Throughout history there have been several attempts to establish a peace flag. A universal collection of symbols exist that we associate with peace yet no single peace flag has gained complete international recognition and permanence. What defines peace? How could it be symbolised? And what must a peace flag achieve?

With the project, Flags of Peace, design agency Trapped in Suburbia seeks to answer these questions. The project aims to gather a flag design from every nation in the world. Through contributions from both established and young talented designers it creates a visual dialogue around peace and its symbolism. Together the flags present a global spectrum of ideas on peace, each highlighting particular relationships and views towards the topic.

Flags of Peace is a work in progress; more flags are still to come.

From 16th June until 22nd October 2017 Flags of Peace will be exhibited in Breda, the Netherlands, during the 350 Year celebration of Vrede van Breda (Treaty of Breda) and design festival Graphic Matters.


A total of around 100 flags will be on display including over 50 new designs. The flags will be located upon the Chassé Promenade above the underground carpark in Breda.

For school classes we offer a special educational program. This program focuses on stimulating a dialogue between children about peace and helps them visualize their ideas. If you’re interested in the program or want to visit the exhibition in Breda with students please contact simone@graphicmatters.nl.

For groups we offer special Flags of Peace tours. Inquiries can be made at info@graphicmatters.nl. Visit the Flags of Peace Facebook page for more details about the project and planned tours that you can join.

Visit the Flags of Peace Facebook page for more details as they are confirmed.

See photos of previous exhibitions below.

1891
White Flag

The oldest known symbol of peace to be devised into a flag design was the white flag. With mentioned uses going back to AD 25, the white flag was originally recognised in conflict as the flag of surrender, truce or ceasefire.

However, it was only until 1891 at the third Universal Peace Congress in Rome that the white flag took on a generalised form. This design, created by Henry Pettit, featured a nation’s flag surround by a white border signifying resolution to conflict. This particular approach was adopted by the American Peace Society and the Universal Peace Union, although never officially.

Today, the blank white flag is more commonly used with more recent reversions such as Aaron Fein’s white appropriations of 192 nations’ flags.

1913
Earth Flag

Claimed to be the first world peace flag, the Earth Flag designed by James William van Kirk, a Methodist minister from Ohio, USA, saw the initial usage of the rainbow in this context. This spectrum represented all the variations of the human race. Difference but united in global peace.

In 1913 and 1929, Kirk travelled through Europe on peace tours, accompanied by his flag. The Universal Peace Congress held in The Hague, The Netherlands accepted Kirk’s flag as the official World Peace Flag. Since then it has been adopted by the American Peace Society and other groups.

Yet again this proposal has not gained complete global acceptance or continual use.

1958
Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament

Aside from early Christian symbols for peace such as the dove and the olive branch, the icon that has gained most recognition of peace is the logo designed for the British Nuclear Disarmament movement in 1958.

Known today as ‘the peace symbol’ this icon was designed by Gerald Holtom, a British artist and designer, for a march in Trafalgar Square, London. The symbol has two origins: the first being a combination of the semaphore signals for the letters ’N’ and ‘D’ - standing for ‘nuclear disarmament’. The second being Holtom’s illustration of a figure in despair with their arms outstretched in a downwards direction.

Since it’s initial creation it has been used by many individuals, activism groups and the military. Previously the symbol had no patent or restrictions but in 1970 two American companies attempted to register it as a trade mark. Their efforts were unsuccessful and the icon continues to be used across the world on flags and merchandise representing peace.

1961
Rainbow Flag

Possibly the most common recent design is the rainbow flag. It originates from a peace march in 1961 in Italy with the design being inspired by a similar multi-coloured flag used in demonstrations against nuclear weapons.

The most common variety consists of seven colours, often confused with the eight or six striped flags of the LGBT movement. The peace flag is often emblazoned with the word ‘Peace’ in the nation’s respective language. Pablo Picasso also created a version featuring a dove illustration.

The flag is said to have gained more recognition in 2002 in a campaign against the impending war in Iraq. Although, it’s main usage existed in Italy.

Flags of Peace is supported by the following partners.

Suggestions for potential exhibition venues are greatly welcomed.

Please get in touch via: info@flagsofpeace.com

Flags of Peace is a project by Trapped in Suburbia.

Throughout history there have been several attempts to establish a peace flag. A universal collection of symbols exist that we associate with peace yet no single peace flag has gained complete international recognition and permanence. What defines peace? How could it be symbolised? And what must a peace flag achieve?

With the project, Flags of Peace, design agency Trapped in Suburbia seeks to answer these questions. The project aims to gather a flag design from every nation in the world. Through contributions from both established and young talented designers it creates a visual dialogue around peace and its symbolism. Together the flags present a global spectrum of ideas on peace, each highlighting particular relationships and views towards the topic.

