Earth Dance for Peace!

Earthdance is an extraordinary organization working to support humanitarian initiatives through the global language of music and dance. Their mission is to promote peace by joining participants worldwide in a synchronized Prayer for Peace.

PrayerWith so many unique cultures and languages around the world it is imperative to find universal forms of expression to share our common desire for global cooperation and harmony. The beauty of music and dance is that these mediums are found everywhere on the planet and touch a deep core of spiritual consciousness within us all. As we listen to the music of other lands and join with them in the rhythm of life, our minds and hearts open in ways we may not have experienced otherwise. From this space we create greater opportunity for communication and cooperation in a more human way.

The Dalai Lama on the Earthdance (Chris Decker and  Return to the Source)  concept:
“I feel the role of music and  dance in helping planetary peace can be very useful.  I have the opinion that any message can be channeled in different ways to reach its audience.  Dance or music, I think are a very effective method to reach millions of people who may not have the capacity, interest or awareness to find out about Tibet otherwise.”

Synchronized events around the globe will create a space for reflection during a Prayer for Peace. This global unifying experience can allow the world to experience moments of peace that begin as minutes, becoming days, weeks, and then years.

The Earth Dance Vision is to have one million people join in the Prayer for Peace. The aim is to inspire participation from all walks of life,  from politicians to artists from every corner of the globe.
Major societal change always begin with small numbers of committed people who inspire others to action. As Margaret Mead once said, “never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” It is time now to think of ourselves as citizens of the world. This small paradigm shift in thought can tip the balance toward greater unity of purpose in pursuit of a world at peace with itself and in harmony with nature.

As the Dalai Lama told EARTHDANCE founder Chris Deckker: “I think global events are a really hopeful sign. When something happens on one side of the planet, it naturally affects the other side. After all, we all share the same blue planet.”

For the sake of our brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers and our children – the world’s children, we must come together to save ourselves and this beautiful planet we call home. Let us join and become that group of “thoughtful committed citizens” who lead the way.

You can participate by registering now to become part of the global solution and raise awareness toward the concept of peace and harmony throughout the world. Go to Earthdance.org to find an event near you, register as an event producer, or join the Prayer for Peace to take place this September 18th, 2010. You may also want to join the Earthdance Community Network for peace and sustainable culture at www.earthdancenetwork.com.

“If the people will lead, the leaders will follow.” Join us now in dance, in music, in life, in action to help make a better world for us all.

Dance with the Earth, Dance with us all – For a Peaceful, Sustainable World. EarthDance.org

Flag of Bangladesh, History and Symbolism

The national flag of Bangladesh  (Bengali: বাংলাদেশের জাতীয় পতাকা) was adopted officially on 17 January 1972. It is based on a similar flag used during the Bangladesh Liberation War of 1971. The map was later deleted from the flag by the order of General Abul Manzur, most likely to simplify the design[citation needed]. A red disc is on top of the green field, offset slightly toward the hoist so that it appears centred when the flag is flying. The red disc represents the sun rising over Bengal, and also the blood of those who died for the independence of Bangladesh. The green field stands for the lushness of the land of Bangladesh. The red disc is a socialist symbol of the rising Sun of independence after the dark night of a blood-drenched struggle against Pakistan.

Origin
The original flag was designed by painter Quamrul Hassan. On 2 March 1971, the initial version of the flag was hoisted in Bangladesh for the first time at the Dhaka University. As the Vice President of Dhaka University Students’ Union (DUCSU), student leader A. S. M. Abdur Rab hoisted the flag. On the declaration of Independence on 26 March 1971, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman flew the flag in his residence.

The flag was conceived so as to exclude the crescent and the star considered as symbols of West Pakistan. According to Flags of the World, the green used in the flag does not represent the traditional colours of Islam, contrary to some western sources (such as the CIA World Fact Book). Rather, the green colour was chosen to represent the lushness of the natural landscape of Bangladesh. The current flag resembles the flag of Japan with the background a different colour.

The map was removed from the flag in 1972. One reason given was the difficulty rendering the map correctly on both sides of the flag.

The Bangladesh flag as it is today:

In the World Flag this flag has important design balance and appears center right of the earth image. See World Flag Symbolism  and History post.

Source: Wikipedia

World Flag Symbolism and History

The World Flag is both a powerful and vibrant symbol representing all the people of the world. It was designed with both geopolitical and artistic design themes in mind. The use of country flags themselves was a deliberate and well thought out idea emerging from the challenge of creating a symbol that people everywhere on the globe could immediately connect with.

