The Flag for the Future is on its way to the North Pole!

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10 Avril 2013

The Flag for the Future is on its way to the North Pole!

Over 1400 young people from 54 countries took part in Flag for the Future, a global competition run by WAGGGS and Greenpeace International.  The winning design was submitted by 13 yr old Girl Guide Sarah Batrisyia Binti Mohammed A’Reeff from Malaysia.

Now 4 young people are trekking to the North Pole to plant a capsule on the sea-bed containing 2.7 million signatures of Arctic defenders and topped with the Flag for the Future.

Flag_for_Future_expedition

These brave amateur explorers are tackling the gruelling Arctic conditions, including temperatures of -35 degrees, in the hope that the North Pole will be declared a global sanctuary, and protected from oil drilling, conflict and over-fishing.

Meet the expedition team in this video and track their progress here

The winning flag design was selected by a small panel of judges including Irish Girl Guide Aishah Morshed, Peruvian Girl Scout Miryam Justo and fashion icon Vivienne Westwood.

Judge Aishah Morshed wrote of her experience:

“On Friday 8th March I had the wonderful opportunity to go to studio and be a fellow judge along with Vivienne Westwood, Hilary Tam and 4 remote judges for the Flag for the Future competition. As a 15 year old guide from St. Peters Guide Company I cannot begin to express the honour and excitement I felt in representing WAGGGS in such a large and important competition.

Flag for the Future winner

We were almost unanimous when it came to selecting the winning flag. I felt the symbolism was amazing and it all tied together in a wonderful and simple design. It was awesome to see how she included all of the continents, doves, the colours of the rainbow, the Arctic Circle and so much more all to represent peace, hope and global community.

I was astonished to find out that Vivienne Westwood was a Girl Guide. She said that she had loved being a Girl Guide and recited her promise on the day to us!

What I learned from this competition is that there are many young people in the world who want to make a difference. They want to have a positive impact on the world and making the Arctic a global sanctuary is our reach. We can stop oil drilling, overfishing and exploitation. Something which really stood out in my mind is when Greenpeace activist Hilary Tam told us that all of the oil in the Arctic would only last 3 years.

I find it outrageous to destroy the home of many people and unique animals for just three years-worth of oil.  Aishah Morshed

 I was also amazing to see celebrities such as Pamela Anderson and Vivienne Westwood taking such active involvement, it was clear to see that they really care. I have witnessed the effects of climate change during my visits to Bangladesh and I have seen how it affects the people of the country. I grew up with my Uncle Paul always telling we can make a difference and learning how to make a difference in school and at guides. I have been doing a lot this year to try and help, I have taken part in a competition to make a dress out of only recycled materials and also I am going to go to Sangam in the summer to do volunteer work as part of a group of 12 girl guides.  I hope that all young people are inspired to do their bit to save the world we live in. I feel a personal sense of responsibility to protect it which I hope others will share and a good first step is to join the Save the Arctic campaign.”

If you want to show support for the expedition please help spread the word and of course you and your friends can also sign up to the campaign.

Find out more about Sarah's winning flag design here

Greenpeace and the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts are very grateful to everyone who took the time to enter the Flag for the Future competition.