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Cadle's Flag of the Earth
October 27, 2008 2:12 PM   Subscribe

The Flag of Earth is often flown at locations doing SETI work in order to indicate that the search is the "work of humanity and not a specific country or organization." The creator of this flag of the Earth (there are others) James W. Cadle died in 2004, but he left the design in the public domain. The flag is now supported by the North American Astrophysical Observatory.
posted by acro (53 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
Did we get a vote on this? I would have voted for something that more clearly represented our position as the all around cool kid and ass-kicker of the universe.
posted by Science! at 2:21 PM on October 27, 2008


I thought we already had a Flag of the Earth.
posted by clearly at 2:31 PM on October 27, 2008


oh man, the little green footballs types are going to go ape-shit on this. look at all these atheist, communist, america-hating liberal scientists!!
posted by joeblough at 2:36 PM on October 27, 2008


That flag fucking sucks balls.
posted by strawberryviagra at 2:37 PM on October 27, 2008 [4 favorites]


This is a nice post, thanks.
posted by plexi at 2:38 PM on October 27, 2008


"They should have sent a poet graphic designer."
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:43 PM on October 27, 2008 [9 favorites]


This is the kind of design that someone technical hands to a designer to "make it look nice". Except they skipped that step.
posted by smackfu at 2:45 PM on October 27, 2008 [3 favorites]


Seconding the vote on flag of the Earth. I envision Ronald McDonald, popping a wheelie on a superbike, perched on the top of Mt. Everest.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:48 PM on October 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


Yeah, man. I appreciate the sentiment, but that is fugly.
posted by mr_roboto at 2:48 PM on October 27, 2008


I bet it's already taken.
posted by longsleeves at 2:50 PM on October 27, 2008


I vote to swap it with the Appetite for Destruction album cover.
posted by clearly at 2:50 PM on October 27, 2008 [3 favorites]


Hah. I was curious why this thread had an unusually high number of comments -- until I saw the flag.
posted by PercussivePaul at 2:51 PM on October 27, 2008


Nice idea, fucking god-awful execution.
posted by Navelgazer at 2:51 PM on October 27, 2008


alright all you hipster-doofuses: so make a better one already.
posted by joeblough at 2:54 PM on October 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


I like it. It shows our worldwide proficiency in Paint.exe.
posted by nitsuj at 2:54 PM on October 27, 2008 [2 favorites]


I vote to swap it with the Appetite for Destruction album cover.

I thought we'd want other life forms to think there was intelligent life on Earth.

I kid!
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:56 PM on October 27, 2008


I like this one.
posted by PercussivePaul at 2:56 PM on October 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


I like this one.

Too much like Estonia's.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:58 PM on October 27, 2008


That flag fucking sucks is balls
posted by generichuman at 2:58 PM on October 27, 2008


I thought the whole point of flags was to exclude others. The Earth flag won't be necessary until we

1. Meet extraterrestrials
2. Decide we don't like them

Of course, we'll also have to change one of the colors to green or something to represent the blood of our enemies.
posted by Loudmax at 2:59 PM on October 27, 2008 [4 favorites]


This is why we don't have Earth money.
posted by mazola at 3:01 PM on October 27, 2008


oh man, the little green footballs types are going to go ape-shit on this. look at all these atheist, communist, america-hating liberal scientists!!

While they're definitely on the right wing (and often way out there on the right wing to be sure), I think you'll find that the general tenor at LGF is a lot more pro-science and decidedly anti-theocracy than you're aware.

That said, it's a pretty ugly flag.
posted by chimaera at 3:03 PM on October 27, 2008


I envision Ronald McDonald, popping a wheelie on a superbike, perched on the top of Mt. Everest.

Here you go

Humanity can thank me by sucking less.
posted by hellojed at 3:07 PM on October 27, 2008 [36 favorites]


Reminds me of Brazil's, just a little.
posted by box at 3:08 PM on October 27, 2008


I look forward to seeing the One True Earth Flag flying at the next League of Planets meeting.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 3:10 PM on October 27, 2008


I'm with Loudmax. The history of flags is a history of war and aggression. Is this what we want to say to our newfound aliens?

Maybe its time to bring out the Esperanto flag.
posted by vacapinta at 3:11 PM on October 27, 2008


You do realize that somewhere out there, an intelligent* alien race is searching for the black, rectanguar life form that lives on a diet of coloured light spheres? :P

*But misguided
posted by Phalene at 3:12 PM on October 27, 2008


So far as I can tell, it's not an Esperanto-ey "This flag will make the world live in harmony!" thing as much as a symbol of efforts that are expressly non-national. Which is a pretty cool idea.

But yeah, this one is better.
posted by roll truck roll at 3:15 PM on October 27, 2008


Oh. But hellojed's is even better.
posted by roll truck roll at 3:17 PM on October 27, 2008


I am going to dissent against popular opinion here and say that I think the Flag of Earth is extremely beautiful. It is our water that makes us extraordinary and to have the earth represented by a blue sphere is very perfect.

The only problem I see with the flag is that it isn't necessarily unique to earth. If there are any aliens who live on blue planets, they are also likely to have moons and the a sun, and have an SETI organization which flies a flag that's probably identical.