History and Design of  the Flag:

The Original World Flag Design 1988

In 1988 Paul Carroll envisioned a global image that would resonate with the people of the world. He chose flags as the mark-making system for his original design. Because of their inherent symbolic, nationalistic, and subconscious power, individual flags offered intrinsic possibilities for his vision. “Moving individual flags into the global realm—transcending borders, race, and religions—creates unique impact from micro to macro and back, Carroll wrote. The New Scientist noted that “[t]he power of symbols to both inspire and unite people finds its most relevant and meaningful perfection in the national flags and banners of the world.” The challenge of assembling 160 flags into a meaningful, engaging image was daunting. The options and combinations were virtually unlimited. For Carroll, the mission was well beyond a piece of art or a one-time experiment. He set out to create a global symbol that would change and evolve as the world changed and evolved. He wanted the World Flag to grow organically, creating historical documents in time. The original 1988 design represented the 159 members of the United Nations, plus the U.N. flag. In order to create a 13 x 13 “flag” rectangle, Carroll eliminated a 3 x 3 area in the center. Placing Buckminster Fuller’s sky-ocean (Dymaxion) map in this space made it the core around which the design would grow. With an awareness of history, philosophy, and geopolitics, the first World Flag was born. Major global concerns—the Cold War, apartheid, the Middle East, and other political and social issues—all influenced the design.

Evolution of an idea:

Since its inception The World Flag has evolved to include every country flag of the world and additional territories and provinces.  The flag as it now stands has 216 flags including the United Nations flag.

The World Flag 2008

Below I have outlined some of the geopolitical and geographic symbolism found within the flag.

Description of symbolism found within the World Flag.

  • In the center is the Earth with a white background symbolizing peace and purity while the green represents nature.
  • The white of Japan draws the eye downward creating the image of a flagpole. This then becomes a Flag within the World Flag and also symbolizes a “P” for peace.
  • The fulcrum of Saint Lucia, whose triangle reaches toward the sky, symbolizes the fragile environmental balance of the Earth and its nations.
  • Japan (left) is one of the wealthier nations and Bangladesh one of the poorest.
  • The United Nations in the center symbolizes unity.
  • Just above Earth’s center the three sun signs within the flags of Argentina, Antigua & Barbuda, and Uruguay (left to right) symbolize the rays of light and hope shining into the flag of Tibet above. These four flags collectively represent the life-giving power of the sun both lighting the Earth below and shining upward into the flag of Afghanistan, flanked on the left by Lesotho and on the right by Kenya. Within those flags are symbols of hope, peace, and freedom challenging the internal conflict(s) faced by Afghanistan today. The underlying meaning here exists within the tribal history of these nations.
  • Although not encompassing all the world’s religions, the next three flags above, Vatican City, Saudi Arabia, and Israel (left to right), are a symbolic challenge to transcend the politics of religion and find a common spiritual ground.
  • Above these the olive branches of Cyprus symbolize peace and hope.
  • At the top, the tree of Norfolk Island’s roots reach into the white of Cyprus representing peace as the soil from which new life may grow.
  • Above the United States flag is Ireland and below is Italy, representing the designer’s multicultural heritage.
  • To the left of the U.S. is China, symbolizing the opposing tensions of economic and military power in the world.
  • Opposite each other center left and right of the Earth image, you find the U.S. and Russia; symbolically representing the historic impact of The Cold War and its shaping of the current geo-political landscape. Here also the ongoing tension of these two superpowers whose collective actions still have major impact on the planet as a whole.
  • To the right of Russia is Swaziland, whose blue band represents peace and stability representing Russia’s movement toward freedom and democracy.
  • Above Russia is Nicaragua, whose blue and white pattern works visually to tie in with the blue and white of Russia.
  • The four corners of the earth are represented by Sweden on the top left, Nepal on the top right, Tuvalu the bottom left, and Malaysia on the bottom right. Each country is in a relative opposite location of the planet from each other.

Additionally the flag itself has many design elements formed by various geometric patterns and color placed together. If you look closely you can see many arrows showing left to right created by two flags next to each other. Also if you look for the flag of France you can see many blocks of color, blue and red, essentially blurring the boundaries between countries. This concept is repeated just below and to the left where the flag of Vietnam blends together with the flags of Guinea and Chad. This can also be found throughout the design, (look for the Seychelles and surrounding flags to find the artistic design elements there). If you notice the two flags at center just below the image of the earth you can see the circle elements used by Japan and Bangladesh. Below these in the center is the flag of Laos adding to the symmetry.

