A version of this article originally appeared on The Creators Project Netherlands.
When astronauts travel into space, their suits bear the flags of the countries financing their mission. According to Oskar Pernefeldt, however, they're more than just representatives of a particular country, "They are representatives of our planet," he writes on his website.
For his final project at the Beckmans College of Design in Stockholm, Pernefeldt decided to design for a flag for Earth. He intends for it to be used to represent our planet when necessary—either for space travel, or circumstances requiring joint Earthling action, like global warming—and for people without much in the way of a national identity. He sees The International Flag of Planet Earth as a reminder that, outside of nationality or ethnicity, we're all here together.
In the animated short film above, the author explains how he chose the flag's different dimensions. Ultimately, the choice fell on 2:3, more or less the international flag standard. The intersecting rings evoke the image of a flower, its creator sees as a symbol of life on Earth. It also symbolizes our intrinsic interconnectedness, even when things often seem distant. The flag's blue color symbolizes surface of the Earth, especially when seen from space, and its hue was chosen specifically to contrast well against the black of space and the white of a space suit.
The further, it seems, that we venture into space, the less relevant our individual nationalities become. Plus, when we finally plant a flag on Mars, it better be a good one. Plus, as previous attempts to create a flag for the Earth were determined aesthetic failures, even if we don't make it to Mars, we at least now have a symbol to under that isn't geopolitically charged. One that's just for us: earthlings.
Click here to learn more about The International Flag of Planet Earth.