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Posts by John

Whistleblowers… art by Doug Auld

Artist Doug Auld has been working on this incredible series of work recently that has inspired us. Here is a sneak peak so far!

whistle-blower (also whistleblower)


a person who informs on someone engaged in an illicit activity or coverup.

Crony Capitalism is a Threat to Democracy


RFK Jr. has been warning us for years about crony capitalism and is a leader in democracy preservation, the environment and how we need to proceed globally for a sustainable future. Below Chris Stone wrote a great piece on RFK Jr. and we would like to share it with you.

Warning about the “milestones of tyranny,” Robert F. Kennedy Jr. warns that crony capitalism can undermine democracy and lead corporations to see U.S. workers and the environment as mere commodities.

Speaking at a “Forging a Sustainable Future” conference at San Diego State University, Kennedy cited mining activities in West Virginia: “You can’t even say there is democracy in that state anymore. It’s a company town.”

He said 95 percent of the mines are “owned by Wall Street interests” and have “manipulated the political process to liquidate the state of cash.”

Kennedy, a New York environmental attorney, made the remarks to more than 200 participants at a conference about conserving the environment through alternatives.

The event—sponsored by Heartland Coalition and United Green with the help from Mount Helix resident Miriam Raftery—featured panel discussions about energy and natural resources by local political figures and specialists.

Kennedy, 60, is the second-oldest son of Robert F. Kennedy, assassinated in 1968 in Los Angeles during his bid for the presidency.

He spoke without notes or prompter for about 80 minutes about his vision for a national electrical grid, solar energy, wind energy and electric cars and the obstacles in the path—polluters and corporations that he said circumvented the free-market system and sought to dominate the government.

Kennedy, who has worked in environmental causes for more than 30 years, is the chief prosecuting attorney for Hudson Riverkeepers and for the Natural Resources Defense Council and is a partner in VantagePoint Ventures.

“Whenever you see large-scale destruction of the environment, you also see the subversion of democracy,” the activist said, adding that destruction takes place at local levels where regulations are subverted and transparency disappears.

“Corporations are great things,” Kennedy said, “because they encourage people to accumulate, to assemble money, take risks and create jobs in the process.”

But he asserted that business shouldn’t run government because businessmen “don’t want the same thing for America that the American people want.

“They want profits. They don’t want democracy and don’t want free market capitalism. They hate those things.”

Instead, he said, they seek profits, control and a competitive edge.

As a counterbalance, Kennedy said, America needs an independent press and an informed citizenry that recognizes “all the milestones of tyranny.”

“The first thing that happens in any tyranny is for the powerful entities of society to privatize public trust and turn a profit for themselves,” he said.

He lamented the United States as the “best entertained and least informed civilization on the face of the earth.”

Kennedy described what he said was the huge difference between free market capitalism and “the kind of crony capitalism which we have now embraced through the crooked, corporatist Supreme Court which is antithetical to efficiency, prosperity and democracy in America.”

The high court’s Citizens United case allowing unrestricted political spending by corporations and unions is the “death knell of democracy,” he said.
Since that decision, corporations use their surplus money to invest in the political campaign process, Kennedy said.

“They get their hooks into a public official and use that official to dismantle the marketplace and get rid of democracy, so they don’t have to obey the rules and regulations, capture the agencies that are supposed to regulate them and then steal from us the public trust resources—our Treasury, our air and water—things that our children own.”

He recalled a conversation about West Virginia with his father when he was 14.

Kennedy said his father, a senator from New York, told him that in addition to polluting the environment, the coal companies permanently impoverish a community by making its land unusable in the future.

Kennedy said his father concluded they were out to break the unions. In fact, his father said there were 149,000 union workers in West Virginia. Today there are only 14,000.

“Nine out of 10 jobs were eliminated not by environmental rules but by a ruthless, deliberate and systematic strategy by the coal industry to eliminate jobs and replace them with machines and explosives,” he said.