Flags of Peace is a work in progress; more flags are still to come.

Alaska

Crystal Rose Worl

Guwakaán

The Tlingit people know the deer as ‘Guwakaán’, the Peacemaker. The moon symbolizes the story of creation. Ravens stole the sun and the moon to release them into the sky so that the people of the land could see.

We must respect and care for the land as we should for one another.

Antigua and Barbuda

GuavaDeArtist

Flight of Peace

We are all on a mission. We all want peace. So let us all take this flight together, this Flight Of Peace.

The colors represent human existence in all its forms. Color and size tell the story of us all. We are many, but we are one. PEACE.

Argentina

Leandro Castelao

Peace as a mix of different shapes. Some follow a structure, some are totally off and overlapping. But they are all living together, sharing and exchanging - respectfully.

Australia

Garbett

Unity Circle

To move towards peace, we need to think in terms of what unites us, not what divides us. We are unified by our shared humanity, by our home planet earth.

A circle: signifying unity, signifying earth. A symbol that is universal. It is a symbol so simple that can be drawn by a child. It is a symbol that belongs to everyone already.

Austria

Elisabeth Kopf

Design Buero Baustelle

Peace is Human

The seed of peace are the children. This little refugee is the lucky bird who didn’t get killed in the war. He didn’t become a boy soldier.
He didn’t drown in the sea. He was saved and people invited him to their home.
They provide food and clothing and they will educate him. Tomorrow he and all saved boys and girls will be peace messengers.

Bangladesh

S M Samsu

Two doves carrying a flag inscribed the word ‘mother.’ Doves have always been a symbol of peace. And now they wish to fly around the world showering motherly love.

Barbados

Ulric + Arly

Like ocean currents, peace is disrupted by manmade and natural forces acting upon our daily lives. It leaves us with the choice
to either wade through the troubled waters until we've reached our next peaceful destination or actively fight the reality that conflict is inevitable. With the understanding that we may always be subjected to ride waves of turmoil, we can demand that it will be brief. This flag serves as a reminder to work together in consistently making peace.

Belarus

Jouri Toreev

The World as an Egg

The modern world is as harmonious and delicate as an egg. Our world teeters between harmony and disorder, as if standing on the edge of an abyss. There is a concern for peace due to a variety of military, religious, environmental and existential conflicts, and my flag is a reflection of that. At the same time, the flag represents the hope for a peaceful future for all of humanity.

Belgium

Sara De Bondt studio

Emma Kalkhoven

White Poppy Flag

A member of the UK’s No More Ware Movement designed the white poppy in 1926. It was a reaction to the better-known red poppy, which is used to remember and fundraise for the British military forces. The white poppy remembers any kind of war victims, both military and citizens. The first white poppies were sold by the Co-operative Women’s Guild in 1933.

bhutan

Chimmi Choden

In the Buddhist tradition, butter lamps symbolize the wisdom of an awakened mind. The fire dispels the darkness of our own ignorance, giving rise to clarity and wisdom. The butter lamp in the peace flag is an offering made with prayers and aspiration for all beings to experience greater mental clarity and discover an internal source of lasting PEACE and HAPPINESS, through the virtuous action of body, speech and mind.

Bolivia

Marco Toxico

Inner peace is the beginning of real peace for us, the nude monkeys. The character, a human representation, is surrounded by twenty-four beams of light, which represent the twenty-four hours in the day. The fight is hard but we are trying to win, day by day to either wade through the troubled waters until we've reached our next peaceful destination or actively fight the reality that conflict is inevitable. With the understanding that we may always be subjected to ride waves of turmoil, we can demand that it will be brief. This flag serves as a reminder to work together in consistently making peace.

Brazil

Studio Rejane Dal Bello

Peace x Whole

In the Buddhist tradition, butter lamps symbolize the wisdom of an awakened mind. The fire dispels the darkness of our own ignorance, giving rise to clarity and wisdom. The butter lamp in the peace flag is an offering made with prayers and aspiration for all beings to experience greater mental clarity and discover an internal source of lasting PEACE and HAPPINESS, through the virtuous action of body, speech and mind.

Brunei

Wilson Mc Lau

Abode of Peace

The kingdom of an unexpected treasure, together we unite as one.

Bulgaria

Prof. Dimitar Tassev

Life is love.
Love is peace.

Cabo Verde

Alex da Silva (Xand)

Today is the Tomorrow you Dreamt

My flag is an extract from a series of portraits that I've been working on called the Human Remix about Collective Consciousness.

Cameroon

Boris Nzebo

Different Colors / One People

Different colors for union, fraternity, equality, justice and peace in the world. Let’s unite to become one strong, wonderful person. So that we can reflect on critical issues that undermine today’s society.

