Do You Have a Flag?

The ten athletes of the Refugee Olympic Team, originating from four different countries, have been competing under the Olympic flag and anthem in this year’s Games. But a nonprofit called The Refugee Nation has organized to give them a flag and anthem of their own.

image: The Refugee Nation
(image: The Refugee Nation)

The flag was designed by Yara Said, a Syrian artist and refugee living in Amsterdam. Bright orange with a black band, it is representative of the orange life vests worn by so many on their quest for safety.

“The flag is a statement,” she says. “We are here, we are strong, we are human, and we’re going to go on.”

The anthem was written by composer and refugee Moutaz Arian. Threatened with conscription into Assad’s army, he fled Syria and currently lives in Istanbul.

“Music is my way to deliver the message to humanity to love each other. This language does not need translation.”

The Games end this weekend, and the Refugee Nation is pleased to have seen the not-yet-IOC-approved flag already in the stands. Could the refugee flag and anthem be recognized at future Olympic Games? 

Supporters may download the flag, anthem, and logo from, show their support on social media with a photo filter, or sign the petition asking the International Olympic Committee to recognize this flag and anthem and allow athletes to wear the flag in competition.

Beth Voigt

Beth is a graphic designer in Chicago, a superhero in her own mind, and absolutely nothing on TV. She wrangles fonts professionally, pummels code amateurishly, and has been known to shove fire in her face for fun. Fond of volunteering, late-night bursts of productivity, and making snacks, she dislikes grocery shopping and sticky public transit and is only on her second smartphone. Her opinion is that you should try everything twice; if you don't like it, you were probably doing it wrong the first time around. If external links are your thing, here are links to Twitter and Instagram, and you can support her ongoing weirdness by buying her a coffee or six.

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