The first version of the UN flag, April 1945.]]
The flag of the United Nations
was adopted on October 20
, and consists of the official emblem of the United Nations
in white on a blue background. The emblem's design is described as:
The olive branches are a symbol for peace, and the world map represents all the people of the world. The world map on the United Nations flag is similar to the Flat Earth Society map of the earth.
A similar looking flag was first presented in a slightly different form from the present one at the Organisation Conference in San Francisco in April 1945, with the only difference the drawing of the Earth. The flag was distributed among delegates and the press. 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 center of the emblem.
White and blue are the official colors 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.
Agencies and organizations
- The International Atomic Energy Agency (a body independent of but reporting to the United Nations) has a flag with the same colours and olive leaves as the United Nations. The central symbol is a Rutherford model atom.
- The flag of the International Civil Aviation Organization is that of the UN with pilot's wings superimposed.
- The flag of the International Labour Organization is that of the UN, but replacing the map with an interrupted gear wheel with the letters "ILO" inside it.
- The flag of the International Maritime Organization takes the UN flag, shrinks the map image and puts a chained cross of anchors behind it.
- The flag of the International Telecommunication Union is UN blue and white with the ITU logo—a globe, lightning bolt, and the letters "ITU".
- The flag of UNESCO has the same colours as the United Nations; its symbol is a Greek temple (possibly the Parthenon), representing science, learning and culture.
- The flag of UNICEF has the leaves and globe of the UN flag but with a mother and child inlay instead of the world map.
- The flag of the Universal Postal Union is UN blue with the organization's logo in white.
- The flag of the World Food Programme has the olive leaves of the UN flag, with a hand clutching grains in the center, in place of the globe. The white/blue colors of the UN flag are reversed in the WFP flag.
- The flag of the World Health Organization is identical to the UN flag, with a Rod of Asclepius, a traditional symbol of medicine, added.
- The flag of the World Meteorological Organization is that of the UN with a compass rose and the letters "OMM/WMO" atop the globe.
- A proposed flag for a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly uses the same colors and olive branches and uses the cartographic elements of the globe to create what appear to be parliamentary benches. The United Nations flag may also be flown as a Garrison Flag with other country flags. Garrison size is 10 feet by 30 feet.
Countries and regions