Canada

Post Projects

“You and I are all as much continuous with the physical universe as a wave is continuous with the ocean.”
– Alan W. Watts

This flag isn’t intended to stand for, or symbolize peace, but instead to inspire it. The symbols of a sun, moon, and ocean are meant to communicate a sense of our place within the greater cosmos. Perhaps with this frame mankind’s differences will seem petty and give way to peace.

China

Chiii Design

“We are like islands in the sea, separate on the surface but connected in the deep.”
– William James

In this world we are all born free and equal. Somehow we are all connected to each other. Therefore, we use this connection as the starting point for our Flag of Peace. We hope that everyone will give up war and create a peaceful world together.

Czech Republic

Anymade Studio

Intergalactic Flag of Peace

The language and message on this flag needs to be understandable, even outside our solar system. The flag consist of 2 parts, defining a clear intersection between our world and -possible- any other world outside our galaxy.

Originally, the flag was designed vertically. Expressing a non-linear understanding of time.

Denmark

Claus Due

Designbolaget Copenhagen

Inspired by the imaginative aspect in the words by John Lennon and Yoko Ono ‘WAR IS OVER! (If you want it)’.

Our flag asserts, that peace is perceivable, if we put in the effort.

Dominica

Pauline Marcelle

The Sisserou parrot is the
national symbol of Dominica.
Its feathers are the colors
of the rainbow.
Its eye is the Dominica flag.
The green circle represents
the island.
The blue color stands for the sky,
the shelter for mankind.

Ecuador

Mario Fuentes

Blue Sky

This is how we all want to look at the world: a scene of peace, clear and cloudless.

Egypt

Helmi el-Touni

The olive branch is a symbol of peace since ancient Greece, many other civilizations around the Mediterranean region and in Arabic folk traditions. Because of its historical meaning, I choose to represent the olive branch. The simplicity in its form and the clear white and green colors contribute to the message of calmness and clarity.

Fiji

Irami Buli

A symbol of two figures working together to build a mountain (or perhaps a bridge) from a rainbow. We need unity in order to collaborate to build a peaceful nation. The rainbow is a symbol for hope and peace. United we work together to attain global PEACE.

Finland

Bond

A smile can establish the base for communication when there is no common language. Communication is the basis for peace. A smile is what connects us and what we all understand. The face in the flag is universal in its features. We believe a peace flag should be the kind that gives its viewer a good and warm feeling.

France

M/M (Paris)

As graphic designers, we do not have the power to enforce universal peace. However, by joining Flags of Peace we were given the opportunity to contribute to a universal symbol for peace. 

Peace is like a circle: naturally it seems to exist all around us, but a perfect circle is very difficult to find.

In our design we used circles to construct a heart, the air and a dove with an olive branch in his beak. This fragile equilibrium, enlightened by colorful beams of light, symbolizes peace. Together they form a friendly face.

Gambia

Isha Fofana

Freedom

My flag symbolizes not only the hope for peace in our country but throughout Africa. It focuses especially on the freedom and empowerment of women in Africa!

Germany

Eike König

G.T.B.B.T.B.G
(Wheel of Desire)

Peace is never steady, or forever. Without war there is no peace and vice versa. It’s our ethical ‘rat race’ dilemma that we can’t escape.

Flags communicate via color and shapes and through stories. Hardly ever with words or a language. I have chosen to use a language as a cultural filter. Language itself always divides a group into the ones that understand the code and the ones who don’t. Good or bad is always a question of which group you are part of.

Ghana

Atta Kwami

My design comes from a personal language that has evolved over the years. It’s mainly found in paintings, installations and prints. In this case, the Flag of Peace complements earlier paintings using the colors yellow ochre, blue, white, grey, red and black. The colors stands for peace, time, earth and color.

Grece

Beetroot

“Peace begins with a smile”

Mother Teresa’s famous quote reminds us that even the grandest achievement begins with a humble, positive inclination towards a journey that willing human
beings are ready to undertake.

A simple form of a smile, the symbolic representation of an internationally recognized facial expression indicating the smallest effort by which a person decides
to appear friendly to another.

The simplicity of this flag also serves another wishful possibility. Perhaps eventually this symbol might be embraced by societies and cultures around the world and become the new gesture/symbol of how people show peace with their hand.

Grenada

Asher Mains

Sea Allegiance

Our connection to the sea as an island nation is crucial and integral but we are not alone in our connection. The ocean connects many of us globally and by extension, water is one of our core commonalities. In this design the chaos of the ocean is paired with the Fibonacci pattern of ordered life. This Flag of Peace highlights our potential peaceful existence in this tension of chaos and order.

Guatemala

Muxxi

Dialogue

For me, peace starts with you. If we are not able to understand and accept the ideas from others we will never find the peace we all want. Let’s start communicating in a very positive way, open your mind and shake some hands on your journey!

