Last modified: 2015-03-21 by rob raeside
Keywords: earth | proposal | cadle (james w.) | flag of earth | seti | astronomy | disc (white) | disc (blue) | moon: disc | sun: corner |
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The “flag of Earth” was designed by an Illinois farmer named
James Cadle shortly after the first manned landing on the moon in 1969.
The intent was to create a flag for the planet Earth that represented us all
as passengers on spaceship Earth, and (instead of using a
NASA photo as many others had done) create a
flag that could be made readily in bunting. We used to make these flags at
Paramount Flag Co, in the 1970’s and 1980’s they were purchased
mostly by astronomers where the flag apparently became quite popular. It has
been flown all over the globe, including the former Soviet Union at
observatories. They were also popular with SETI.
James Ferrigan, 19 Oct 1999
It was first flown from a rural power pole Mr. Cadle climbed up on
May 17, 1970. There is a photo of his original power pole flag flying
on the site. The creator relinquished his copyright on Nov. 1, 2003, though
he still sells it through his Flag of Earth Company International.
Richard Knipel, 18 Jul 2004
The flag flies from several locations where the SETI (Search for
Extraterrestrial Intelligence) has operations. The earth object
stretches nearer the upper and lower borders and in a light blue;
the moon object in the lower fly.
Phil Nelson, 19 Oct 1999
This Flag of Earth was created in 1970 with the idea
that all the nations of the world have unity in the earth.
Rapid developments brought on by rapid communications have
created a need to have pride and love for our earth as
well as our town and our country. It is a flag for all
nations and yet a flag of no nation.
The flag’s design is significant. Its colors come from
the yellow sun, the blue of earth as it appears from a
distance, and the single white moon in the blackness of
There are no rules to observe in displaying the Flag of
Earth. It is meant to fly at any time, in any weather,
for any reason […]
The Flag of Earth and the Flag of Earth Co. International
have no political, cultural or geographical affiliations,
and no financial support other than the company’s own
Dave Martucci, 17 Nov 1996, quoting Flag of Earth Co. International
I spotted this SETI
League editorial announcing that from Nov. 1, 2003 upwards, the flag is in
the public domain.
Jan Mertens, 29 Dec 2003
A message from Dr. Robert Dixon the Director of the OSU SETI Program from December 23, 1996 (available on line):
In honor of Carl Sagan’s death, the Flag of Earth at the Ohio State University Radio Observatory has been lowered to half staff. The Flag of Earth is flown at all observatories around the world engaged in the search for life outside the Earth. This flag is used worldwide for all activities done on behalf of humankind as a whole, not related to any specific individual, organization or country. The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence is one such activity, and the OSU Radio Observatory is the location of the longest-running search on Earth. The Flag of Earth has flown there for many years.Richard Knipel, 18 Jul 2004
It’s an interesting astronomical design to signify the
Earth and Moon in relationship to the sun. But heraldically
speaking, it could use some work.
Chris Pinette, 19 Oct 1999
I think that the dimensions of the three objects are calculated from the
relative dimensions (diameter) of the Sun (yellow), Earth (blue) and Moon
(white), the visible sun being just a little arc of a much larger circle.
Jorge Candeias, 21 Oct 1999
Though an attempt is made to show this size difference, the sun is
in fact so much larger than the Earth that to be accurately represented
on this flag we would need a straight line. A little humbling.
However, the diameter ratio between the Earth and Moon seems to be
Richard Knipel, 18 Jul 2004