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Companion Flag Adoption Ceremony Mann Public School New Delhi, India October 20, 2005 The Companion Flag at School.

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Presentation on theme: "Companion Flag Adoption Ceremony Mann Public School New Delhi, India October 20, 2005 The Companion Flag at School."— Presentation transcript:

1 Companion Flag Adoption Ceremony Mann Public School New Delhi, India October 20, 2005 The Companion Flag at School

2 Presented by: Companion Flag Support International Visit us at A 501 (c)(3) not-for-profit organization.

3 What is the Companion Flag? Why would we want it at our school? What does it do? The importance of honoring all that human beings have in common. What it doesn’t do. Why does the Companion Flag look the way it does? Where is it flying today? What steps are involved in adopting it, and how much will it cost? Topics covered:

4 The Companion Flag is a symbol of all that human beings have in common. What is the Companion Flag? It’s called the “Companion Flag” because...

5 ...it is always flown below the other flags of the world, on the same pole (never alone). The flag of Latvia and the Companion Flag

6 The Companion Flag is a simple white flag with a single stripe of color across the top...

7 The stripe’s color is any color appearing in the “host flag” above it.

8 When the Companion Flag is displayed below the US flag, for example, the stripe can be either red or blue.

9 When flown below, say, the Canadian or Japanese flags, the stripe will always be red.

10 When it is displayed below the flag of a province, state, city, organization, team, club, school, etc., that flag becomes the host flag.

11 An interpretive sign is posted on or near the flag pole.

12 OK, the Companion Flag represents all that human beings have in common. But what do we have in common? Anything?

13 the love of family the desire for health concern for the safety and happiness of loved ones susceptibility to pain and pleasure, illness and injury the love of music and storiesthe desire for knowledge the range of human emotions sexual desire the experiences of birth, aging and death memories the need for water the desire for friendshiplanguage laughter the need for sleep biological identity dependence on plants and animals the love of children vulnerability to the elements the use of tools asking questions the use of numerals sports and games rituals and traditions art the need for food sharing the earth the desire for respect human dignity Yes!

14 We humans are, paradoxically, both different and the same. The Companion Flag is the first symbol in history to embrace this simple but elusive idea:

15 That while there are many important human differences in the world (just as there are many important human differences at school)... We are not just different from each other; we are, at once, both different and the same!

16 What’s more, honoring our differences does not mean we cannot, or should not, simultaneously honor all that we share in common with people everywhere.

17 This is the crux of the Companion Flag idea.

18 Why would you want the Companion Flag at your school? What does it do? Flying the Companion Flag is a way to actively honor both our differences and separation from other human beings [the host flag], and all that we share in common with people everywhere, as well [the Companion Flag]. It symbolizes a new way for people to see each other. It is essential that your entire student body be informed about the meaning of the Companion Flag. Once this is done...

19 ...the Companion Flag will: Increase every student’s ability to recognize the essential dignity in other people, regardless of their differences. Reduce incidents of bullying, teasing, “put- downs” and violence at school. Foster a heightened sense of personal value, belonging, and connection at school – for all students!

20 It will also: Reduce tensions between students who affiliate exclusively on the basis of differences – e.g., ethnicity, popularity, family wealth, sexual orientation, athleticism, etc. And... Make all students proud that their school helped “lead the way” by adopting this important new symbol of human inter-connectedness!

21 What’s so important about honoring all that human beings have in common? When we can see parts of ourselves in others, compassionate impulses arise naturally within each of us to promote understanding, compassion, constructive dialogues, and inter-personal regard. Young people understand this...

22 “Don’t talk to us about diversity like this is a separate issue. It makes people feel defensive.” Student reaction to a symposium on diversity and multicultural education in Boston area high schools. Reported in the Boston Globe, October 1, 2000.

23 “They said, ‘Get us together to talk about what we share and not about how we are different.’

24 “They identified issues that, despite their native languages or family customs, all teenagers have in common...”

25 “... friends and family, school, music, relationships. These are the areas the students said where they can develop a common language.”

