Homeless International Flag

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The Homeless International Flag
The Homeless International Flag

The Homeless International Flag, often referred to The Homeless Flag or just Homeless Flag, is a pictogram symbolizing poverty, homelessness, and equality. While the use of the symbol is mainly used in Sweden[1] where it was created, it is also used by people in Canada, Iran, the United States, and Finland.[2]

History[edit]

Originally devised by the entrepreneur Kavian Ferdowsi[3][4] in 2014, the symbol was enhanced with colors in different variations to its current format in 2015. The symbol was initially drafted by Ferdowsi after he had started the non-profit organization Hemlösa.se in 2010 while he was still living in homelessness.[5] The flag is currently trademarked in Sweden.[6][7]

Translated quotes from the book "Hemlösa och Coronaviruset: 20 regler för fred":

"If you carry Homeless Flag on your back you have to be stubborn in opening ways and paths and knock on doors until they are opened for the homeless. You have to sacrifice your life, not just with empty words, but practically."

"That is why I say to those who say "Only now we sit in the same boat as the homeless": only when you awaken your morale then you will see that we all sit in the same boat as the homeless. Please, let us reach our hand to those who are the weakest in society. We reach our hands like what is symbolised in The Homeless Flag, towards the homeless and those who are the poorest in society; honoring them with compassion and love. All humans are the same because we have the same roots."

Recognition[edit]

Åsa Lindhagen, the Swedish Government Minister for Gender Equality and Anti-discrimination, acknowledges the Homeless Flag in 2019
The Homeless Medal 2015
The Homeless Medal given to the award winners during the Homeless Day 2015

The symbol has been used during events and occasions that feature homelessness and poverty such as the Homeless Melody Festival and the Homeless Day where the awards were medals depicting the Homeless Flag.[8] The symbol was featured on social media with the non profit organization Hemlösa.se having discussions with the current Swedish Government Minister for Gender Equality and Anti-discrimination, Åsa Lindhagen in 2019.[9]

The flag was featured as the main symbol on the brand wristwatches under the brand Made by Homeless in 2019.[10] The wristwatches were a joint project between the Swedish company Toppare AB and the non-profit organization Hemlösa.se.[11] In 2020, the book "Hemlösa och Coronaviruset: 20 regler för fred" was published with pictures and statements about the Homeless Flag.[12]

Symbolism[edit]

The symbol consists of four main components. The symbol "1" in the middle of the pictogram. Two silhouettes of people where one helps the other one standing up. A shining ceiling light hanging under the edge of the "1" symbol. Drops above the head of the sitting person.

The two people depicts a person with a home and person in homelessness, one under a roof in the light and one outside in the rain. The symbol One symbolizes the thin wall between people on homelessness and people with homes where both can be united and become one.[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Homeless Day on Instagram: "We acknowledge the Homeless International Day at the 20th January 👍 @homelessflag"". Instagram. Retrieved 2019-10-18.
  2. ^ "Hemlösa.se on Instagram: "Den 20 januari Hemlösas Internationella Dag💜🙏🌹💜 Nu och i åtta år på raken har vi delat ut priset till hjältar inom olika kategorier, t.ex.…"". Instagram. Retrieved 2019-10-18.
  3. ^ "Kavian levde som hemlös – nu ska hans idé hjälpa andra". Mitt i Stockholm (in sv-SE). Retrieved 2019-10-18.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)
  4. ^ "Instagram post by Hemlösa.se • Oct 6, 2019 at 8:14am UTC". Instagram. Retrieved 2019-10-18.
  5. ^ a b Hemlösa.se. "Hemlösas Internationella Flagga". Hemlösa.se (in sv-SE). Retrieved 2019-10-18.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)
  6. ^ "European Union Trademark #2015-0189". EUIPO TMView. 2015-05-13. Retrieved 2020-11-06.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  7. ^ "European Union Trademark 2017-02907". EUIPO TMView. 2017-06-21. Retrieved 2020-11-06.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  8. ^ "Premiär för melodifestival för hemlösa". www.dagen.se (in Swedish). 2015-02-04. Retrieved 2019-10-18.
  9. ^ "Hemlösa.se on Instagram: "💜🌹Det var för några år sedan Jag @kavianferdowsi fortfarande var hemlös. Jag kom på idén att vi hemlösa och fattiga borde ha en tydlig,…"". Instagram. Retrieved 2019-10-18.
  10. ^ "Made by Homeless". 2019-02-03. Archived from the original on 2019-02-03. Retrieved 2020-11-04.
  11. ^ "De säljer klockor – med drömmen om ett hem". www.stockholmdirekt.se (in Swedish). Retrieved 2019-10-18.
  12. ^ "Hemlösa och Coronaviruset: 20 regler för fred". Almanacka.shop (in sv-SE). Retrieved 2020-11-05.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)