Kennedy warned that corporations want to spread this “colonial model of the economy” across the country.

He denounced polluters as companies that “raise the standard of living for themselves while lowering the quality of life for everyone else.”

Coal companies in West Virginia have cut off the tops of 500 of the tallest mountains in the Appalachians by means of detonating 2,500 tons of ammonia nitrate explosives every day—equivalent to weekly blasts of a Hiroshima bomb, he asserted.

Dangerous levels of mercury has been found in all fresh fish sampled in this country, he said, quoting a National Academy of Science study, adding that the Centers for Disease Control links autism with mercury in fish.

That study indicated that one in six American women have dangerous levels of mercury in their wombs and 640,00 babies are born with high levels in their systems, he said in a lecture room in the Excercise and Nutritional Sciences Building.

Kennedy said the Environmental Protection Agency pins the problem on ozone particulates from coal burning plants.

“Right now,” he said, “we have a marketplace that is governed by rules that were written by the incumbents to reward the dirtiest, filthiest, most poisonous, most addicting, most destructive fuel from hell—rather than the cheap, clean, green, wholesome and patriotic fuels from heaven.”

To that end, he advocated a national electrical grid, which could be put into effect the same way the Internet has been brought into almost every home.

Kennedy also spoke of promising technology he is involved in including light bulbs that last for 30 years, Tesla Motors electric cars, wind farms in the Midwest and solar power stations.

North Dakota is the windiest place on Earth at sea level, he said, citing a Scientific American study claiming there is “enough harnessable wind in North Dakota, Montana and Texas to provide 100 percent of the energy need for the entire U.S. energy grid.”

Despite Obama administration efforts toward renewable energy, Kennedy said the major obstacles are government subsidies for the oil industry and the lack of a grid that could carry alternative forms of energy across the country.

Yet he pointed to Iceland, Brazil, Sweden and Costa Rica as nations that have decarbonized their energy economy and have prospered.

Kennedy estimated that hundreds of thousands of jobs could be created through alternative energy efforts such as creating an electrical grid, weatherproofing homes, installing solar energy and insulation.

While China plans to invest $750 billion on wind and solar technology over the next five years, he said, he encouraged America to take the lead in electric energy.

China sees this as the “arms race of the 21st century,” he said. “They want to dominate and will if we don’t get off our butts.”

