Vivienne Westwood with fellow judges Hilary Tam (c) and Aishah Morshed, a Girl Guide from Ireland, with the winning design for the flag that will be planted on the seabed at the North Pole in April 2013.
A judging panel with Canadian Indigenous artists and Dame Vivienne Westwood, the world renowned British fashion designer, has selected the winning Arctic flag design from a global competition run by the World Association of Girl Guides (WAGGS) and Girl Scouts and Greenpeace.
The “Flag for the Future” contest inspired youth in 54 countries to create a flag that would represent the commitment of millions of people who have signed a petition to protect the Arctic from oil drilling and overfishing.
The winning design was submitted by Sarah Bartrisyia, a 13-year-old Girl Guide from Malaysia, whose winning entry featured seven brightly colored doves and an Arctic starflower. The seven doves, she said, represented the seven continents to form a laurel wreath symbolizing Arctic protection.
Bartrisyia’s winning design will be produced as a titanium flag to be planted at the seabed of the North Pole in a time capsule containing the petition signatures from Greenpeace’s “Save the Arctic” campaign.
"The creativity of young people is one of the most powerful tools we have to build a better world. The winning flag for the future is a fantastic representation of peace, hope and global community, and I am proud that it’s on the way to the North Pole,” said Dame Westwood.
The judging panel, which included Canadian northern Indigenous artists Raquel Nuttall and John Rombough, as well as Chinese/Canadian television presenter Hilary Tam, began reviewing the flags after the competition closed on 27 February.
One of the short-listed finalists was Kari Reller, from Thornhill, Ontario. Reller said: “It gives me great pleasure to be a part of such an important matter as saving the Arctic, where our world offers such beautiful natural wonders. Only together can we maintain the treasures of the Arctic.”
“I accepted to be a part of this competition because it meant being part of something greater than myself and representing my culture and my people,” said Inuit sculptress Nuttall.
The Arctic is one of the last pristine places on Earth, home to more than four million people as well as unique animals found nowhere else on the planet. Greenpeace is working with youth organizations like the WAGGS to ensure this precious region is protected for generations to come.