Guinea-Bissau

Abdel Queta Tavares

The Dream of an African Boy

I took this picture thinking about myself. Thinking about how I see the world when I’m dreaming. I'm always dreaming or thinking about something good. I dedicate this picture to all the children in the world that don't have a family, peace, food or good health.
Peace for all!

Honduras

Wilmer Murillo

A beautiful territory covered by mountains. This is a representation of the peace and hope that Hondurans have been yearning for years, during some decades of violence and difficulties.

Hong Kong

Ken Lo

BLOW

I think that a circle is created by nature and a square is created by humans. Together, they form our human world.

In our world, all of us are different. But no matter what shapes we are, we can hug and love each other. This is what Peace means to me.

Hungary

Anna Kovecses

Gimme Some Lovin’

In the midst of waves of immigration, a refugee crisis and multiculturalism, it’s vital to understand that peace can only come from mutual acceptance, cooperation and support between different ethnicities, nations and religions.

Iceland

Studio Studio

Thinking about stillness and balance. Peace, represented in a circle, both comes from within and goes within.

India

Geetika Alok

An awakened mind – that brings happiness and positivity.
A conscience that touches people’s lives with kindness and love.
A lotus teaches me to rise through the murky water of adversity and suffering, to smile and blossom in the sun.

Indonesia

Brownfox Studio

There is a saying in Indonesian language “Seperti anjing dengan kucing”. It means “like a dog with a cat”. It represents two people who can’t live in peace. From this idea, we believe to achieve peace, ones needs to respect each other’s differences without having to make others feel suppressed or isolated. Peace is an utopia that keeps evolving through times.

Iran

Homa Delvaray

National flags are historically patriotic symbols of identification. Distinct designs on flapping fabrics, flags define the imaginary lines of the borders where the war and peace are at tension.

In my work, I wanted to challenge the very notion of ‘raising’ a flag. Inspired by Persian carpets, a collective creation of tender souls,
I imagine a land where the flags are not raised in the wind but put on the ground to sit together.
I long not for a distinct design but
a tapestry of colors and shapes that refuse the simplicity of identification and remind us of the collective work that we need to achieve and maintain peace.

Isreal

David Tartakover

This flag of peace represents in random sequence the various colors of all flags in the world.

Italy

STUDIO FM MILANO

The white flag is worldwide recognized as a surrender statement. It’s used to stop a conflict and it’s the beginning of a new trust between two opposite sides.

Red is the color that we all have in common with each other. It’s the color of our blood.

With this as a starting point, we designed a white flag over a red background, to signify trust in everyone.

Japan

Daigo Daikoku

One Humanity One Peace

Even when we differ in race, gender, country or religion, we are all one. Despite different views, there is only one peace.

World will be better by caring for each other and having imagination.

I would like to see such a wonderful world.

Jordan

Nisreen & Nermeen Abudail

Naqsh Collective

Peace…a sanctuary every human being dreams to achieve. The struggle to find peace is endless. The search is eternal.

What is it that we want? Is it finding the beauty within? Is it happiness at home? Is it a large group of friends? Or bridging the gap of cultures to a common ground? We are complex creatures that continue to fathom a better life, thus the endless search for peace perseveres.

Kazakhstan

Darion Shabbash

Artists Globe

There is a special map of art on my flag. The most interesting thing is that there are a lot of people in the world who dedicated themselves to art and it never depends on politics, economics, religion or territory. That's why there are no frames in art. No censor. Nothing can stop this absolutely clear process. My flag shows you the world of my art, where every single drop of color represents the artist himself or the group of creators.

Kenya

Musa Omusi

MADE WITH LOVE

Bound Together

The idea behind my flag is to present peace as an active concept. My understanding of peace is to bring together all knowledge and levels of understanding to an equilibrium level. This flag brings the two elements together and forming a third overlap: peace.

Latvia

Alex Konahin

My visual representation of peace is cyclical, yet an eternal symbol of emerging life. Peace is a basic law of nature, the fundamental truth. It's a mechanism of action on every level. I have chosen a human life as a visual matter here
- the embryo symbolizes the sun as a source of life and peace (as mother's womb is the most peaceful place and time of our lives) and stars over the embryo stand for the community of mankind as different countries and cultures. This image calls for peace across the borders, in every country, every family, every heart.

Lebanon

Tarek Atrissi

The design is based on the word peace written in an abstract Arabic writing (مالس). Today, due to all the negativity of wars coming from the Arab world, any flag with Arabic writing evokes a sense of danger
& terrorism.

The idea behind the design is to make a flag fully based on Arabic typography, yet remaining peaceful and graceful. To emphasize the beauty of the Arabic script, the form is inspired by the shape of the Strelitzia reginae (also known as Bird of Paradise).