13 Moon Walk 4 Peace

The 13 Moon Walk 4 Peace was the 4th in a series of Walks sponsored by the Spirit of Truth Foundation from 2000 to 2011. The first walk was a walk of healing and reconciliation from Pennsylvania to Georgia, on the Appalachian Trail. The walk was called the Trail of Dreams Ancestral Journey and our purpose was to reconcile the atrocities of the Atlantic Slave Trade and the Trail of Tears. The second walk was in 2002, as the walkers crossed the Atlantic Ocean and continued with the prayers and reconciliation in the slave dungeons and along the routes where Africans were captured and brought to the USA as slaves. From 2005 to 2009, walkers began a global walk for peace (the Trail of Dreams World Peace Walk). Walkers walked six continents, engaging communities, learning from elders and sharing our common concerns for Mother Earth and all life – especially the voiceless. Then on October 10, 2010, walkers began the 13 Moon Walk 4 Peace.
The 13 Moon Walk 4 Peace, as were previous walks, was a people’s walk and was scheduled in alignment with the lunar calendar, which is, according to ancient tradition, the calendar of cooperation. It also aligns with the sacred feminine, which is important to the walkers as their goal is to touch the “heart” of America, to affect healing and transformation in the way we relate to each other and Mother Earth. This will open the way for compassionate leadership at a time when our country needs it most.
“The idea for the 13 Moon Walk for Peace,” says Audri Scott Williams, VisionKeeper for the Trail of Dreams World Peace Walk, “came when we returned to the USA from our three and a half year global walk for PEACE. On our journey from New York back to Atlanta, GA, we were struck by the pockets of poverty and disenfranchised communities that appeared to be under the radar, invisible to the general population. We realized our work was not done, in many ways it was just beginning. We decided, before we even made it back home to Atlanta, that we would do a walk in the USA to be a catalyst for healing the heart of our communities here at home.”
Walkers were from diverse cultures, ancestry, genders, and faiths. The 13 Moon Walk for Peace began in Atlanta, GA, where the Sacred Fire of Thunder, honoring the Great Law of Peace, from Six Nations was passed to the Walkers. The Sacred Fire of Thunder journeyed from Six Nations (for information see: Soul of the Mother, whose mission is to offer Ancient Indigenous wisdom as a means of awakening the true loving essence of the human spirit. We join with the natural rhythm of the heartbeat of our Mother Earth and we are governed by the sacred world of the Spirit.) through communities along the east coast to reach Atlanta in time for the walk. Walkers engaged grassroots groups across the country (42 cities and reservations) to raise awareness of issues affecting our communities, and to highlight grassroots groups and organizations that are making a difference in their communities.
As I write this article, we are preparing for the conclusion of yet our 5th walk, Out of Washington Comes Respect for Mother Earth – A Walk for the Environment from Washington, DC to Tuskegee, AL. Central to all of our walks is the inclusion of ancient practices and ways of coming to understanding ourselves in relationship to the world around us that we may be better caregivers to each other, Mother Earth and all living beings. In this spirit, we joined with the Heal the Atmosphere Association to share with communities along the walk something that anyone can practice Agnihotra or homatherapy as a “solution to pollution”. Agnihotra is the process of purifying the atmosphere through specially prepared fire. This healing fire comes from the Vedas, the most ancient body of knowledge known to man.
Diane Longboat’s, Soul of the Mother, message is a great summary of the knowledge shared by elders along our walks and whose wisdom is the foundation of our walks:
This declaration affirms my abiding belief in humanity that we can justly acknowledge our collective history and develop a new relationship that propels us into a future where peace is a lived consciousness each day and the new brotherhood, founded on mutual respect and the celebration of diversity, guides us into falling in love with all of creation. The Code of Life is written on the land, in our respective homelands throughout the world where we walk on the faces of our Ancestors and renew our commitments to a life of peace. Our reconciliation is both human based and with our Mother Earth who must be revitalized from the vestiges of war and conflict.

In my prayers I return to the Original Instructions that our Creator gave to all Beings, human and those seated in His Council of Creation. I acknowledge the suffering of genocide to all Indigenous white peoples, black peoples, yellow peoples and to our red peoples throughout time. I pray for forgiveness, reconciliation through ceremony and for the emergence of a new relationship leading us forward as Human Family in this profoundly exciting New Era of Humanity.

I acknowledge the physical and emotional results of genocide as racism, poverty, classism, displacement, loss of homelands, betrayal, profound grieving, oppression of ancient spiritual traditions rooted in the land and in Spirit, and loss of cultural treasures and wisdoms.

How do we rebuild what has been lost? How do we collectively meet the future to ensure that the reality we create for the unborn is one of deep love and respect for diverse peoples, an honest reflection of our core human values that we treasure, humbly seeking a life way that is sustainable on our Mother Earth, firmly establishing a place of honor for all ancient Indigenous wisdoms, boldly and fearlessly building a new paradigm based on Spirit of all religious and spiritual traditions and establishing a path of truth for generations to come?

I believe in the inherent good of all human beings. I also believe that the greatest enemy of all we hold dear is not each other, politics, money, power or influence, governments or transnational corporations. It is the mind of the human being that is poisoned with ego when the heart and spirit is not connected to the Creator as the greatest power in the universe. We need sacred spiritual guidance each day in our prayers so that we can manifest the sacred here on Mother Earth. We live in a deeply sacred time, the crucible of humanity is now. We are being birthed and launched into the era of living spirit where all prophecies are fulfilled and converge from every deeply rooted ancient spiritual tradition. It is the Era of Living Spirit. We are so fortunate to be alive to play our respective roles in this divine process.

