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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 Topics covered:.

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The Companion Flag

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The companion flag

Companion Flag Adoption CeremonyMann Public SchoolNew Delhi, IndiaOctober 20, 2005

TheCompanion Flag

An Introduction

The companion flag

Presented by:

Companion Flag Support International

A 501 (c)(3) not-for-profit organizationSeattle, WA USA

Visit us at

The companion flag

Topics covered:

  • What is the Companion Flag?

  • Why would you, your organization or business want to fly it? What does it do?

  • The importance of honoring all that human beings have in common.

  • What it doesn’t do.

  • Why it looks the way it does?

  • Where is it flying today?

  • How does an individual, organiza-tion or business adopt it, and how much will it cost?

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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. . .

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. . .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

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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.

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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 Companion Flag is a white flag with a single stripe of color across the top. . .

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The stripe’s color is any color appearing in the “host flag” above it.

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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.

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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

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


OK, the Companion Flag represents all that human beings have in common. . .

But what do we have in common?

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the desire for friendship

biological identity

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

human dignity

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

asking questions

the desire for health

the desire for respect

sexual desire


the love of children

susceptibility to pain and pleasure, illness and injury

We humans are paradoxically both different and the same

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:

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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.

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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.

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This is the crux of the Companion Flag idea.

Why would you want to display the companion flag what does it do

Why would you want to display the Companion Flag? What does it do?

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.

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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.

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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!

What s so important about honoring all that human beings have in common

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. . .

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“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.

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“They said, ‘Get us together to talk about what we share and not about how we are different.’

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“They identified issues that, despite their native languages or family customs, all teenagers have in common. . .”

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“. . . friends and family, school, music, relationships. These are the areas the students said where they can develop a common language.”

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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.

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Young people the world over understand that honoring what we have in common (notwithstanding our differences) is important because it –

  • promotes a much-needed sense of connection, safety and understanding

  • provides opportunities for friendship and constructive dialogues, and

  • underscores the essential dignity of all people

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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

What the Companion Flag doesn’t do. . .

(2) Tell people how they should think, feel or act when human differences collide; or,

It doesn’t:

(1) Deny or diminish the importance of our differences and diversity;

(3) Provide solutions to our moral dilemmas.

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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

Why does the Companion Flag look the way it does?

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Because white is used in 70% of the world’s national flags. . .

For example, why is it white on the bottom?

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White was chosen for visual compatibility, and to avoid clashing.

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  • The stripe color matches any color found in the host flag in order to:

  • Visually reinforce the companionship of the two flags; and,

(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?


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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

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Costa Rica





South Africa

New Zealand

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How does a business or organization adopt the Companion Flag?

Four Steps

  • Step One: Obtain the approval of your executive board, business or building owner, property manager, etc. Explain the Companion Flag to them, and ask them to adopt it.*

  • Step Two: Think of a way to inform your members, employees, tenants, neighbors and visitors about the Companion Flag: what it is, what it stands for, why it’s important, etc.*

  • Step Three: Acquire the needed Companion Flag(s) and interpretive sign.

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Four Steps (cont.)

  • Step Four: If you are an organization or business, schedule and hold a formal or informal Companion Flag adoption/flag-raising ceremony or event. Post an interpretive sign near (or within sight of) the flag pole, so that it can be seen by visitors to your home, building or business.*

* You may find this PowerPoint presentation useful for completing Steps 1, 2 and 4!

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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.

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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!

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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

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We hope you, your organization or business will be the next to adopt the Companion Flag!

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A Symbol of All That Human BeingsHave in Common

And we leave you with this question

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?

Thank you

Thank you.

Contact information*Companion Flag Support International 10115 Greenwood Ave. N., #142Seattle, WA 98133USA*Mr. Scott Wyatt, PresidentTelephone: 206-297-0102E-mail: swyatt@companionflag.orgWeb site:

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