Flag for the Future – winner announced

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15 Mars 2013

Flag for the Future winner

Fifteen-year-old Irish Girl Guide Aishah Morshed joins fellow judges Hilary Tam and Vivienne Westwood (l to r) © Vicki Couchman / Greenpeace

A flag which ‘symbolise peace, hope and global community’ designed by a thirteen-year-old Girl Guide from Malaysia, has won the Greenpeace and WAGGGS global Flag for the Future competition.

Legendary fashion designer and campaigner Vivienne Westwood, joined by Irish Girl Guide Aishah Morshed and Greenpeace Activist Hilary Tam, selected Sarah Batrisyia Binit Mohammed A’Reeff’s flag design from 18 short-listed entries. Over 1,400 young people from over 43 countries and between between the ages of six and 26 submitted entries over a three-month period.

Sarah with her flag:

Flag for the Future winner Sarah

Sarah’s winning design will be produced as a flag and carried by a team of polar explorers who will ski to the North Pole and lower it on to the seabed there in a glass capsule 4km below the ice.  The flag will be planted along with a time capsule containing the signatures of millions of Arctic defenders who signed Greenpeace’s petition.

‘The creativity of young people is one of the most powerful tools we have to build a better world. The winning flag for the future is a fantastic representation of peace, hope and global community and I am proud that it’s on the way to the North Pole,’ said Ms Westwood.

The Flag for the Future competition is part of Greenpeace’s Save the Arctic campaign to protect this fragile environment from over-fishing and conflict.

A once in a lifetime opportunity

Learn about what Sarah's flag represents in this short video (1'52")

Thirteen-year-old Sarah from Malaysia said of her win:

‘I feel very happy and honoured to be part of the Greenpeace and WAGGGS ‘s effort to Save the Arctic and the historic  flag ceremony. I wish to thank Greenpeace and WAGGGS for this once in a lifetime opportunity.  

We need to protect the Arctic because it is the home of many indigenous peoples and many animal species. It should be declared a global sanctuary.

I found out about the competition during my Environmental Journey in India visit last December at Sangam, World Centre of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts. After looking at a photo of the two brave Girl Guides taken in the Arctic, I decided to do my little part by participating and supporting the campaign to Save the Arctic. This is a golden opportunity for me to send the message of hope  and peace  to the rest of the world.

I named my flag “Star Artica” or “Artic Star” which means hope not only for the Arctic but the whole world. We can only save the Arctic for the future generations if we are united in peace and harmony.’

More about the Save the Arctic campaign

In a less than one year, the Save the Arctic movement has grown to 2.7 million people from all over the world who want a say in what happens to the Arctic.

The Save the Arctic campaign is about protecting the area around the North Pole (where no people live) from resource exploitation (oil drilling and overfishing) and associated conflict. Currently these resources are unreachable under the sea-ice but ad climate change causes this sea-ice to melt in the Arctic summer, countries around the North Pole are staking their claims on the area and its natural resources.

The campaign aims for the area around the North Pole to be declared a global sanctuary so it will not belong to one country but to every person in the world.  Greenpeace already ran a successful campaign to do this in the South Pole so we know it can work!

Find out more and add your name to the Arctic scroll.

Thank you to everyone who entered the Flag for the Future competition. The judges were overwhelmed with the quality and creativity of the entries. You can view a selection of entries here. 

Judge Aishah is writing an article about her experience of being a judge which is coming to the website soon.