In my language of Mohawk, I say each day, “kanaronkwa”. It means, “we bind ourselves together in the spirit of the Creator’s greatest medicine that is love. In doing so, we fall in love with each other and with all of Creation. I suggest the declaration use the word LOVE in many languages as respective peoples and organizations sign on.

In my language of Mohawk, I say each day, “kanaronkwa”. It means, “we bind ourselves together in the spirit of the Creator’s greatest medicine that is love. In doing so, we fall in love with each other and with all of Creation. I suggest the declaration use the word LOVE in many languages as respective peoples and organizations sign on.

Common to our walks since 2005, has been the presence of the World Flag. We uphold the mission and goals of the World Flag.
The World Flag:
Our Mission is to inspire positive global change by embracing and celebrating cultural diversity.
Our Goal is to raise awareness of countries, territories, and indigenous peoples around the world, awakening a united focus on world health, human rights and our environment.

May We Walk in the Remembrance of Who We Are,
Audri Scott Williams

Weltflagge Stundenplan




I. Inhalt:

Das Ziel des Unterrichts ist, dass die Schüler / Schülerinnen fähig werden verstehen zu können:

A. die gemeinsamen Symbole, die sich in den Flaggen der Welt befinden und wie sich die Zeichen der Allgemeine Erklärung der Menschenrechte, [auf Deutsch:] in der Weltflagge widerspiegeln.


II. Voraussetzungen:

Damit das Unterricht erfolgreich ist, sollten die Schüler / Schülerinnen Grundkenntnisse oder Erfahrungen bezüglich:


  1. der Grundlagen des Symbolismus und der Online Forschung haben.


III. Das Ziel der Aufgabe ist:

dass die Schüler/Schülerinnen:


  1. die im Flaggendesign versteckte Symbolik und ihre Verbindung mit der Allgemeinen Erklärung der Menschenrechte identifizieren können.


IV. Materialien und Hilfsstoffe:

Lehrer/Lehrerin: die Weltflagge

Computer mit Internetzugang

Kopien von der Allgemeinen Erklärung der Menschenrechte für die Klasse

Flipcharttafel und Filzstifte


V. Aufbau des Unterrichts:

A. Der Lehrer / die Lehrerin präsentiert die Weltflagge mit ihrer Symbolik.

B. Der Lehrer / die Lehrerin diskutiert mit den Schülern die Bedeutung der einzelnen Nationalflaggen.

C. Die Schüler werden in 3-4-köpfigen Gruppen geteilt werden.

D. Jede Gruppe wird eine Kategorie von Flaggen bekommen:

1. Flaggen mit waagerechten Streifen

2. Flaggen mit senkrechten Streifen

3. Flaggen mit einem einzigen Stern

4. Flaggen mit mehreren Sternen

5. Flaggen mit großen Scheiben

6. Flaggen mit kreuzenden Linien

7. Flaggen mit der Sonne

8. Flaggen mit Halbmond

E. Die Gruppen sollen die jeweils erhaltenen Nationalflaggen auf der Weltflagge finden. Danach sollen die Gruppen auch eine Recherche auf der Weltflagge Website per Mausklick auf den Weblink der jeweiligen Nationalflagge betätigen und, falls nötig, in anderen Materialien nachforschen um grundlegende Informationen über die Länder der Weltflagge zu finden.

Grundlegende Informationen über ein Land beinhalten:


  • Regierungsart

  • Lage

  • Bevölkerung

  • Sprache(n)

  • Religion(en)

  • die wichtigsten natürlichen Ressourcen


  1. Jede Gruppe wird ein Land auswählen um es ausführlicher zu analysieren, mit Schwerpunkt auf die Symbolik der Flagge des jeweiligen  Landes (online Forschung).

