The One World Flag-- International Symbol of Diversity
The One World Flag
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The One World Flag

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How did the One World Flag come to be?
2. What the One World Flag is not...
3. What it is...
4. Planned Obsolescence
5. What is the history and current status of the flag?
6. What are some future plans (the game plan)?
7. How can I get involved?
8. What is the One World Kids Curriculum?
9. Where can I purchase a One World Flag, shirt, hat, etc.?
10. Where do the profits go?

How did the One World Flag come to be?
I (David Bartholomew) had the image of the flag basically "come through" me during the summer of 1996. And on the heels of that came the mission statement, and a concept/game plan of all that could eventually unfold with respect to it.

This was maybe the third time something "brilliant" or divinely inspired ever came through me to this degree, by way of me knowing just to "get out of the way of it". These things seem to make themselves known by the sense that they are an order of magnitude " higher" or "purer" than the "decent" writings or expressions which I can usually concoct out of my workmanlike and quasi-prolific brain.

I had been influenced as a kid by the similar concept of the "Flag of Earth" that I discovered the existence of around 1970 (see the links page for a picture of it, as well as of many other symbols, icons, credos, proclamations, expressions of others). I knew then what kids know-- that it seemed silly that there were countries that fought one another for seemingly no good reason... and that there was also something wrong with a system of many languages that disallowed people from talking to one another. I disliked the idea that people could be "divided and conquered", manipulated and made to submit to that attitude, etc. And I guess that was always working on me on some level.

Once the flag presented itself to me I had to question whether another flag or symbol was really needed, when there were so many others in existence. And I sat with it, and took it in... and came up with this:

"It came through me. It must be for a reason. Perhaps there will be an energy behind it that will go beyond that which has preceeded it. I don't know."

I only knew to trust it... and to maintain a constant "checks and balances" system in place to be sure it wasn't coming from an ego place.

I also knew that a lesson that might be up for me, and buttons might be pushed with respect to hiding out from greatness, an issue I find common to most of us, that is delineated particularly well in a favorite Oriah Mountain Dreamer quote (also incorporated by Nelson Mandela into his inaugural speech) that reads in part, "It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us," and, "Your playing small does not serve the world. There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you."

So, in the time that has passed since the flag was revealed to me, I have attempted to find balance between egomania and hiding out. I have ping-ponged and see-sawed. I have felt overwhelm, fought with control issues, been exhilarated, been depressed... sat with clarity and confusion both... basically, have experienced emotion at all ends of the spectrum.

In the fleeting time since its inception (surpassing a decade now!) I have seen people respond favorably, take inspiration from it (especially in the wake of 9/11/01), contribute to its betterment by volunteering and sharing. I've made friends out of vendors, out of friends of friends, and had meaningful dialogue with people I've never met other than via e-mail.

I've seen kids draw their vision of their own uniqueness. I've received gifts of stories from the hearts of many who have their similar visions and heart-wrenching testimonials.

And as I release more and more into the juggernaut of positive energy and intention behind the One World Flag... it just gets better and better!

[should you wish to know anything else about me or others involved with the One World Flag, please check the "About Us" section]

What it is not:
  • * The One World Flag is not part of a governmental brainwashing scheme to strip us of our will, or make us look, think, act, or dress alike (unlike the system that's pretty well in place now!).
  • *it is not aligned with any New World Order or other power trip or conspiracy.
  • * It is not affiliated with any individual or group that wants to exterminate or oppress any other individual or group
  • * It is not just to be dismissed as some"airy-fairy", "mumbo-jumbo", "goody-goody" , "new-age" (read, "harmless") idea that is simply supposed to look good as a patch sewn on the rear pocket of some hippie's jeans.
  • * And it is most not for those who refuse to take personal responsibility for their lives or the world they have created for themselves.

What it is:
  • * It is aimed at being a focal point from which a balance can be struck-- being proud of the unique talents, character, contributions, and ability of oneself or one's own group (however you define yourself)... up to the point that that pride infringes on the rights of others...
  • * And is intended to inspire happiness, creativity, peace, and joy in those who come in contact with it.
[Fanatics who would "Spam" me at this point should re-read the above and background pages for key words like " honoring", "supportive", "tolerance", etc., and give it a rest.]

