A new flag for Cyprus??? Do we need it, and why?
As long ago as 2003, the United Nations held an open competition for the design of a new flag for a united Cyprus. For some strange reason, never explained, no winner was ever announced, and the entire matter disappeared. Nothing more was said at all.
For designers, Jenny Stevens and Ernest Fasanya, this was an interesting challenge, and they admit that they submitted a number of entries. To them this was an important matter, especially as Ernest was born in Dhekalia.
As Jenny says “Coming across this work again recently and seeing some value in it, we decided that there might still be some interest in the Cypriot community for such a design impetus, and updated it accordingly.”
She added that they both felt that if the notion of a new flag “could be shared amongst those with influence in the Cypriot and British Cypriot communities this might lead to an opening up of a space for discussion around the flag and the issues of identity, diversity and community.”
With this idea in mind they have written to a number of prominent individuals presenting their idea of a design for a new flag, with the hope that such discussion might start to grow. They have written directly to both Presidents, - Nicos Anastasiades and Dr Dervis Eroglu.
As yet, they have not received any reply, but when they wrote to the two Presidents, they were heartened at the way the talks were going, but of course since then, the talks have broken down with Anastasiades walking away from the table.
The feelings of these two designers is that a new flag for Cyprus “offers the opportunity to symbolise the joint aspirations of its people, who should be able to see themselves in it as a unified but varied group.”
The reason they have put forward the design as shown here is that in their words “We felt that the design should be simple enough for a child to recognise, clear enough to distinguish it amongst the other nations and bold enough to stand proudly on the world stage. It should say there is a new Cyprus which builds on the synergy of difference and is committed to a common future.”
Their design is a combination of the Turkish Red and the Greek blue bringing them together “.. in a handshake of trust and agreement, building a new Cyprus formed from mutual respect, tolerance and reconciliation, co-operation and hope.”
Both Jenny and Ernest would welcome feedback, and would be more than happy to discuss this matter further with anyone who feels an interest in the idea first muted by the United Nations.
Maybe the U.N. might consider re-opening the idea, should the talks get back on track and an answer be found for the future.