During the colonial era, explorers who 'discovered' new lands planted flags to claim them for kings and sponsors. Earthlings are now planning to colonise space. But, what flag would they fly there? Oskar Pernefeldt feels that The International Flag of Planet Earth must be flown, instead of national flags.
“Space travellers”, Pernefeldt says, “are more than just representatives of their own countries. They are representatives of planet Earth.” So, the graduate student at Beckmans College of Design, Stockholm, designed the flag as his graduation project.
The flag's heraldic description runs thus: “Centered on an azure field, seven circles of silver interlaced, creating a flower”. The flower symbolises life on earth. The inter-linked rings symbolise the connectedness of everything on earth. The blue field represents potable water and oceans.
Interestingly, Pernefeldt's idea is an old one. In 1969, John McConnell designed what is informally called The Blue Marble Flag, a favourite with environmentalists. Around the same time there was the One Flag in Space movement. In 1970, James W. Cadle designed the Flag of Earth, currently a favourite with the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence. Then there is the United Nations flag and the rainbow flag of the Universal Peace Congress, which is often mistaken for the six-colour gay pride flag! Turquoise is the missing colour.