domain in 2003.[9]

Paul Carroll's "World Flag"

The combined World Flag in 2019.

The World Flag is an international flag created in 1988 by Paul Carroll to act as a symbol to inspire "positive global change while continuing to embrace and celebrate cultural diversity.[10]" The 2008 version of the combined World Flag has a world map 216 flags; including the flags of every UN member state, the United Nations, and several territories of larger nations.[10]

The World Flag has been flown at the UN Headquarters for the A Prayer for Peace event, The World Trade Center, Central Park, and at various other events around the world.[11][12]

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^ Platoff, Anne (August 2003). "Where No Flag Has Gone Before: Political and Technical Aspects of Placing a Flag on the Moon (NASA Contractor Report 188251)". National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Retrieved 2017-07-14.
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b c Weir (2007). Peace, Justice, Care of Earth. Press On Publishing. ISBN 978-0971749122.
  5. ^ "Copyright Law - Copyrightability - Articles - Copyright Protection Not Available for Earth Flag". Retrieved 27 July 2019.
  6. ^ "The Flag of Earth - Flown". Retrieved 27 July 2019.
  7. ^ "What Is the Flag of Earth?". Retrieved 2018-12-12.
  8. ^ "Carl Sagan". Retrieved 2010-10-25.
  9. ^ Cadle, James W. "James Cadle's Flag of Earth Home Page". North American AstroPhysical Observatory (NAAPO). Retrieved 2018-04-02. The Flag of Earth is now 34-years-old, and on November 1, 2003, became part of the public domain.
  10. ^ a b "Vision". The World Flag Project. Retrieved 30 November 2015.
  11. ^ "History". The World Flag Project. Retrieved 30 November 2015.
  12. ^ "Custom Flags".

External links