  2. Schüler werden die AEMR untersuchen und für den Zusammenhang zwischen der Symbolik der Flagge und den einzelnen Artikeln der AEMR suchen (Welcher Artikel der AEMR ist durch die Symbolik der Weltflagge dargestellt?)

  3. Um die Symbolik der Flagge darzustellen, werden die Schüler/Schülerinnen eine Zeichnung bzw. ein Poster erstellen. Sie sollen auch den Artikel der AEMR bestimmen welcher zu der Flagge am besten passt.

  4. Erörterung der Schlussfolgerungen an die ganze Klasse.

  5. Diskussion über die Ähnlichkeiten und die Zusammenhänge die sich in den Präsentationen ergeben haben.


VI. Bewertung:


  1. Recherche

  2. Gruppenpräsentationen mit Posters (Symbolik bzw. gefundene Informationen bzw. AEMR Artikel)

  3. Gruppendiskussionen über die Deutlichkeit der Symbole und wie die Symbole uns Menschen aus aller Welt verbinden.


VII. Staat/Inhaltliche Standards der Länder:

7.1 Verständnis der komplexen Perspektiven und der globalen Zusammenhänge.

7.2 Analyse bezüglich der räumlichen Einrichtung der Menschen, der Orten und der Umwelt auf der Erde.

7.3 Analyse der physischen Eigenschaften und der Menschen der verschiedenen Orte und Regionen.

7.4 Erklären, wie die Geographie den Menschen das Verständnis der Verbindungen zwischen Leuten, Orten und der Umwelt im Laufe der  Zeit ermöglicht.

7.5 Verständnis dafür zu entwickeln, dass alle Menschen (in den einzelnen Ländern) Rechte bzw. Pflichte haben.


VIII. Nachbearbeitung:

Verbreitungsprojekte:  Tätigkeiten als Hausaufgabe oder während des Unterrichts:


  1. Die Schüler müssen eine Flagge mit Benutzung von mindestens drei Symbolen erstellen.

  2. Die Schüler werden fähig sein, die Weltflaggensymbole identifizieren und erklären zu können.




2012 Ausgabe




Die Einrichtung der Flagge ist nicht zufällig.

Manche Beispiele für die Symbolik, die auf der Weltflagge versteckt ist:


Im weißen Hintergrund in der Mitte steht die Erde. Der Frieden und die Reinheit werden durch das Weiße, während die Natur durch das Grüne symbolisiert.

Das Weiße von Japan führt die Augen nach unten, deswegen zeigt sich ein Image eines Flaggenmastes. Dies wird dann eine Flagge binnen der Weltflagge und symbolisiert auch den Buchstaben „P“ für Frieden [auf English „peace“].

Die Drehachse der Flaggen von  Santa Lucia, dessen Dreiecke nach dem Himmel streben, symbolisiert das zerbrechliche Gleichgewicht der Umwelt und der Nationen auf der Erde.  Japan (links) ist eine der reichsten Nationen und Bangladesh ist eine der ärmsten.

Die Vereinigten Nationen in dem Zentrum symbolisiert die Einheit.

Gleich über der Weltkarte stehen die drei Sonnenzeichnen, welche in  den Flaggen von Argentinien, Antigua & Barbuda, und Uruguay (von links nach rechts) zu sehen sind und symbolisieren, dass die Lichtstrahlen und Hoffnung in Richtung der Flagge von Tibet nach oben scheinen. Diese vier Flaggen repräsentieren gemeinsam die lebensspendende Stärke der Sonne, die sowohl auf die Erde als auch nach oben in Richtung der Flagge von Afghanistan scheint, welche links an Swasiland und rechts an Kenia grenzt ist. Innerhalb dieser drei Flaggen die Symbole der Hoffnung, des Friedens und der Freiheit stehen den inneren Konflikten von Afghanistan gegenüber mit denen sich das Land heutzutage konfrontieren muss. Die wahre Bedeutung dieser Symbole ist  in der Stammesgeschichte dieser Nationen zu finden.

