5.6.09

Flying Friday June 5, 2009.

Today I am flying the United Nations flag. June 5 is World Environment Day and was established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1972 to mark the opening of the Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment. Commemorated yearly on 5 June, it is one of the principal vehicles through which the United Nations stimulates worldwide awareness of the environment and enhances political attention and action.


The flag of the United Nations was adopted on October 20, 1947, and consists of the official emblem of the United Nations in white on a blue background.

 The organizers of the 1945 United Nations Conference on International Organization in San Francisco, California wanted an insignia that could be made into a pin to identify delegates. United States Secretary of State Edward Stettinius, Jr. was chairman of the U.S. delegation, and realized that a temporary design might become the permanent symbol of the United Nations. He formed a committee headed by Oliver Lundquist that developed a design consisting of a world map surrounded by leaves from a design created by Donal McLaughlin

 The blue colour that appears in the background of the insignia was chosen to be "the opposite of red, the war colour". The original colour the group chose in 1945 was a gray blue that differs from the current United Nations flag. The globe used in the original design was an azimuthal projection focused on the North Pole with the United States, the host nation of the conference, at the center. The projection used cut off portions of the Southern Hemisphere at the latitude of Argentina which was acceptable at the time, as Argentina was not an original member of the United Nations.

 The olive branches are a symbol for peace, and the world map represents all the people of the world.

 In 1946, a UNO committee got the task of making a definite design, which was presented December 2, 1946, and adopted by the plenary session of the UNO on December 7, 1946. The earlier version had the globe 90 degrees turned eastward compared with the present flag. According to press statements, the change was made to move North America away from the centre of the emblem

 White and blue are the official colours of the United Nations.

 According to the "Convention on the Safety of United Nations and Associated Personnel", the emblem and the flag of the United Nations can be used by the personnel and material of UN Peacekeeping missions as a protective sign to prevent attacks during an armed conflict.