Flag of Antarctica
Antarctica does not have an official flag because the continent does not have an official government. However, several unofficial designs for the continent’s flag have been proposed.
One popular design has a white background with a blue-stylized image of the continent surrounded by a circle of 12 five-pointed white stars. The blue represents the ocean surrounding Antarctica, and the stars represent the Antarctic Treaty System, which aims to promote international cooperation and preserve the continent’s natural environment.
Another proposed design includes a blue field with a white cross, which represents the Christian heritage of many countries involved in Antarctic research and exploration. A yellow circle in the cross’s centre represents the sun, and the cross’s four quadrants represent the four cardinal directions.
Because there is no formal process for adopting a flag for Antarctica, it is unlikely that any of these designs will ever be formally recognised as the continent’s flag.
Proposed Flags of Antarctica
In 2002, Graham Bartram proposed a flag for Antarctica. The flag depicts Antarctica as a white silhouette on a blue background, representing the continent surrounded by the Southern Ocean. The latitude and longitude lines are also shown in white, emphasising Antarctica’s location at the bottom of the world.
Bartram’s proposal has not been officially adopted as the flag of Antarctica, as the continent is not a sovereign state and has no government to make such a decision. However, the flag has been widely recognized and used by organizations and individuals working in Antarctica, and it is considered by many to be the unofficial flag of the continent.
Evan Townsend is an American graphic designer who proposed the “True South” flag for Antarctica in 2018.
The long days and nights at Antarctica’s extreme latitude are represented by horizontal navy and white stripes. A lone white peak erupts from a field of snow and ice in the centre, echoing the bergs, mountains, and pressure ridges that define the Antarctic horizon. The long shadow it casts is in the shape of a compass arrow pointing south, a nod to the continent’s exploration history. The two centre shapes form a diamond, symbolising the hope that Antarctica will remain a centre of peace, discovery, and cooperation for future generations.
Antarctic Treaty System Flag
The Antarctic Treaty System is a set of agreements and regulations that govern activities on the continent of Antarctica and its surrounding waters. It was signed in 1959 by 12 countries that were active in Antarctica at the time, including the United States, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, and Australia.
The Antarctic Treaty System includes the original Antarctic Treaty, which sets out the principles for the peaceful use and protection of Antarctica, as well as several related agreements. These agreements cover topics such as environmental protection, conservation of living resources, and liability for environmental damage.
The organization’s logo consists of a white outline of Antarctica set against a dark blue field with counterchanged lines representing longitude and latitude superimposed on top. The logo has a 2:3 aspect ratio.