Obwohl die nächsten drei Flaggen der Vatikanstadt, Saudi Arabien und Israel (von links nach rechst)nicht alle Religionen der Welt umfassen, stehen sie als symbolische Herausforderungen um die Überwindung der Religionspolitik und um einen gemeinsamen geistigen Grund zu schöpfen.

Über diesen Flaggen symbolisieren die Olivenzweigen von Zypern Frieden und Hoffnung.

Oben erreichen die Wurzeln der Norfolk Insel das Weiße von Zypern, welche den Frieden symbolisiert, und ist als ein Boden zu betrachten aus welchem ein neues Leben entstehen kann.

Durch die Flaggen der Vereinigten Staaten, Irland und Italien wird das multikulturelle Erbe des Flaggendesigners wiedergegeben.

Nach links von den Vereinigten Staaten von Amerika liegt  China. Dies symbolisiert die gegenüberstehenden Spannungen der wirtschaftlichen und militärischen Kräfte der Welt.

USA und Russland, welche auf der Erde gegenüberliegen, symbolisieren die gegenüberstehenden Mächte, deren kollektive Aktivität eine große Auswirkung auf den Planeten als Ganzes ausüben kann.

Nach rechts von Russland liegt  Lesotho, dessen Flagge die Unabhängigkeit, den Frieden und die Stabilität symbolisiert, welche die Bestrebung Russlands nach Freiheit und Demokratie vertreten. Unter Russland liegt Barbados, dessen Dreizack den Aufstieg Russlands aus der Tiefe des Kommunismus  in Richtung eines demokratischeren Regierungssystems symbolisiert.

Über Russland ist die Flagge von  Nikaragua zu finden. Das blaue und weiße Muster haben eine visuelle Funktion und verbinden sich durch das Blaue und Weiße Russlands.  Die vier Ecken der Erde sind von Schweden oben links, Nepal oben rechts,  Tuvalu unten links und von Malaisen unten rechts vertreten. Jedes Land liegt relativ gegenüber einander auf dem Planeten.®



Die „Arabischer Frühling“ Symbolik binnen der 2011 Version der Weltflagge (Oben)

Länder des Arabischen Frühlings 2010-2011 schließen sich in der kräftigen Form der Zugvögel zusammen, was das Fliegen oder Anstieg nach Freiheit, Demokratie und die menschlichen Rechte in der Welt repräsentiert und konkreter den Mittleren Osten.


Von Oben: von links —–> nach —–> rechts:

Saudi Arabien, Israel, Palästina, der Libanon, der Jemen, Kuwait, Oman, Syrien, der Jordan, die  Vereinigte Arabische Emirate, Tunesien, Algerien, Bahrain, Mauretanien, Katar, die Westliche Sahara, Marokko, Libyen, der Sudan, der Iran,  der Irak, der Süden Sudan und Ägypten

Die Weltflagge und den Inhalt

© Copyright 2011  ®Schutzmarke 2011

Paul Carroll / The World Flag® / The World Flag Project®

(Alle Rechte vorbehalten)




                                                           ME-WE ®


What is “The World Flag”

“Reform the Environment; not Man.”~R. Buckminster Fuller

The World Flag was created as a Visual Catalyst. It fly(s) as a unifying symbol inspiring positive global change while continuing to embrace and celebrate cultural diversity. The World Flag Project raises awareness in the areas of Education, World Health, Human Rights and the Environment.