Planned Obsolescence
Like any "cause"-inspired idea that thinks far enough ahead, the One World Flag concept has an inherent self-destruct mechanism built into it. That is, if we all "get it", and practice it, there will be no need for it. The flag. The hoopla. The soap box oration, cosmetic line, or trading cards. It will die a happy death-- having served its purpose-- and the wake will be a blast for all!

Of course there will then come a love-child called the One Galaxy Flag, and a grandbaby (cute as a button!) One Universe Flag, that will also be destined to go on to greener pastures...

Like "End Hunger", "Peace", "Stop the Violence", and other catchy ideas that look good with 800-numbers beneath them on a tv screen at 4 in the morning, the point behind this flag... is moot. Only the "ignernt" (and a wise friend once said, "You can call me 'dumb', or 'stupid', or 'ignorant', or just about anything else... but don't ever call me 'ignernt!") would even volunteer to show up on a television talk show to attack the idea that we all have worth... that, as such, we should make it our business to discover what others are about and how it might benefit us to know them... that we should make an effort to be able to converse with each other... and, at the very least, not buy into the propaganda that "they" are out to get "us" any more than we are out to get them.

Looking to the dictionary, I find (to my surprise) that we have achieved the B.M.L. (bare minimum level) of civilization according to Webster-- "... specif : the stage of cultural development at which writing and the keeping of written records is attained". But that's about it! And that's not enough!

We can design a world in which we all take on the responsibility to be responsible, to teach, to effect, to lead in non-competitive ways, to speak our truth, and to connect. It begins when we start to... Spread the World! tm

What is the history and current status of the flag?
The following are some chronological highlights of the genesis of the flag to-date. In speaking to the logistics, patience, time, and money involved, they may also prove useful to others looking to gear up their own projects.

Summer of 1996-
- The flag is originated and a plan is formulated.

- The creation of the initial website, as a page within my home site is achieved. The focus is on "linking" to others and getting the word out.
- Dr. Huston Smith of Berkeley is an early supporter... and presents the flag to His Holiness the Dalai Lama on a rare teaching trip to L.A. in June.
- first tv appearance on a local L.A. talk show.
- The One World Kids Curriculum is launched. A handful of willing and able educators signs on to help develop age-appropriate materials for a unit of study on diversity, uniqueness, cooperation, tolerance, etc.

- The One World Kids Curriculum content is, for all practical purposes completed (shy of being sent to print).
- speaking engagements primarily during the week of Earth Day.
- After one year and nine months, a federal, registered trademark comes through, which will allow protection from the flag being represented for the wrong purposes.
- The first batch of actual 3' by 5' flags arrives.
- A fiscal agent (SEE- Social and Environmental Entrepeneurs) takes on the One World Flag as one of its projects, thus securing our non-profit status.
- Volunteers begin asking to be put to work.
- Fueled by the renewed enthusiasm and focus of year-end '98, and the new non-profit status, a space for this expanded website was donated by Flemming Funch's Synchronicity Network.

Almost all of the major building blocks are in place.
* Flags for flying.
* Products for visibility and to yield monies to be funneled into the One World Kids programs and other worthy projects of mine and others.
* This highly visible site-- able to reach more people, handle more traffic, serve as the hub of information management.
* An organizing of volunteers and interns to expand my ability to reach more folks. A plan for more "linking", more press releases, more tv/radio appearances.

- This website has long been translated into 4 languages by eager volunteers, making it available to all the more people. Technology of the past few years has allowed us to add a Google Translate pulldown menu at the top of each page, to allow viewers to translate into many, many world languages at the click of a button.
- The times catch up to the flag. New millenium-- requires "Thinking Bigger!"
- in the wake of 9/11 the flag is discovered by many people searching for a "bigger flag to fly".
- I decide to forego non-profit status (see explanation on bottom of Intro page).
What are some future plans (the game plan)?

  • In consideration of recent world events efforts to expand awareness of the flag and its ideals is a top priority.
  • The next goals are to release the One World Kids Curriculum (content basically completed, awaiting funding to go to press) and begin the publishing of the One World Kids newsletter.
  • A focus on endorsements and testimonials.
  • A focus on soliciting grants.
  • Enlisting individuals and corporations to sponsor the One World Flag into their local communities, groups, schools, places of worship, etc.
  • A focus on visibility at world events-- e.g., the Academy Awards, the Olympics, the next World Cup.
  • More scheduled speaking engagements.
And in the more distant future--
  • a compilation CD (with music already beginning to be donated).
  • more projects for kids.
  • more clout to effect social change
  • a greater foundation from which to contribute.