Libya

Ali Omar Ermes

In essence we all want peace, but peace demands justice, and no meaningful peace can be achieved, without meaningful justice. And no matter what you engage of mathematical or logical probabilities to create, maintain, or prolong peace, it always comes back to justice; Therefore, on the behalf of my country, myself and the rest of humanity, I put this cry: “Implement justice in the world, and gain peace on Earth”.

The design composes an insignia made of two Arabic letters presenting two words, peace and justice, these are connected with a double function stroke that identifies each as separate, and merges them together in the same time as an insignia, and they are both physically connected in design, and equally related in conceptual logic.^^In all, the colors are pleasant, the design is strong and elegant, and easy to recognize.

Lithuania

Baklazanas Design Studio

Harmonia Mundi

“Where words fail, music speaks.”
– Hans Christian Andersen

Music is a universal language understood by everyone. Transcending all cultural
and social boundaries, music connects and speaks to us
beyond the constraints of language, age, race or any differences. Communication is crucial for understanding, and understanding is the prerequisite for peace.

Madagascar

Iandry Randriamandroso

To me, peace means that people live together in unity and respect each other without fear of violence or war.

I chose a handshake in my design to symbolize peace. The colors in the hands are taken from the colors of the flag of Madagascar and they represent diversity.

Maldives

Afu (Afzal Shaafiu Hasan)

The flag represents the beauty of diversity – living in harmony with each other – overlapped with a crescent of love and peace embedded with a traditional Maldivian design.

Mexico

SAVVY STUDIO

Our flag is inspired by the flags that were used to protest against both World Wars and in the fight for nuclear disarmament. We want to create awareness by using the same color palette as the protest flags. By commemorate particular events we allow ourselves the chance to not make the same mistakes. To move forward by remembering the past. Originally each color had a different meaning. For use they stand for Mother Earth. Her seas, her skies, her trees. Her sun and the sunsets she gives us daily.

The shape of our flag is designed to place humanity right in the center. Symbolized by pure light because we are all connected. We are living in the same place, embraced by all the beauty that surrounds us.

In order to have peace, we need to have balance. Violence generates from injustice. Injustice is unbalance.

Morocco

Mounir Fatmi

At first glance, the flag seems to be simply aesthetically pleasing but in fact the artist seeks to confront a more philosophical question: just how deep can roots go? At a time when issues of identity and borders are increasingly in the news and being taken up by the extremes this flag defends the idea of harmony and stability through
its interlacing composition, a metaphor for the possibility of
an eventual union.

Mozambique

Lizette Chirrime

The Flying Dream of Peace

I chose the title according to my feelings.
We are waiting long for one day a peaceful Mozambique, Africa and the world. I have been waiting so long that it feels like my dream is flying away from me as I see life gets no better. But hoping that one day things can change and we will finally experience the so needed peace.

Netherlands

Wim Crouwel

White as a symbol of peace brought me to a white planet in the universe. This seems to me the most obvious starting point for a flag that everyone can accept.

New Zealand

Dean Poole

Alt Group

Hole in Flag

A flag is an object, not just a graphic device. And symbols for peace can be actions rather than signs.

Flags are symbols of unity; consequently, it is necessary for them to also divide. This flag is a symbol for one less symbol, one less division.

To fly a white flag is to surrender. Cutting a hole in that flag is an act of defiance. This flag is a signal for peace drawn from a symbol for revolution.

Nigeria

Nifemi Marcus-Bello

Peace and Unity

The colors on the flag represent the 7 continents (Africa – Green, Asia – Yellow, North America – Orange, South America – Pink, Europe – Red, Australia – Brown, Antarctica - White). The coming together of the colors on the flag symbolizes the beauty, unity and serenity that exist in a peaceful cohesion among people of different races, cultures and beliefs. White represents Antarctica but with its dual meaning of peace, it is more prominent and takes center stage.

Norway

Bleed

To subtract and reconstruct

By reconstructing the worlds man-made symbols, the meaning and fundamental beliefs behind them will vanish.

By being abstract, every individual will have the opportunity to give and see new meaning.

A flag for individual thinking and individual beliefs.

Pakistan

Omaraqil

Peace of Depth

For this design I used mixed shapes interactively with each other. It represents the different mindsets about peace in one region. I’ve used mild colors for calmness. The major elements are the star and the crescent. They symbolize the horizon of “Peace of Depth”.

Palestina

Manara Studio

I find it very powerful to use a flying dove as a symbol for peace. Yet the human addition is missing here. Hands formed in a dove shows that peace starts with yourself. Reach out to others, unite with each other, leap into action. Give it a try!

Peru

Jonathan Castro

My flag attempts to reflect on the complexity of our times. How important it is to change the notion of peace in this wild era. Peace should not be just a soft, ideal cliché but a resisting, persisting attitude. Peace as strong and tough as metal, as resistant as the heaviest material on earth, something unbreakable and timeless.

