The Earthlandia! Thought Experiment:
Flags, Banners and Mandalas For All Creatures

This page holds a growing collection of flags that celebrate diversity and inclusion.  One central task of human societies has always been to weave people together who can be very different.  Our different gifts, temperaments and genetics make our societies much more creative and resilient. Another central task of human societies is to work out a sustainable relationship to the web of life that supports our lives.  The current epidemic of extinctions here on Planet Earth strongly indicates that we are “cutting holes in our own life raft.”  Change starts with paying attention.  Each of these flags is inviting us to pay attention with a new set of eyes.

Attention artists and illustrators:  You are invited to submit your designs for inclusion on this page.  Please use our CONTACT page to email the Editor.

May 2015:  Swedish artist Oskar Pernefeldt offers the world a new flag, celebrating our interwovenness.

intl-earth-flag-by-oscar-pernefeldt-500pxwSee more at


The first flag of Earthlandia! — Inspired by the World Unity Flag (started in 1996). “Whoever we are, where ever in the world we are…our survival depends upon humanity seeing beyond borders, barriers, bias that divide. We need to work as allies, together in mutual support of our common good.”

“Pulling together” the fabric of Humanity. First 10 – Friends of The Great Turning University will receive their own World Unity Flag as a gift – absolutely free. Dedicated to Peace and Global Healing, the World Unity Flag is an inter-active art project and symbol, co-created to serve as a symbol, which reminds of the inherent unity and interdependence of all Life

Find out more at:

scw-earthsong-c391This is a notecard from Syracuse Cultural Workers. Click here or on image to order some.

The Polar Bear and Elephants may become extinct during our lifetimes due to climate change and chronic war, so this card holds a complex chord of meanings: it is celebration, a call to action, and perhaps the beginning of a requiem.


Created December, 2014. Revised December 2015.  This banner is based on the Mandala of Deep Green Resilience, also created in December, 2014, by Dennis Rivers. Click image for PDF of banner.

“Love is that energy, by which everything that is, embraces everything that is.” James Fykes



Rainbow Bodhisattva painting on the wall of a cave in Tibet, by Vijali Hamilton, Santa Fe, New Mexico. (Artwork used with permission of artist.) Click image for letter-size poster.

For more information about Vijali’s World Wheel Project, please visit

Earthlandia Flag based on Pegi Eyers painting.

Based on original art by Pegi Eyers ~
“Images that empower women and honour the Divine Feminine”
Adapted with permission of Pegi Eyers


Earth_flag_design_John_McConnell_1969_500pxwEarth flag designed by John McConnell for Earth Day 1969.
Now in Public Domain.

spectrum-flag-with-grey-background Spectrum-of-Diversity Flag by
Displayed here in recognition of their creativity.

Building Sustainable Future Needs More Than Science, Experts Say
By Stephen Leahy   (From:

VANCOUVER, Feb 19, 2012 (IPS) – Contrary to popular belief, humans have failed to address the earth’s worsening emergencies of climate change, species’ extinction and resource overconsumption not because of a lack of information, but because of a lack of imagination, social scientists and artists say.

At a conference for the American Academy for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) here in Vancouver, British Columbia, experts argued that the path to a truly sustainable future is through the muddy waters of emotions, values, ethics, and most importantly, imagination.

Humans’ perceptions of reality are filtered by personal experiences and values, said David Maggs, a concert pianist and PhD student at the Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability at the University of British Columbia (UBC).

As a result, the education and communication paradigm of “if we only knew better, we’d do better” is not working, Maggs told attendees at the world’s largest general science meeting. “We don’t live in the real world, but live only in the world we imagine.”

“We live in our heads. We live in storyland,” agreed John Robinson of UBC’s Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability.

“When we talk about sustainability we are talking about the future, how things could be. This is the landscape of imagination,” Robinson told IPS. “If we can’t imagine a better world we won’t get it.”

This imagining will be complex and difficult. Sustainability encompasses far more than just scientific facts – it also incorporates the idea of how we relate to nature and to ourselves, he said.

“We haven’t yet grasped the depth of changes that are coming.”

Because human decisions and behaviour are the result of ethics, values and emotion, and because sustainability directly involves our values and ethical concerns, science alone is insufficient to make decisions about sustainability, said Thomas Dietz, assistant vice president for environmental research at Michigan State University.

Information plays a much smaller role than we like to think, Dietz explained. In order to truly address big issues like climate change or sustainability, we need to talk at a society-wide scale about our values and reach mutual understanding about the values needed for sustainability.

“However, we don’t like to talk about our values or feelings, because it threatens our personal identity.”

Engaging the public

Treating nature as an object, separate and distinct from us, is part of the problem, said Sacha Kagan, sociologist at Leuphana University in Germany. The current environmental crisis results from technological thinking and a fear of complexity that science alone cannot help us with, Kagan said.

The objectification of the natural world began during the Age of Enlightenment about 300 years ago. People saw the world and their place in it in very different ways before that, said Robinson.

Today, he said, sustainability will not be achieved without “engaging people in numbers and at levels that have never been done before”.

New social media tools like Facebook may help with such a monumental task, as “people certainly don’t like to come to public meetings”.

Current approaches to help the public understand the implications of climate change, such as graphs or iconic pictures of polar bears, have limitations and are ineffective, said Mike Hulme, a climate scientist at the University of East Anglia in the UK.

“We need to find new ways to think about the future under climate change,” said Hulme.

Art could be one such approach, suggested Dietz. It would serve not as propaganda but as a creative way to engage our imaginations. “Art can provoke thinking and actually change people’s perceptions of the complex issues associated with sustainability science,” he argued.

“When we’re considering questions about preserving biodiversity versus creating jobs, art can help us examine our values and have a discussion that’s broader than just scientific facts.”

It is tempting to believe the arts can help by softening and ‘pretty-fying’ the message and bringing it to a wider audience, said award-winning photographer Joe Zammit-Lucia.

“We need to go much further to provide a different worldview that can help us re-frame the issues,” said Zammit-Lucia.

Society’s choices are driven by people’s cultural perceptions of reality, which in turn are based on their values and their cultural context, he said. While helpful, scientific knowledge and experts are also part of the problem: by dominating the sustainability discourse, they narrow people’s visions of what’s possible.

“I also don’t buy in the idea we need to make the right decisions. What we need is the right process, ways in which the public can fully participate,” he concluded.