This is the tip of the iceberg! All this groundwork is aimed at laying a foundation on which this flag, its philosophy, mission statement, and slogans-- will soon become a household name, ideal, philosophy; will stay vital and viable, growing with the needs of the times; and will come to be associated with much good work aimed at including everyone, to the exclusion of no one.

How can I get involved?
A more detailed description of the answers to this question can be found in the Get Involved section of the site. In brief--

As an individual:
  • "Fly" the flag on your website by downloading it, and "linking" back to this site.
  • "Fly" an actual flag.
  • Include an "I support the One World Flag-- an International Symbol of Diversity" signature on your e-mails.
  • Volunteer or Intern (students). There are many areas to choose from that may satisfy you. Seeking out links; letter writing; contributing to the listserve newsletter, One World Kids newsletter, and/or website; solicit testimonials; write grants; network; help develop new programs for kids (educators, artists, writers); contribute content material; and much more. See the Intern/Volunteer Application Packet.
  • Encourage other Friends,Venues, Organizations, Churches, Etc. to "fly the flag".
  • Sponsor schools in your area to receive the One World Kids Curriculum (release date pending).
  • Send pictures of yourself and the One World Flag in your areas of travel, for inclusion into the website, newsletters, etc. (submission will serve as consent to be used in the manner described.)
  • Letters, notes, e-mails of support (especially in the Guestbook/Forum), detailing how the One World Flag is in alignment with your goals, what it has inspired, etc.
  • Help bring your own vision to fruition.
As a business:
  • Carry One World Flag items at wholesale, allowing it to support your endeavors, as well as continuing to donate a substantial percentage to its own causes.
  • "Fly" the flag on your website.
  • "Fly" an actual One World Flag.
  • Consider other licensing, networking, and co-venture opportunities-- public service announcements, tie-ins, events, corporate sponsorships, etc.

What is the One World Kids Curriculum?

This project seems on perpetual hold. The funding necessary to take it to print is the obstacle. Sponsorship in this area will be needed to bring this to light.

The One World Kids Curriculum on Diversity, Uniqueness, and Cooperation is a comprehensive, age-appropriate unit of study... designed to be presented in five days (1 topic per day, approximately 2 activities per day)... and unfolding hierarchically.

The Passport to the World is the vehicle for this program. Each student is given a "passport" which they personalize with their name, address, picture, etc... and an activity or two per day. It is acknowledged that various schools and classes have devoted ongoing blocks of time to these validating areas, and will wish to allot varying amounts of time to this program. It is also noted that additional experiential activities in the classroom (some suggested, others left to your own expertise) will add greater context to these subjects. The Passport is meant to be a personalized remembering tool detailing their very essence. In the wake of rich experience, this booklet may continue to be valuable to the student for a long time to come.

What the student is left with in the form of the Passport is a representation of their uniqueness. Like a journal or other such device, this is a reminder of where they are on this journey.

And the program is supplemented by having each topic country "stamped", encouraging the student to share the topic country of the day with parents and have the passport signed daily, coloring sheets for each student's expressionof their uniqueness, the One World Kids Credo, "Hi" sign, etc.

As it is completed, look to the One World Kids section of the website for more details and ongoing programs.

Where can I purchase a One World Flag, shirt, hat, etc.?
Please go to the Ordering page,to order select, high quality items aimed at furthering the goals, and increasing the
visibility of the flag.

Where do the profits go?
To-date, over 25% of gross sales of items (flags/shirts/pins/plaques/etc.) has been donated to many positively-intentioned projects. These proceeds are contributing to the development of the One World Kids Programs, will be allotted for future projects, and will continue to be put into action on a greater and greater basis. And in the case of grants-- monies are directed into the project(s) of the patrons choice .

[Grants wanted to be a part of this work during the almost-ten-years that we maintained non-profit status. Little trickled in; the yearly admin costs were slowly sucking down the bank account; and 501(c)3 status was dropped. Perhaps we will seek to shift back to non-profit status at some future date, but for now we have decided to classify ourselves as for-profit. The exact same work continues and the message has not changed.]

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