Designing a flag which is part of the “What the Flag!?”-exhibition in Luxembourg city during the European Design Festival 2023
BROTHERS AND SISTERS
“To be rooted is perhaps the most important and least recognized need of the human soul”
wrote Simone Weil in wartime England in 1942.
A national flag stands as a symbol for a distinctive, unified story of a nation’s history, culture and social construct to the world. It does not need to influence choice, or change opinion, because it should transcend any one moment in time. Flags are a nation’s “brand mark” and as such, in history as well as in current times, they have been and can be misused or become subject of reinterpretation, positively or negatively. They can convey a political statement or glorify a colonial past or become the symbol of freedom and individuality.
By changing all 193 Flags of the UN Member states into the national colours of Luxembourg and recreating a new red white and blue global flag, Brothers and Sisters explores the question of identity, homeland, culture, origin and territorialization. What is our individual identity and what does the symbol of a flag mean in a world where more and more people are chronically mobile and Routinely displaced and invent homes and homelands in the absence of territorial national bases? Do we not all have similar roots, regardless where we were born?
And finally, aren’t we all brothers and sisters?
Photos © Mike Zenari