Poland

Piotr Młodożeniec

Flaga Pokoju

Unity, solar system, the earth, mother's breast, safety, warmth, sun, an eye, eternity, peace, Flag of Peace, Flaga Pokoju.

Portugal

White Studio

Peace is union. It is a common understanding that different countries can and should coexist. Together you can create new meanings and realities. Peace is accepting each other. To make room for each other. To make a connection with each other.

Romania

Sebastian Pren

Equality

I tried to keep the design as simple as possible. I think it is very appropriate to the situation in modern day Romania. Groups within parliament and the majority of the population (including the church) want to outlaw same-sex marriage.

Peace is about equality. The flag represents the relevance of the equals sign, which is known internationally.

Portugal

White Studio

Peace is union. It is a common understanding that different countries can and should coexist. Together you can create new meanings and realities. Peace is accepting each other. To make room for each other. To make a connection with each other.

Russia

Chaïka

I wanted to make a design that speaks for itself. A design that does not require an explanation. The impact of the design should come from its energy and the subconscious perception instead of a rational explanation.

However, if an explanation is needed: the illustration is based on the ancient image L’Uomo Vitruviano by Leonardo Da Vinci.
A simple image easily understood and reproduced by everyone. Regardless of nationality, cultural orientation, religious believe, age, etc.

Serbia

Slavimir Stojanovic
Design Studio

Peace is about the perfect inner balance. In this case it’s about global balance. The circle stands for its perfection, but also for our planet. The stern horizon stands for tranquility, the color green for nature, blue for spirituality and white for freedom and giving up on violence.

Singapore

Yah-Leng Yu

Foreign Policy Design Group

In a utopian world, mankind should put aside all differences and disagreements in order to live harmonious together. Peace could be achieved when everyone could see him/herself as equal. Just like the polka dots. The simplicity in this design illustrates that peace can be found through a simple life. Apart from ego and greed, the source of all wars. White is a positive color and blue the color of peace.

Slovenia

Nejc Prah

Deal

If peace is the absence of conflict, then a good strategy towards a global unity is a resolution of a growing one, that between those who have little and those who have too much. It is not geo-strategic, but economic, just like modern wars aren’t just drones and cyberattacks, but more likely economic sanctions and trade-wars.

We can put ourselves on either side, depending on where we draw the line (usually just above us). A symbolic handshake might release the tensions and result in peace but it probably won’t solve the actual problem.

Somalia

Mustafa Saeed

Peace comes with acceptance, tolerance and respect. We are all different, in ethnicities and beliefs. Celebrate diversity. By using different symbols, it shows the cohesiveness we can all have and through it PEACE is born. The green symbolizes this peace.

South Africa

Jono Garrett

The design of this flag is inspired by a flying bird. It’s divided into 3 symbols, that moves vertically up and down.

The straight line below stands for tranquility. In the middle a stylized image of a bird, drawn in a childish way perhaps. It represents that discrimination and violence is taught and don’t occur naturally. Located at the top you’ll see a ‘V’. It symbolizes victory, surrender or happiness. The colors black and white are equally divided.
A balance between light and darkness.

South Korea

Jaemin Lee

Galaxy Meow

I realized a smile appeared on my face when I watched my cat. Even in difficult times. Because his peculiar way of reaching out, curling up or how graceful he moves around. One can recognize a cat even by a small portion of the body.

Personally, I achieved a certain state of peace faster when I think of warm fluffy animals, than when I think of the concept of peace, earth and its environment or the sweat and tears of mankind.

South Sudan

Deng ‘Forbes’ Paul

Anataban

Rhythm of Peace

This flag represents both African and international peace symbols. The African drums and horns symbolize community during times of happiness. The dove is a universal representation of peace just as the white background is.

Spain

Hey

The different color stripes represent multiculturalism and pluralism. The hand represents cooperation, brotherhood and help. For us, lending a helping hand is a peace-loving gesture. The inside of the hand is deliberately filled with color to emphases (once again) the idea of racial and cultural coexistence.

Sudan

Elhassan Elmuontasir
Omerelfaroug

The three portraits are a part of a collection I am working on called True Face. It deals with identity, global understanding of humanity and individuals and social conflicts. The distortions in the True Face collection are based on my interpretation of African masks. It represents what we see in ourselves and in others (ugliness, hate, beauty, love) and how similar we are beneath the surface.
I come from a country that had faced two civil wars caused simply by political and religious differences, which continue to cause defects in the social structure.
The three portraits are my way of seeing the three categories of people in Sudan: the Arabs, the Africans and the ones mixed between the two and how we all use the same word ‘Salam’ to welcome each other.

The gray background symbolizes the common moralities, which are not right or wrong, just different depending on the environment in which we live. Below, the Arabic text reads ‘peace up on you’, which we use on a daily basis as a welcome greeting.