26 In other words, in addition to celebrating diversity, acknowledge and celebrate what people have in common. Embrace the paradox of humanity – the fact that we humans are, at once, both different and the same – don’t ignore it.

27 Young people around the world understand that honoring what we have in common is important because it – Young people around the world understand that honoring what we have in common is important because it – promotes a much-needed sense of connection, safety and understanding promotes a much-needed sense of connection, safety and understanding provides opportunities for friendship and constructive dialogues, and provides opportunities for friendship and constructive dialogues, and underscores the essential dignity of every person underscores the essential dignity of every person

28 Do your school’s symbols promote both: (i) an appreciation for our differences, diversity and separation If not, consider flying the Companion Flag! But first... and (ii) an active awareness of all that human beings have in common?

29 What the Companion Flag doesn’t do... It doesn’t: (1) Deny or diminish the importance of our differences and diversity; (2) Tell people how they should think, feel or act when human differences collide; (3) Or provide solutions to our moral dilemmas.

30 It is simply a reminder that, in addition to our differences, we humans are informed by, and rely upon, a vast range of shared experiences, characteristics, concerns, desires, etc. It is our common bond! This is true no matter who we are, where we live, or how pronounced our differences may be.

31 Why does the Companion Flag look the way it does?

32 Because white is used in 70% of the world’s national flags... For example, why is it white on the bottom?

33 ...and in the USA, for example, white appears in nearly 80% of state flags.

34 White was chosen for visual compatibility, and to avoid clashing.

35 And the stripe color? Uzbekistan The stripe color matches any color in the host flag in order to: (1) Visually reinforce the companionship of the two flags; and, (2) Remind us always of the need to embrace and honor our differences and our “samenesses” at the same time.

36 The Companion Flag has been adopted by schools, universities, businesses, organizations and individuals in over 13 countries... Where is the Companion Flag flying?...and counting

37 Canada USA Australia Costa Rica Peru Malta France Nigeria Japan India Uzbekistan Kenya New Zealand South Africa

38 How does a school adopt the Companion? 1.Step One: Get the approval of your school principal or director. Explain the Companion Flag to her, and ask her to agree to adopt the Companion Flag and display it at school. 2.Step Two: Plan how you are going to make sure all students and faculty know what the Companion Flag is, why it’s important, and why the school is adopting it. 3.Step Three: Acquire a Companion Flag and an interpretive sign for your school. Four Steps

39 4.Step Four: Schedule and hold a Companion Flag adoption/flag-raising ceremony at school. Post the interpretive sign near the flag pole where it can be seen by all students and visitors. Four Steps (cont.) Note: You may find this PowerPoint presentation useful for completing Steps 1, 2 and 4!

40 Companion Flag Support International (CFSI) is also happy to help...with advice, ideas, speakers, lesson plans and other resources. Note: CFSI is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization based in Seattle, Washington. Its vision is to see the Companion Flag flying as a matter of course with all flags everywhere.

41 CFSI does not manufacture or sell Companion Flags. We leave that to flag shops. However, we do help people order them! We’d be happy to help your school acquire a Companion Flag and interpretive sign!

42 How much does a Companion Flag and interpretive sign cost? CFSI orders flags and interpretive signs from vendors, and we pass along our cost to you. Currently (2006) the following prices apply (excluding tax and shipping): 3’ x 5’ Companion Flag$ ’ x 6’ Companion Flag$ ’ x 8’ Companion Flag$32.00 Companion Flag Interpretive Sign$15.00

43 We hope your school will be the world’s next Companion Flag School! The Companion Flag A Symbol of All That Human Beings Have in Common

44 And we leave you with this question... If someday people on every continent grew up surrounded by symbols that encouraged them to honor both their differences and all that human beings have in common......how might their world be different from ours?

45 Thank you. Contact information * Companion Flag Support International Greenwood Ave. N., #142 Seattle, WA USA * Mr. Scott Wyatt, President Telephone: Web site:


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