Earth & Space Week: "A flag for planet Earth" - competition rewards nine children

February 14, 2005

Brussels, 11th February 2005

Nine children have been awarded for their designs for a flag for planet Earth as part of the Earth & Space Week opening ceremony on 11 February 2005, in Brussels. The flag design aimed to capture the “motto” of Earth & Space Week: Celebrating our planet, while reaching for the stars. The contest was open to children aged 5 to 19 from the European Union, Norway and Switzerland.

The winning children received fabric flags printed with their own designs from Prince Philippe of Belgium, European Commission Vice President Günter Verheugen, and the European Space Agency Director Volker Liebig in front of an audience of astronauts, dignitaries and other senior officials.

The children's work was judged by an expert team of teachers from all over Europe, with the final selection of winners and runners-up being made by a Grand Jury including Jack Metthey, Transport Director at the DG Research of the European Commission, Frank de Winne, European Astronaut, Jan De Craemer, from the Flemish-speaking Ministry of Education of Belgium, and Etienne Gilliard from the French-speaking Ministry of Education of Belgium.

The winners

Category 1 – age 5 to 9 years

1st prize winner – Marios, Dimitrios, Spiridon, Olga & Spiridon from Greece, all aged 9 years

The Grand Jury selected this work as the winner as it showed a great deal of creativity and dedication. “It has a very festive feel. Despite the dark background, it is very bright and positive, and puts humans at the centre of space exploration – it shows space is about people, and not just about satellites.”

2nd prize winner – Gregor from Austria, aged 9 years

The runner up was selected because “it is a very human, fun and positive image. The figures look cheerful and the design itself communicates a strong feeling of a flag.”

3rd prize winner – Marilyn from Malta, aged 9 years

The Grand Jury chose Marilyn's work as a runner-up, “it illustrates the Earth reaching out into space, and embracing diversity.”

Category 2 – age 10 to 14 years old

1st prize winner – Fotiadis from Greece, aged 12 years

“This design is very positive and reminiscent of Europe, which prompted the Grand Jury to select it as a runner-up. It conveys optimism. The Earth immediately attracts attention and it has very nice use of colour.”

2nd prize winner – George from Greece, aged 12 years

The Grand Jury felt this picture was “very attractive with a dream-like feeling in it, setting it apart from other bolder designs. The tree itself is a symbol of life, with Earth being the trunk. The Earth then "grows" up to reach the planets and the sun.”

3rd prize winner – Kamil from Poland, aged 13 years

The excellent technical skill of this young artist caught the eye of the Grand Jury. “Although not a typical flag design, the image was very colourful and illustrated diversity, while showing some of the ways in which we use space research in every day life.”

Category 3 – age 15 to 19 years old

1st prize winner – Christina from Greece, aged 17

The Grand Jury selected this image as the winner because “it has a universal message and has a strong living element at the centre. It illustrates the roots of civilisation and European culture, placing it within the context of Earth and Space.”

2nd prize winner – Maria from Greece, aged 17

The Grand Jury commented that this design “is very bold and simple, and looks distinctly flag-like. The main form of the drawing looks like an eye, with the world being the pupil in the eye. Europe is well illustrated, and is the centre of the eye, looking out into space.”

3rd prize winner – Artur from Poland, aged 15

This image was “more subtle and attractive, but had less flag-like qualities than the other winners.” The Grand Jury felt it was a “beautiful image executed with good technique. The prominence of the human face in the image illustrates how important humanity is in space research.”

The flags

The 9 winning designs will be exhibited in the “Gallery area” of the Earth & Space Expo throughout the Week. Prince Philippe, Günter Verheugen and Jean-Jacques Dordain also received the 3 first-prize winning flags for display in their offices.

The nine winning flags are available in the audiovisual library of the ESW website: mm/space/esw/pressroom/library/article_1565_en.htm
Entries made to the competition are available in the gallery section on the Earth and Space Week Competition website at

About Earth & Space Week

Earth & Space Week (Brussels, 12-20 February 2005) is a European Commission and European Space Agency (ESA) joint initiative showing how Earth Observation (EO) and Space Activities improve quality of life on our planet. The center-piece of the Week is a nine-day interactive public Exposition, the Earth & Space Expo. Aimed at raising interest and awareness in Earth and Space, more than 3,000 m2 of exhibition area at Autoworld, Brussels, will offer a fascinating voyage for over 1500 visitors expected each day. The Expo is free to the public and suitable for all ages.

For more information on the Earth & Space Week competition

Contact Alexa Joyce at or by calling + 32 2 750 7554 or +32 485 440 661 (mobile).

Item source: IP/05/166 Date: 11/02/2005 Previous Item Back to Titles Print Item

Register to continue

Why register?

  • Registration is free and only takes a moment
  • Once registered, you can read 3 articles a month
  • Sign up for our newsletter
Please Login or Register to read this article.


Featured jobs