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Last modified: 2019-08-06 by rob raeside
Keywords: mars | mars society | terraforming | proposal | lee (pascal) | paine (thomas o.) | the mars flag |
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There is certainly no shortage of Mars flags now. I remember a Mars Society group once devised an informal vote on 50 or so proposed flags. (Not related at all to the red-green-blue-flag.) But who knows when this need will develop?
Richard Knipel, 14 Jun 2004

Mars’ symbolism

Mediaeval alchemists were right linking the planet Mars and the metal iron: Mars derives its red color from iron oxide, basically rust, which also colors blood red, giving it the name of the war god.
Richard Knipel, 19 Jun 2004

The Mars symbol is basically a shield and spear (Mars/Ares was the god of war).
Albert Kirsch, 19 Jul 2004

Almost all Mars’ Flags I have seen have the symbol, indeed the most remarkable aspect of the design of the Mars Society flag is that it does not include it.
Richard Knipel, 19 Jun 2004

A Mars symbol on a flag these days would be ambiguous, given that biologists use it for "male", though I suppose sufficient exposure could change public perception of that. (These days one might even associate it with gay rights or something.)
Albert Kirsch, 19 Jul 2004

Mars Society proposal

Mars flag image by António Martins, 17 Jul 2004

The Mars Society already makes plenty of good use out of its flag.
Richard Knipel, 14 Jun 2004

Red stands for the current desert, green for a 2nd step planet with vegetation and blue for the fully terraformed blue planet Mars.
Jorge Candeias, 11 Apr 2001

The designer, Pascal Lee, perhaps wanted to avoid the ambiguity of the ♂ symbol, not wanting to alienate women, and perhaps also wanted a more “serious”, conservative-looking design.
Richard Knipel, 19 Jun 2004

The Mars Society sponsored flag of Mars seems to be in dark shades of green and blue, and its ratio seems to be 3:5, judging from these photos (slow server!), taken in early 2004 at the Mars Desert Research Station in Utah, USA:

(* flag shown as suit shoulder patch) This flag may not be great looking, with those non-contrasting colors, but it is undoubtably a flag.
António Martins, 17 Jul 2004

The Mars Flag flies from atop the Flashline Mars Arctic Research Station in Devon Island, Nunavut, Canada, the Mars Desert Research Station in Utah, USA, and will soon fly from stations in Iceland and Australia. These are analog Mars research stations, investigating Earth-like environments with some similarities to Mars.
Richard Knipel, 18 Jul 2004

The research station is supposed to simulate “Mars on Earth”, like an embassy represents one country’s territory inside another.
Dean McGee, 12 Jul 2002

The Purpose of the Mars Society is to further the goal of the exploration and settlement of the Red Planet.
Richard Knipel, 18 Jul 2004

The flag was half-staffed at the Utah station for the Columbia tragedy, as seen on the Mars Society website.
Richard Knipel, 17 Jul 2004

During its mission to the Hubble Space Telescope, the Space Shuttle Discovery carried a Martian flag into orbit for the first time. It was a red, green and blue tricolor, with the vertical red segment closest to the mast, followed by the green, and then the blue. Its form was originally suggested to Mars Society president Robert Zubrin by Mars Arctic Research Station task force leader Pascal Lee during their summer 1999 site selection expedition to Devon Island. The red, green and blue colors derive from stages of Mars’ transformation from barrenness to life depicted in the epic Red Mars, Green Mars, Blue Mars trilogy by Kim Stanley Robinson. Red, green and blue are also the primary components of the spectrum, symbolizing unity in diversity, as well as light itself, and thus reason and enlightenment. The tricolor form also traditionally represents the republican values of liberty, equality and justice. The flag was sewn by Maggie Zubrin and brought aboard at the invitation of astronaut John Mace Grunsfeld. (Astronauts are allowed to manifest several items of special importance on Space Shuttle flights of an official nature.)
Jim Burk, 06 Jan 2000,
quoting from the Mars Society website

Charmed by the flag’s undulations, I can imagine my overwrought meditation transcending its worries about the how, the when, and transforming into a much more visceral sort of euphoria, a happy glow tinted with the colors with which Mr. Robinson chose to paint the future.
Richard Knipel, 17 Jul 2004,
quoting from the Mars Society website

Thomas O. Paine’s proposal

Paine’s proposal image by Richard Knipel, 20 Jul 2004

This page has some information about a different Mars Flag given to recipients of the Thomas O. Paine Award for the Advancement of Human Exploration of Mars, given by another space advocacy group, the Planetary Society, presented to the Mars Pathfinder and Mars Global Surveyor teams in 1998. (Larger image here.) The symbolism is pretty clear: Mars points the way from Earth toward the stars.
Richard Knipel, 18 Jul 2004

The recipient is awarded a memorial plaque and the prestigious Mars flag designed by Mr. Paine.
Richard Knipel, 18 Jul 2004,
quoting from the NASA website

The "circle + arrow pointing to the upper right" is the astronomical symbol for Mars.
Marc Pasquin, 18 Jul 2004

Bergen County Technical High School project flag

school Mars flag image by António Martins, 14 Jun 2004

At this website, Bergen County Technical High School, Teterboro, US-NJ, plays voyage to Mars simulation. Included among other important requirements, a community flag for the habitat dwellers. On this on line photo (top left), it is shown in all of its splendour: Red ~2:5 flag with a row of 12 black 5-pointed stars pointing outwards at the bottom and top, black triangles blocking the hoist and fly edges, edged in the inside sides irregularly in yellow each with a column of four red 5-pointed stars; on the main red area, the lettering "THE MARS FLAG" in yellow capitals set in a descending text line.
António Martins, 14 Jun 2004