Companion Flag Adoption Ceremony Mann Public School New Delhi, India October 20, 2005. The Companion Flag. An Introduction. Presented by: Companion Flag Support International. A 501 (c)(3) not-for-profit organization Seattle, WA USA. Visit us at www.companionflag.org. Topics covered:.
Companion Flag Adoption CeremonyMann Public SchoolNew Delhi, IndiaOctober 20, 2005
Companion Flag Support International
A 501 (c)(3) not-for-profit organizationSeattle, WA USA
Visit us at www.companionflag.org
What is the Companion Flag?
The Companion Flag is a symbol of all that human beings have in common, their differences notwith-standing.
It is called the “Companion Flag” because. . .
. . .it is always flown below the other flags of the world, on the same pole (never alone).
The flag of Latvia and the Companion Flag
Together, the Companion Flag and its host flag signify:
Here we are proud of our differences, diversity, and special affiliations; but we are mindful, too, of our essential humanity and all that we share in common with people everywhere.
The message is the same wherever the Companion Flag is flown. . .
The Companion Flag is a white flag with a single stripe of color across the top. . .
The stripe’s color is any color appearing in the “host flag” above it.
When flown below, say, the Canadian or Japanese flags, the stripe will always be red.
When the Companion Flag is displayed below the US flag, for example, the stripe can be either red or blue.
When it is displayed below the flag of a province, state, city, organization, team, club, school, etc., that flag becomes the host flag.
In most cases, an interpretive sign is posted within sight of the flag.
OK, the Companion Flag represents all that human beings have in common. . .
But what do we have in common?
the desire for friendship
the use of numerals
the love of family
the need for water
the need for food
rituals and traditions
concern for the safety and happiness of loved ones
vulnerability to the elements
the need for sleep
the range of human emotions
sports and games
the use of tools
the experiences of birth, aging and death
sharing the earth
dependence on plants and animals
the love of music and stories
the desire for knowledge
the desire for health
the desire for respect
the love of children
susceptibility to pain and pleasure, illness and injury
We humans are, paradoxically, both different and the same.
The Companion Flag is the first symbol in history to embrace this simple but elusive idea:
That while there are many important human differences in the world. . .
We humans are not just different from each other; we are, at once, both different and the same.
What’s more, honoring our differences does not mean we cannot, or should not, simultaneously honor all that we share in common with people everywhere.
This is the crux of the Companion Flag idea.
Flying the Companion Flag allows us, for the first time, to actively honor both our differences and separation from other human beings (represented by the host flag), and all that we share in common with people everywhere (the Companion Flag). It symbolizes a new way for people to see each other.
Flying the Companion Flag will:
Foster a new sense of personal and inter-personal connection, not only for you, but for your loved ones, neighbors, customers, employees, etc.
Reinforce each person’s capacity to recognize the essential dignity in other people, regardless of their differences.
Reduce incidents of alienation, marginalization and violence in the broader community.
It will also:
Reduce tensions between those in the community who affiliate exclusively on the basis of differences – e.g., ethnicity, cultural background, wealth, etc. And. . .
Make those associated with you, your organization or business proud of the part they are playing in a new and historic movement to adopt the world’s first-ever symbol of human inter-connectedness!
When we can see parts of ourselves in others, compassionate impulses arise naturally within each of us to promote understanding, compassion, constructive dialogues, and inter-personal regard.
What’s so important about honoring all that human beings have in common?
Young people, it seems, understand this. . .
“Don’t talk to us about diversity like this is aseparate issue. It makes people feel defensive.”
Student reaction to a symposium on diversity and multicultural education in Boston area high schools. Reported in the Boston Globe, October 1, 2000.
“They said, ‘Get us together to talk about what we share and not about how we are different.’
“They identified issues that, despite their native languages or family customs, all teenagers have in common. . .”
“. . . friends and family, school, music, relationships. These are the areas the students said where they can develop a common language.”
In other words, in addition to celebrating our diversity, they are saying: acknowledge and celebrate what we have in common.
Embrace the paradox of humanity – the fact that we humans are, at once, both different and the same; don’t ignore it.
Do the symbols you currently use promote both: (i) an appreciation for our differences and separation
and (ii) an active awareness of all that human beings have in common?
If not, consider flying the Companion Flag!
But first. . .
What the Companion Flag doesn’t do. . .
(2) Tell people how they should think, feel or act when human differences collide; or,
(1) Deny or diminish the importance of our differences and diversity;
(3) Provide solutions to our moral dilemmas.
It is simply a reminder that, in addition to our differences, we humans are informed by, and rely upon, a vast range of shared experiences, characteristics, concerns, desires, etc.
This is our common bond!
Why does the Companion Flag look the way it does?
Because white is used in 70% of the world’s national flags. . .
For example, why is it white on the bottom?
White was chosen for visual compatibility, and to avoid clashing.
(2) Remind us always of the need to embrace and honor our differences and ‘all that we have in common’ at the same time.
And the stripe color?
Where is the Companion Flag flying?
The Companion Flag has been adopted by individuals, businesses, organizations, local governments, schools and universities in over 13 countries. . .
. . .and counting
How does a business or organization adopt the Companion Flag?
Four Steps (cont.)
* You may find this PowerPoint presentation useful for completing Steps 1, 2 and 4!
Companion Flag Support International (CFSI) is also happy to help. . .with advice, ideas, speakers, and other resources.
Note: CFSI is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization based in Seattle, Washington. Its vision is to see the Companion Flag flying as a matter of course with all flags everywhere.
CFSI does not manufacture or sell Companion Flags. We leave that to flag shops.
However,we do help people order them!We’d be happy to help you, your business or organization acquire one or more Companion Flags and interpretive signs!
How much does a Companion Flag and interpretive sign cost?
CFSI orders flags and interpretive signs from vendors, and we pass along our cost to you. Currently (2006) the following prices apply (excluding tax and shipping):
3’ x 5’ Companion Flag(USD) $17.00
4’ x 6’ Companion Flag$24.00
5’ x 8’ Companion Flag$32.00
Companion Flag Interpretive Sign$15.00
We hope you, your organization or business will be the next to adopt the Companion Flag!
The Companion Flag
A Symbol of All That Human BeingsHave in Common
And we leave you with this question. . .
If someday children on every continent were to grow up surrounded by symbols that encouraged them to honor both their differences and all that human beings have in common. . .
. . .how might their world be different from ours?
Contact information*Companion Flag Support International 10115 Greenwood Ave. N., #142Seattle, WA 98133USA*Mr. Scott Wyatt, PresidentTelephone: 206-297-0102E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.orgWeb site: www.companionflag.org