Designers’ Take on the Peace Flag
Throughout history there have been several attempts to establish a peace flag and a collection of symbols universally exist that we associate with peace. Yet no single peace flag has gained complete international permanence.
'Flags of Peace' is an ongoing project to explore this ambiguity further. The project forms a visual dialogue around peace and its indefinite symbolism. The first round of this international project had 44 accomplished designers submitting their own personal interpretation of a "peace flag" design.
These flags present a spectrum of ideas on peace with each highlighting a particular nation’s relationship with, and view towards, international peace.
Lebanon was represented by Tarek Atrissi of Atrissi Design Studio.
Atrissi's proposed flag design is based on the word peace written in a graphic abstract Arabic lettering style (Salam). "Today, due to all the negativity of wars coming from the Arab world, any flag with Arabic writing on it evokes a sense of danger & terrorism," Atrissi explained. "The idea of this design was to make a flag fully based on Arabic typography yet remaining peaceful and graceful, accentuating the beauty of the Arabic culture and inspired by its shape from the bird of paradise flower. I was very proud to be asked to be part of this project, alongside living legends in design such as Milton Glaser, Wim Crouwel; Helmi el Touni, and many others," he added.
From the UAE, Dubai-based brand and design agency Moloobhoy & Brown submitted its 'One Nine Six' interpretation of the peace flag, noting that "the design is based on a question for which there is no clear answer how many countries are there in the world? 196. We hope the design starts a meaningful debate on why some nations are included and others not. A peaceful world should be all inclusive, or at least striving to be."
From Syria, Ghalia Elsrakbi and Lauren Alexander of the Foundland Collective explained that they were "only able to respond to the concept of a peace flag for Syria, with a fragile and uneasy illustration of attempted escape. Facing a relentless civil war, Syrians have become disillusioned by the idea of peace. The mythical concept that good always ultimately triumphs over evil, has become a distant mirage."
From Palestine, Amer Amin of Manara Studio submitted his take on the peace symbol saying, "I’m very much convinced with the idea of a flying pigeon; yet such symbol was missing something, a human touch. Illustrated hands are to portray that peace starts within oneself, reaches out, unites and it is all about action." And he wants us to "give it a try!"
From Egypt, artist Helmi eltouni's peace flag features the olive branch as a peace symbol from Ancient Greece but also from many civilization around the Mediterranean basin and from Arab folk traditions. "I choose to represent peace with the organic form of an olive branch because historically it has been understood as a symbol of peace to many people in the East and the West, the simplicity of form and the clear white and green colors add to the message’s calmness and clarity," el-touni noted.
Last but not least, renowned designer Milton Glaser says of his own submission that "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."
UAE, by Moloobhoy & Brown
Syria, by Ghalia Elsrakbi & Lauren Alexander
Lebanon by Tarek Atrissi
Palestine, by Amer Amin
Egypt, by Helmi el-touni's
By Milton Glaser