Suriname

Remy Jungerman

FRI

My Flag of Peace is made of small and large dots. Verticality aligned in the colors white, red and blue. The dots challenge unity for the state of tranquility and stillness.

Sweden

SNASK & Beastland

The flag from SNASK & Beastland is a representation of what we think peace should be and could have been. We have taken historical and fictional fights, clashes and war scenes and turned them into loving and friendly situations instead.

The artist of this work is Tom Beastland, intern at SNASK.

Switzerland

ENZED

Peace = Smile

A smile is universal
A smile is human
A smile is a yes
A smile is positive
A smile is friendly
A smile is generous
A smile is happy
A smile crosses boarders
A smile works in all languages
A smile is multicultural
A smile erases differences
A smile brings together
A smile exists in all religions
A smile means understanding
A smile keeps fear away
A smile heals pain
A smile can erase anger
A smile is hope
A smile is peaceful

Syria

Foundland Collective

Ghalia Elsrakbi and Lauren Alexander of Foundland Collective can only respond with a fragile and uneasy illustration of an attempted escape. Facing a relentless civil war, Syrians have become disillusioned by the idea of peace.

The mythical concept that good always triumphs over evil has become an illusion.

Taiwan

Wang Zhihong

Identical Peace

Language is an important cultural heritage of humanity, a tool to accurately transmit information. Communication is often the first step towards peace when people are in dispute with each other.

Mainland China use a simplified version of the Chinese characters, while Taiwan are one of the few countries that use the traditional Chinese characters. Political tension still exists between Mainland China and Taiwan yet the two Chinese characters “和平”, meaning peace, are identical in both simplified and traditional Chinese. I intend to share these symbols of peace across Chinese society and the world. This is my design philosophy.

Thailand

Farmgroup

Stepping into Thailand, you are immediately welcomed by warm smiles and cheerful colors. ‘The land of smiles’ use color for everything, from taxis to political parties. We use color to signify our different beliefs and opinions. We see our flag of peace as a mix of colors. A flag of agreement, understanding and blended wisdom. A flag that exceeds boundaries. A flag of hope.

Tonga

‘Ahota’e’iloa Toetu’u

Fuka ‘o e melino

Fuka 'o e Melino depicts the image of a dove with an olive leaf (Lupe mo e Lou 'Olive) which is a commonly used motif design in Tongan ngatu (tapa cloth). Tongan women, when designing ngatu motifs reference the dove from the Biblical story of Noah in which a dove is sent to find dry land and returns with a fresh olive leaf. The dove is also part of the Tongan coat of arms, symbolizing peace, unity and Christianity. Therefore the use of the dove in a Tongan Fuka 'o e Melino (Tongan Flag of Peace) has meaning to our Tongan culture and heritage. Yet it also connects as a worldly symbol through the use of different colors representing peace and hope for the embrace of cultural diversity across our world.

Turkey

Umut Südüak

A flag symbolically gives guidance to mankind. This design represents not only peace, but also a feeling of a floating positive conscious. The white background stands for purity. The color magenta on top of the white has a dominant effect, holding purity united.

Uganda

Collin Sekajugo

Global Tree

This artwork was inspired by the world’s current conflicts, especially environmental change and the strife towards solving this issue globally.

I’ve always believed that the worst problem that humanity has faced is ethnocentrism. It’s my obligation as an artist to use my artistic skills to address this issue. I strongly believe it’s our responsibility as people of the world regardless of race, color, faith or status to come together and combat global issues, like global warming and ethnic and religious conflicts. For we all want a peaceful and livable world.

It’s therefore upon this notion that I have depicted humanity in a form of a big tree. The trunk and the branches represent the main races: Asians, Blacks, Arabs and Whites. They hold the responsibility for a peaceful world. I chose a teal color as the background for this tree to represent the environment with blue waters and the sky. Whereas the main background is the color yellow, representing hope and brighter future. I call it the “Global tree”.

United Arab Emirates

Moloobhoy & Brown

One Nine Six

A design based on a question for which there is no clear answer: how many countries are there in the world? We are told 196. We hope this design starts a meaningful debate on why some nations are included and others are not. A peaceful world should be all-inclusive, or at least striving to be.

United Kingdom

Ken Garland & Anna Carson

I wanted the flag to be a flourish, a panache, a celebration.

United States of America

Milton Glaser Inc.

This solution proposes some symbols that have become associated with the idea of world peace. Notably, the use of blue and white and the circular representation of the globe. What we have added to it is the number 1, signifying we are all one or that our primary concern is the world, itself. It also implies the idea of a new beginning.