It is difficult to see the many artistic design elements and balance of images working together within the flag without taking a closer look. How telling that the very complexity of design within the World Flag reflects our world.

The design of the World Flag mirrors the essence of our shared planet; A diverse landscape of  language, art, music, politics, and religion. By taking a closer look at each other through sharing and learning, we can help make the world a better place, together.

The World Flag; Teaching Unity – Sharing Diversity   

The World Flag to Attend Seattle Green Festival!

Green-Festival-Header-SE10x

We are proud to be attending Green Festival Seattle this June 5th and 6th.  Another amazing line up of speakers and exhibitors, this years Green Festival looks to be more inspiring then ever. Amy Goodman of Democracy Now,  Deepak Chopra, Lester Brown, president of Earth Policy Institute and many more. Be sure to check us out at Booth # 729 and learn about cultural diversity and how you can be a part of the solution.

Green Festivals are a  joint project of Global Exchange and Green America where you can discover some of the best green products and services the Northwest has to offer. And through Seattle Climate Action Now!, Clean & Green Seattle and the city’s many other climate projects, you’ll learn how neighbors, community nonprofits and city departments are working together to make their city a healthier place to live.

Green Week 2010

Wednesday May 26th through Sunday June 6th

Leading up to Seattle Green Festival is Green Week, May 28 to June 6—a week-long series of (mostly free) city-wide activities focusing on Seattle’s “green” movement, from hands-on organic gardening, to water-testing, to film screenings on sustainability. Participate in any of these events and receive a free one-day pass to Green Festival!

Looking forward to seeing you there!

The World Flag; Teaching Unity – Sharing Diversity

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United Nations considers World Flag too Political to Display @ General Assembly

Tiokasin Ghosthorse, host and producer of First Voices Indigenous Radio, NYC, brought a 3×5′ World Flag to the UN General Assembly to display during his speech on the rights of indigenous peoples. As an inspirational speaker and one who understands the power of symbols and words, his connection to The World Flag happened at a chance meeting during the San Francisco Green Festival.

Tiokasin was hoping to display the flag during his speech but it had not been “cleared” and was considered “political” by the United Nations. It is no surprise that the UN would not allow The World Flag to be displayed. By it’s very nature and design, the UN may very well be the most political organization in existence. There is a very delicate balance which occurs when you assemble dignitaries, ambassadors, and world leaders from many countries to discuss rather somber world issues. The etiquette of flags and where and how to hang the flags of countries in close proximity to each other becomes a balancing act of diplomacy, decorum, and respect. Each country has a sense of pride and honor, in a sense a clinging to it’s own collective ego.

This is exactly what The World Flag Seeks To Transcend

The World Flag is about breaking down the barriers between countries and eliminating the false boundaries created by the governments of the world. It is a symbol for the people of the world, having nothing to do with politics, or governments.

The essence of The World Flag is Teaching Unity in Matters of Global Concern, so that all people of the world realize that the major challenges facing each of us; scarcity of clean drinking water, human rights abuses, environmental degradation, scarcity of food resources, access to education, etc, are issues that affect all of us. These issues no longer exist in isolation as the world becomes more and more connected and interdependent.

The World Flag is also about sharing and celebrating cultural diversity. The colorful aspects of each countries’ unique culture; it’s history, food, dance, language and customs are to be celebrated and enjoyed. Sharing what makes us unique and opening our eyes to new ways of being in the world, new ways of seeing each other, will allow us to work together to meet the challenges facing us all.

The designer of The World Flag chose country flags as the mark making system because of their immediate emotional connection and recognition. Symbols can be shared without speaking the same language. The World Flag works as a visual catalyst to begin the conversations of shared concern, to use that intense emotional connection of a sense of “home”, and open our minds to the simple truth that the world is our shared home. We must begin to accept that all humans take pride in their sense of ‘country’. Phrases such as ‘our land’, and ‘our home’ can be transcended from being about a man made or government created boundary, to a place of accepting that we all love and share this beautiful planet. The love of country is something that we all share and as Pablo Casals so eloquently put it:

“The Love of One’s Country is a Splendid Thing, But Why Should that Love Stop at the Border?”

Even though not the intention, by it’s very nature the United Nations operates from a place of strongly delineated separation, where each countries separateness is naturally reinforced by the voting processes and organizational structure.

