Since Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon, the iconic visual of the American flag they left behind marked NASA's success in going where no man had gone before, marking their arrival for future visitors to see. Since then, all space suits worn by Americans have been adorned with the American flag. However, NASA has been supporting a design that may replace the American flag during space travel. The new flag, called the International Flag of the Planet Earth, is expected to represent Earth as a whole, rather than segment only the United States.
According to the International Flag of the Planet Earth's official website, the new flag is intended to represent Earth as a whole and to "remind the people of Earth that we share this planet, no matter of national boundaries." NASA is hopeful that other countries will adopt the new flag during their space expeditions and bring forth a level of solidarity across the planet, rather than segment the space race into different teams.
The flag features a vivid blue background, representative of the Earth's oceans, and seven interlocking rings that are described as a flower by its creator, Oskar Pernefeldt.
'Centred in the flag, seven rings form a flower – a symbol of the life on Earth. The rings are linked to each other, which represents how everything on our planet, directly or indirectly, are linked.The blue field represents water which is essential for life – also as the oceans cover most of our planet's surface. The flower's outer rings form a circle which could be seen as a symbol of Earth as a planet and the blue surface could represent the universe.'The composition of the flag is described in a video that was posted on the International Flag of Earth's website.
According to Engadget, the International Flag of the Planet Earth was not designed by NASA directly. However, they are supporters of the flag. The actual design was created as a graduation project, and NASA has been a significant contributor to the concept and the project.
The likelihood of the flag being adopted by the entire population of Earth is slim. However, it has drawn support of many notable contributors, such as NASA, LG, and Flagga. With space travel becoming an international cooperative (for example, the International Space Station), an international flag has positive feedback. However, there are still many that feel the American flag is the only one worthy of being placed wherever American astronauts land.
When or if planet Mars is visited by Americans of the planet Earth, would you be comfortable leaving the International Flag of the Planet Earth behind, or would you prefer the American flag be left instead?
[Photo Courtesy NASA / Metro U.K.]