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Antarctica — Whitney Smith proposal

Last modified: 2020-08-02 by randy young
Keywords: antarctica | proposal | map | smith (whitney) | orange | hands (2) | letter: a (white) |
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[W. Smith's proposal]
image by Željko Heimer, 5 July 1996

See also:

History and meaning

At the 1978 annual meeting of the North American Vexillological Association (NAVA), Whitney Smith gave a talk entitled "Flags of Antarctica." In it he proposed his design for Antarctica: an orange flag with two hands under a sort of bowl.
John Andrew Lowe, 29 November 1995

Having asked Whitney Smith just about this flag years ago, here's, in a nutshell, the guidelines for his design:
  • Orange colour: good visibility in the extreme Antarctic climate. And it does not resemble the national flag of any country active on that continent.
  • Emblem: the "A" is self-evident. The hands hold a segment of a disk representing Earth, in other words the part of the globe below the South Polar Circle.
  • Position of the emblem: next to the flagstaff, as it will still be visible if the rest of the flag is frayed, even torn away, by the strong Antarctic winds.
Jan Mertens, 3 May 2003

Unwarranted recognition

In L'Album this flag is shown and listed together with a paragraph explaining its usage by the vessels frequenting the southern polar region. Page 315-2 of the Recapitulative nš 1 (1995) [pie95]:
Antarctic ensign: hoisted by any ship frequenting or visiting this continent and by the bases which are located there (as well as elsewhere for meetings devoted to Antarctica).
(translated by Ivan Sache, 3 June 2000)
This may prove that even if this flag is indeed just a proposal, it may be that until now it came into de facto use by some southgoing vessels.
Željko Heimer, 22 May 2000

The Antarctica flag was removed from L'Album in one of the last corrections, nš 27 [pay97].
Željko Heimer and Ivan Sache, 3 June 2000

The orange A flag was added to the Album in 1995 and later found to be incorrect and altogether discarded.
Armand du Payrat, 5 June 2000

But how did it appeared on the Album in the first place? Isn't it "just" Smith's proposal for an Antarctica flag?
António Martins, 4 June 2000