The original idea of a United Nations is certainly of noble intention. The extraordinary accomplishments it has achieved in the past 65 years are nothing short of astonishing. But has the UN achieved a true sense of connectedness amongst the countries of the world? Has cooperation transcended politics in matters of global concern? Is it not time for the UN to fly The World Flag and embrace what the people of the world already know? That this is our shared planet, this is our shared world.

One World – One Flag

Just fly it! The World Flag

The World Flag to be Displayed at the United Nations NYC this Monday April 19th

CSR Press Release

The World Flag

United Nations FORUM ON INDIGENOUS ISSUES

Submitted by:The World Flag

Categories:Human Rights

Posted: Apr 16, 2010 – 05:32 PM EST

NEW YORK, Apr. 16 /CSRwire/ – Tiokasin Ghosthorse will display The World Flag as he speaks to the General assembly of the UN during the 9th session of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues this Monday April 19th.

Nearly 2,000 indigenous representatives from all over the world will gather at United Nations Headquarters in New York on Monday for the start of a two-week meeting aimed at ensuring their full participation in development while preserving their culture and identity.

At the meeting, the ninth session of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, they and Member States, UN agencies and civil society groups will discuss efforts to guarantee to indigenous peoples their full and effective participation in development processes, including thorough consultation in establishing development programmes and policies.

“Indigenous peoples’ traditional knowledge and practices are increasingly being recognized as vital for conservation work and efforts to combat and adapt to climate change,” the Forum said in a news release. “Yet despite this recognition, indigenous cultures have been damaged more often than not by development policies that ignore their traditional sources of knowledge and cultural priorities and fail to respect their land rights.”

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will address the opening session in the General Assembly Hall. Key issues to be addressed during the Forum also include indigenous peoples in North America, and indigenous peoples and forests.

The session on North America will aim to identify both the challenges faced by indigenous peoples in the region, as well as positive measures of cooperation that can contribute to improvements in their situation.

On the issue of peoples and forests, the Forum noted that policies that treat woodlands as empty areas available for development often force indigenous peoples out of their homes. In addition, some conservation schemes establish wilderness reserves that deny forest-dwellers their rights.

“Development policies that take into account indigenous peoples’ culture and identity can be beneficial not only to indigenous peoples, but also for Member States and developing countries in particular,” it said.

The Forum, set up by the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) in 2000, provides expert advice and recommendations on indigenous issues to UN agencies, raises awareness and promotes the integration and coordination of relevant activities within the world body. It comprises 16 independent experts appointed by ECOSOC, eight of whom are nominated by governments and eight by indigenous organizations in their regions.


World Flag Set to Fly at San Fran Green Festival

The World Flag will be attending San Francisco Green Festival April 10th and 11th, Booth #926.

This premier sustainability event hosted by Global Exchange and Green America will feature some of the finest eco-friendly companies in the United States.  125 renowned authors, leaders and educators will hold workshops, host green films and speak throughout the weekend.

Check out the Green Festival promo video

The World Flag is proud to attend our third Green Festival event that will feature lots of new merchandise, stories and ideas.

As always our focus is to raise awareness and support for non-profit organizations, making this our favorite show of the year.

The World Flag is excited to be sharing the message of teaching unity – sharing diversity.

Join us in celebrating Green Festival, and be sure to fly your World Flag this upcoming Earth Day, April 22.

Last week to shop our Winter SALE! Ends 1/31/2010

TWF donates proceeds for action!

We are working to raise awareness and funding for organizations like Hosteling International, Burners Without Borders, Mercy Corps, Global Exchange, Dream Rocket, and others. We also support local schools in and around Portland and other groups around the world. Check out our shop page make a purchase and choose an organization to receive a donation. 10% of each purchase will be donated to the cause of your choice. The World Flag is now in hundreds of schools around the world and our educational Flashcards are in the hands of thousands of children. The World Flag is changing peoples lives every moment of every day. Join us in our mission of Teaching Unity – Sharing Diversity! Fly the World Flag today and make a difference!

Razorwire album cover features The World Flag!

http://www.razorwire.info/

'Wrapped in Lies'

The punk band Razorwire have done numerous gigs in the UK and Holland, and have recently released their third Razorwire album “Wrapped In Lies”.  Razorwire requested use of The World Flag to bring visual awareness to their message. The individual wears nothing except TWF, draped over his shoulders to represent that he is of all nations of the world. Razorwire and The World Flag are joined against division and the separations that patriotism and nationalism can foster.
Listen to their album by visiting their website or on MySpace.