Uruguay

Fermín Guerrero

Normally, there are two sides to a conflict, which obstruct peace. Either two persons or groups (nations, towns, etc.) are confronted for things such as religion, skin color, genre, social class, origins, and so on. For peace to take place, these two sides need to come to terms and see each other as equals in order to impart mutual respect.^^The flag carries a message of hope. Showing these opposite sides finding common ground, complementing each other and sharing instead of dividing and excluding. Symmetry was used as means of representing equality and balance between two sides that although differ in color are equal in form. The symmetrical image is also a mirror encouraging people to find a piece of themselves in the one in front of us.

Vanuatu

Awis Artis Blong Vanuatu

Mesej Blong Vanuatu

Our design is inspired by sandroing, sand drawing. It’s an old tradition in Vanuatu, where it’s used to support stories or pass on knowledge. The illustration is based on the symbol for love. Without love for our neighbor we cannot achieve peace. The pattern is intertwined to indicate that only through unity can we achieve this.

Venezuela

Jorge Montero

Through history of mankind, the most known and recognizable flag to represent peace is a plain white piece of fabric. That is why I didn’t want to use any color neither creating a complex, busy or intricate design.

Based on these constraints that I set to myself I defined a communication strategy with the following messages:
- The world holding, preserving and treasuring peace.
- Calm, softness, and happiness.
- Able to inspire and making people embrace the message of hope.

Vietnam

Rice Creative

Peace is the absence of discourse. It is a compromise. A flag is, most commonly a tool to segregate one group from another. It is a device that brings up the notion of ownership and ownership is a culprit in the creation of feud. Our dotted flag icon questions the meaning of a flag. We also hope it invites participation to imagine one’s own peace.

Zambia

Nomes Dee

Peace is to be one with yourself and your higher being. To reconnect with the child inside and allow yourself to listen to the messages being sent. Furthermore, to be able to accept messages from your environment and those that came before you. Peace is to be open and accepting.

Zimbabwe

Saki Mafundikwa

Water represents peace in most African societies, hence the blue background. The symbol is from Nsibidi, the writing system of the Ejagham people from Calabar, Nigeria. It represents unity and compatibility – prerequisites for PEACE. When you come across this symbol, it means ‘you are welcome’, ‘you can proceed’.

1891
White Flag

The oldest known symbol of peace to be devised into a flag design was the white flag. With mentioned uses going back to AD 25, the white flag was originally recognised in conflict as the flag of surrender, truce or ceasefire.

However, it was only until 1891 at the third Universal Peace Congress in Rome that the white flag took on a generalised form. This design, created by Henry Pettit, featured a nation’s flag surround by a white border signifying resolution to conflict. This particular approach was adopted by the American Peace Society and the Universal Peace Union, although never officially.

Today, the blank white flag is more commonly used with more recent reversions such as Aaron Fein’s white appropriations of 192 nations’ flags.

1913
Earth Flag

Claimed to be the first world peace flag, the Earth Flag designed by James William van Kirk, a Methodist minister from Ohio, USA, saw the initial usage of the rainbow in this context. This spectrum represented all the variations of the human race. Difference but united in global peace.

In 1913 and 1929, Kirk travelled through Europe on peace tours, accompanied by his flag. The Universal Peace Congress held in The Hague, The Netherlands accepted Kirk’s flag as the official World Peace Flag. Since then it has been adopted by the American Peace Society and other groups.

Yet again this proposal has not gained complete global acceptance or continual use.

1958
Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament

Aside from early Christian symbols for peace such as the dove and the olive branch, the icon that has gained most recognition of peace is the logo designed for the British Nuclear Disarmament movement in 1958.

Known today as ‘the peace symbol’ this icon was designed by Gerald Holtom, a British artist and designer, for a march in Trafalgar Square, London. The symbol has two origins: the first being a combination of the semaphore signals for the letters ’N’ and ‘D’ - standing for ‘nuclear disarmament’. The second being Holtom’s illustration of a figure in despair with their arms outstretched in a downwards direction.

Since it’s initial creation it has been used by many individuals, activism groups and the military. Previously the symbol had no patent or restrictions but in 1970 two American companies attempted to register it as a trade mark. Their efforts were unsuccessful and the icon continues to be used across the world on flags and merchandise representing peace.

1961
Rainbow Flag

Possibly the most common recent design is the rainbow flag. It originates from a peace march in 1961 in Italy with the design being inspired by a similar multi-coloured flag used in demonstrations against nuclear weapons.

The most common variety consists of seven colours, often confused with the eight or six striped flags of the LGBT movement. The peace flag is often emblazoned with the word ‘Peace’ in the nation’s respective language. Pablo Picasso also created a version featuring a dove illustration.

The flag is said to have gained more recognition in 2002 in a campaign against the impending war in Iraq. Although, it’s main usage existed in Italy.

Flags of Peace is supported by the following partners.

Suggestions for potential exhibition venues are greatly welcomed.

Please get in touch via: info@flagsofpeace.com

Flags of Peace is a project by Trapped in Suburbia.