Additionally, the awesomeness factor of the SETI League group photo is not to be missed.
posted by niccolo at 3:26 PM on October 27, 2008 [4 favorites]


#1 flag of the world
posted by acro at 3:33 PM on October 27, 2008


Hmmm - I rotate this 90° counterclockwise and all I get is... Bubs?
posted by hangashore at 3:42 PM on October 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


Sorry, percussivepaul. Don't go putting any crescent moons on our Earth flag, now. It makes the Baby Jebus Star Child weep.

[/snark]
posted by joe lisboa at 3:53 PM on October 27, 2008


It looks like yellow Pac-Man gobbling earth the blue ghost followed by a white dot.
posted by stbalbach at 3:53 PM on October 27, 2008


So the circle circle with the ‘+’ cross of the equator and meridian in the middle - too easy?
posted by Smedleyman at 3:55 PM on October 27, 2008


We don't know anything about their race, history, or culture, but one thing's for sure. They stand for everything we stand against.
posted by nudar at 4:04 PM on October 27, 2008 [2 favorites]


It takes a lot of fucking gall for an alien who scammed us decent Earthicans out of Earth to make a remark about Ol' Freebie.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 4:20 PM on October 27, 2008


I think you'll find that the general tenor at LGF is a lot more pro-science and decidedly anti-theocracy than you're aware.

actually i am quite aware of that, thankyouverymuch. that doesnt stop the commenters from engaging in such talk.
posted by joeblough at 4:45 PM on October 27, 2008


Glad to see someone is still using microsoft paint.
posted by scarello at 4:51 PM on October 27, 2008


The CEO of SETI is flying the flag upside down. Traitor to Earth?
posted by DU at 5:27 PM on October 27, 2008


I believe an inverted flag signals distress, not treason. Perhaps the CEO of SETI has read a recent climatology journal?
posted by nicepersonality at 6:36 PM on October 27, 2008 [3 favorites]


Sorry, but this is the original flag of Earth.

Mars has one too.
posted by PlusDistance at 6:39 PM on October 27, 2008


The only problem I see with the flag is that it isn't necessarily unique to earth. If there are any aliens who live on blue planets, they are also likely to have moons and the a sun, and have an SETI organization which flies a flag that's probably identical.

Ahem.
posted by longsleeves at 7:11 PM on October 27, 2008


Ooh, ooh, I know this one! I've actually spent time thinking about this. The flag of Earth should just depict a constellation. Because a group of stars only appears to have a certain 'shape' from a particular position in space. The Big Dipper (or whatever) identifies us way more specifically, and more universally, than some goofy cyan circle. Any representation of Earth, however simplified, is going to have issues with selection bias or whatever is the right word for what I'm trying to say, but stars are about as straightforward as they come. I mean, some languages don't even have a word for blue. Given that fact and others, the white-on-black is most convenient. So do some studies, find out which constellation is recognized by the greatest possible number of cultures, and get to it, I say.
posted by jinjo at 7:27 PM on October 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


I am going to dissent against popular opinion here and say that I think the Flag of Earth is extremely beautiful. It is our water that makes us extraordinary and to have the earth represented by a blue sphere is very perfect.

Not that I don't appreciate the wackiness of most of the comments made about this subject, it is nice to know that someone is responding to this seriously. The idea of ANYTHING representing humanity as a whole is a beautiful thing, and one of the most underrated.

I think it's beautiful also.
posted by SheMulp AKA Plus 1 at 7:34 PM on October 27, 2008 [3 favorites]


Here is my version. The diameters are to scale even if the distances could never be, and the proportions of the flag reflect the golden ratio.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 7:34 PM on October 27, 2008 [6 favorites]


Oh and this is probably a stupid question, but is the United Federation of Planets flag based on the Flag of the United Nations?

ok yeah that is a stupid question now that I put them both side by side

DUH!
posted by SheMulp AKA Plus 1 at 7:45 PM on October 27, 2008


Oh and this is probably a stupid question, but is the United Federation of Planets flag based on the Flag of the United Nations?

Don't forget the flag of the Democratic Order Of Planets.

(More Futurama flags here.)
posted by hangashore at 9:30 PM on October 27, 2008


The Moon is a free and independent planetary body and is deserving of its OWN flag.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 9:43 PM on October 27, 2008


The Van Allen belts are pissed, too... they didn't even get props.
posted by crapmatic at 12:13 AM on October 28, 2008


The only problem I see with the flag is that it isn't necessarily unique to earth. If there are any aliens who live on blue planets, they are also likely to have moons and the a sun, and have an SETI organization which flies a flag that's probably identical.

Just think of the impending loss of opportunity. The year is 2012, alien visitors finally deem us worthy of an alien to person visitation that doesn't evolve nocturnal probing, and land at the location of our impressive array of satellite dishes, because they seem to be the focus of our attempts to locate and contact them. The alien craft lands and the alien delegation proudly marches down their ramp to greet the awe struck humans, when suddenly, the aliens notice something. Then the humans notice something. The flags are the same! An embarrassed moment of silence passes between the two civilizations. The silence is broken as the aliens unleash their attack on the humans, intent on destroying them. In the back of the alien minds, they knew they could never live down the laughter and mockery back at the Galactic Club of Intelligent Beings, if it was discovered that a bunch of primitive lowlifes had adopted the same flag. How freakin' embarrassing. Really.
posted by Atreides at 6:35 AM on October 28, 2008


I'd like to see a world flag that incorporates some of these suggestions.
posted by Halloween Jack at 7:34 AM on October 28, 2008


I like it, but I also like Web design from 1997.
posted by fiercecupcake at 9:44 AM on October 28, 2008


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