Tûmba commissioned the design for International Human Rights Day on December 10
Translated by Thomas Ansell
An initiative by the Frisian anti-racism centre Tûmba has resulted in a new design for a ‘human rights flag’. The design will be officially launched on December 10, International Human Rights Day, by the national association of anti-discrimination bodies the ‘Landelijke Vereniging van Anti Discriminatie Voorzieningen’. This December 10 is also the 75th anniversary of the United Nations- which is supposed to be the body that safeguards human rights. As reported by the Omrop Fryslân.
Tûmba director Mirka Antolovic came up with the idea for a ‘human rights flag’ following the rainbow-flag controversy in Friesland (in short: Friesland for a long time refused to fly the LGBTQI+ rainbow flag outside public buildings, the only Dutch Province to do so). The rainbow flag now flies on Frisian government buildings, but large numbers of Frisian politicians took an ‘All Lives Matter’ approach to the subject, which set Antolovic thinking. “I thought: if the Province really is for everyone, then they should fly the human rights flag during the International Day of Human Rights. However, I found out that no such flag exists!”.
Tûmba then enlisted the help of the Leeuwarder designer Menno de Boer. The flag is symbolic for the theoretical equality of all people on earth, and so depicts a stylised DNA strand- with Antolovic saying that it is a positive symbol in our polarised times.
The flag is eye-catching, too, with deep blue to symbolise the air and skies, green for the planet that is slowly burning up, and yellow in between to symbolise DNA and equality. It will be flow not only on Frisian buildings on December 10, but also in the rest of the Netherlands, in the US, and across Europe. The Gemeente Groningen has already said that it will hang two large examples from the Martini tower, and students from a Leeuwarder middle school will hoist the flag in a public square. The employers organisation VNO-NCW MKB Noord, in a neat piece of pink and green washing, will also sponsor flying the flag.
“What makes me really emotional is that the Mayor of the city in which I was born in Bosnia (Doboj) will also fly the flag. It’s a small city, but personally it does a lot for me”, says Antolovic. Doboj is part of the ethnically Serbian enclave of Republika Sprska, which during the Bosnian war (1990-1995) was ethnically cleansed by Bosnian Serb militants- leading to thousands of deaths and several indictments at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY).
Image via mensenrechtvlag.nl