Created in 1988 by Paul Carroll, the World Flag is a global image meant to resonate with the people of the world. The design of the World Flag has in the center an image of the world surrounded by 216 flags. They include every national flag, the flag of the United Nations and some flags of territories dependent in one way or other on larger countries. The distribution of the flags within the design is not random. Underlying symbolism and design innuendo create further depth and meaning . As a “Living Flag -Evolving with History”, each iteration serves as a historic rendering in time. Because of their inherent symbolic, nationalistic, and subconscious power, individual flags offered inherent possibilities for Carroll’s vision. He wrote, “Moving individual flags into the global realm—transcending borders, race, and religions—creates unique impact from micro to macro and back.” The World Flag’s potential to engage individuals and children from around the world is immense. “The power of symbols to both inspire and unite people finds it’s most relevant and meaningful perfection in the national flags and banners of the world.” New Scientist, 5 December 2007.

The World Flag; Teaching Unity – Sharing Diversity.

Recycle Man by C. Malik

Gary Anderson, creator of the recycling symbol, ca 1971

Gary Anderson in 1970 after winning a design contest sponsored by Container Corporation of America.

The symbol that launched a thousand environmental movements…This symbol has come to represent a shift in our collective consciousness – signifying the moment we were willing to admit that we were damaging our planet and that we need to do something about it.

Gary Anderson today. Image by Dave Huh.

Symbol for our future? This is the winning design for a competition held last year by Cereplast, a bioplastics company. The symbol will be printed on the plant-based plastic products created by Cereplast. Gary Anderson was one of the judges of the contest.
Recycle ManBy C. Malik
In 1970 Gary Anderson, a USC Graduate student entered and won a design contest sponsored by CCA – Container Corporation of America. The competition was to design a graphic symbol which would be used on recycled paper products and which could recognize a commitment to environmental sensitivity on the part of any manufacturer who was engaged in recycling. The winning symbol would be given over to the public domain. The competition was also to honor the first – Earth Day – which was held that same year.

 Gary’s simple but thoughtful design would go on to become the most iconic symbol of environmental action ever created. The symbol has circled the globe, evokes thought and action, it has no language barrier and never uses a single word. Thankfully for us when I met with Gary Anderson he had plenty to say. 

Since winning the contest in 1970 Gary has traveled the world pursuing his dreams in the field of Architecture and Planning. He currently lives in Baltimore, MD. I spoke with Gary by phone and very quickly it struck me that his accomplishments combined with his humble nature bared a striking resemblance to the fictional Superheroes that permeate our culture. Gary and I went on to discuss the concept of “Superheroes” and how they might play a role in saving the environment.

C. Malik : Mr. Anderson – do you think you’ve saved the world? 

Gary Anderson: “I’d like to think I’ve had some impact; it wasn’t really that I consciously tried to do that but I think the symbol really has just by virtue of the fact that it kind of took off and people have come to really recognize it and understand recycling when they see it…you know, I think it has had a pretty big impact.”

CM: Are you a millionaire?

GA: Extended chuckle. Don’t I wish. No, No, No

CM: Why did you create the recycling symbol? 

GA: Well it wasn’t for the money. It was more just kind of a challenge to me a challenge to myself. There was a poster that showed up in my school, the school of architecture and fine arts at USC, advertising this competition. Of course there was no entry fee and it seemed like something I could enter and that wouldn’t take much of anything in the way of resources other than myself some paper and drawing tools I already had. Unlike a big architectural project or something that would probably require input from lots of people, this is something that I could do on my own and seemed like something I could do. I could also support the reason behind the contest, I thought that was commendable so I spent a couple of days on it, came up with the symbol and submitted it.

CM: We talked briefly in our intro about “superheroes” and the expectation related to their symbols. When people see the recycle symbol what do you think that invokes in them, what does it mean to them? 

GA: Hopefully recycling, I mean, beyond that people might have different reactions to it. But I think it has come to mean recycling in a lot of people’s minds, which is great, because that’s why they had the competition and that’s what I tried to do when I designed it, so hopefully that’s what people think of.

CM: Who is your favorite superhero and why?

