Flag of Mars

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A flag of Mars is a flag or flag design that represents the planet Mars or that represents a fictional Martian government.


Thomas O. Paine flag[edit]

A flag design showing Mars, as a way station between Earth and the stars.

Thomas O. Paine, who served as the third Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, designed a Mars flag in 1984.[1] Paine's Mars flag includes a sliver of Earth near the hoist side of the flag "as a reminder of where we came from, and a star near to the other side, to remind us of where we are going. In the center of the field is a representation of Mars itself, with an arrow pointing out to the star, acknowledging that Mars is not our destination, merely a way station on a journey that has no ending".[2]

Paine's flag design was illustrated by artist Carter Emmart. That illustration was published on the cover of a periodical titled The Planetary Report. According to Emmart, Paine "created the Mars flag as an award to the person or organization that he felt had contributed most to advancing the human exploration of Mars".[3]

On November 12, 2005, Ray Bradbury received a Mars flag as a part of the "Thomas O. Paine Award for the Advancement of Human Exploration of Mars". The award was presented to Bradbury during The Planetary Society's 25th Anniversary Awards Dinner.[4]

Pascal Lee design[edit]

Tricolor flag of Mars.

Pascal Lee, a former NASA research engineer designed this Mars flag in 1999. It was flown into space on STS-103 by astronaut John M. Grunsfeld. The sequence of colors, from red, to green, and finally blue, represent the transformation of Mars from a lifeless planet to one teeming with life, as inspired by the Mars trilogy. It is also flown at the Flashline Mars Arctic Research Station, on behalf of the Mars Society.[5]

In science fiction[edit]

Flag of the Federal Republic of Mars, as described in Moving Mars

Moving Mars[edit]

In his 1994 science-fiction novel Moving Mars, Greg Bear describes the flag of the fictional Federal Republic of Mars as follows: "red Mars and two moons in blue field above a diagonal, white below".[6]

Stranger in a Strange Land[edit]

In Robert A. Heinlein's 1961 science-fiction novel Stranger in a Strange Land, a flag of Mars is hastily improvised, consisting of "the field in white and the sigil of Mars in red".[7]

Flag of Mars as described in Stranger in a Strange Land

The Expanse[edit]

The Flag of the Martian Congressional Republic
The Flag of the Martian Congressional Republic as depicted in The Expanse television series.

In The Expanse television series, based on The Expanse series of novels by James S. A. Corey, the Martian Congressional Republic is the governing body that rules over the inhabitants of Mars and is one of the two human superpowers in the series. Its flag is reminiscent of Mars and its two moons, Phobos and Deimos, and the light blue crescent might allude to the limited amount of water and breathable air present on Mars that is necessary for human life.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Horowitz, Sarah. "The great Martian flag wars". Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Vol. 56, No. 3, page 10. May/June 2000.
  2. ^ Reeves-Stevens, Garfield, et al. Going to Mars: The Stories of the People Behind NASA's Mars Missions Past, Present, and Future, page 222. Pocket Books, December 21, 2004.
  3. ^ Emmart, Carter. "On the Cover". The Planetary Report. The Planetary Society, Volume 12, Number 5, September/October 1992.
  4. ^ Lakdawalla, Emily. The Planetary Society Blogs. June 6, 2012. Retrieved February 20, 2017.
  5. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20070429203700/http://archives.cnn.com/2000/TECH/space/01/07/mars.flag/
  6. ^ Bear, Greg. Moving Mars. Legend Books, 1994.
  7. ^ Stranger in a Strange Land at Flags of the World. Retrieved on 2011-03-01.

External links[edit]