GA: When I was a kid, which is getting longer and longer ago now the main superhero was Superman. I guess there where others around, there was the Phantom, I guess Batman was around already. Superman in my mind was it, he was the one I knew the most about and you know the one that had the highest profile certainly…so just to make the answer short; Superman.

CM: It’s interesting that you pick Superman and mention that the lack of clutter in the Superhero “space” at that time really made Superman stand out. With your symbol there seems to be little competition, would you agree?

GA: Especially when it first came out there really wasn’t, as far as I know there may have been others but that was the only symbol I was aware of for recycling. Frankly, I don’t want to be overly modest but I think just the fact that it was the first one, the first one to get some publicity because it was a competition held by a private company who invested in getting the image out there. I think those two things the fact that it was the first and did get publicity early on I’m sure that helped to establish it as the symbol.

CM: How has the wide adoption of the recycling symbol changed your life?

GA: Not so much. From time to time I get interview requests like this one and sometimes I get invited to functions. I am in fact going up to NJ next week they passed some legislation that mandated recycling in certain areas 25 years ago and so I’ve been invited to the celebration, the 25th anniversary for the NJ recycling program. Aside from things like that not too much, not too long after I won the competition I went overseas to teach so I was kind of out of touch.

CM: Recently you were involved in judging a symbol contest for a company called Cereplast can you expand on the work they are doing?

GA: I think it’s remarkable what they are doing, I don’t think they are the only company that does that, but I think certainly compostable biodegradable plastics are very important in maintaining environmental quality and not polluting the environment with petroleum based products. It’s just fascinating the kinds of products that can be created with bio-plastics and that they seem just as versatile as anything that can be made with petroleum based plastics – so I think it’s wonderful.

CM: What do you think is the most underserved environmental issue today? 

GA: Because of what I do and my background I really think there could be much more emphasis and understanding about sustainable planning and urban development. I think it’s just so easy to sprawl, it’s so easy the way things are set up now, the way policy is written the way it is so easy to expand infrastructure. There are plenty of incentives to just build further out and there are no disincentives to keep from doing that or incentives to keep things more compact. I guess eventually it will happen, I will be happy when the public starts to demand more sustainable patterns of development as they do now with more sustainable consumer products.

CM: Who are your environmental heroes, past and present?


A: Well I have to say they go way back as probably again to the late 60’s early 70’s when I first started be aware of these things myself. So they are really kind of historic now but certainly Ian McHarg who was a landscape architect and planner who wrote the book “Design with Nature” and influenced a lot of people in my generation about sustainability before it had that name. Rachel Carson. She really brought to the attention of the general public what some of the really dire problems could be if we didn’t start to look more carefully or consider more carefully what we’re doing to the environment. Also Bucky Fuller (Buckminster Fuller). Those are the three that come to mind. People should Google them if they don’t know about these people.

CM: If you could create your own Superhero what would it be and what super powers would they have? 

GA: I guess it would be “Recycle Man” with the recycling logo on his jersey, whatever that is that superheroes wear or tattooed to his chest or something I don’t know. He would, or she, maybe it’s “recycle lady” or “recycle woman” would fight wasteful practices and nurture an appreciation of sustainability.

Thank You Red Flag Magazine

The Updated 2011 World Flag

We are excited to bring you the updated 2011 edition of The World Flag! Since its inception in 1988, there have been four different versions of The Flag; each edition offers a reflection of our world during that time in history. Some of the major changes on the 2011 World Flag are the Arab Spring nations connected in the shape of a bird in flight; the new flags of, Malawi, Libya, Lesotho, Burma, and Venezuela; and the addition of South Sudan as a new country.








The World Flag©2011








The Arab Spring connected in the shape of a bird in flight.


The five new flags and South Sudan are shown below:









Burma (Myanmar)

File:Flag of South Sudan.svg

South Sudan


In keeping with World Flag tradition, there are many symbolic reasons behind the placement of individual country flags. We’ll be exploring this symbolism in future blog posts so stay tuned!