Photo Friday: The remarkable power of flags to create a culture of acceptance

Madrid Pride Orgullo 2015 Power of Flags Collage 587871
Madrid Pride Orgullo 2015 Power of Flags Collage 587871 (View on Flickr.com)

This Photo Friday is a collage, which conveyed an important message (to me) this week.

While the United States has been contemplating the meaning of flags that exclude, I was struck this week by the remarkable power of flags to INclude.

In the examples above, flags hung in public spaces convey an unexpected message of “You belong,” so simply and so powerfully, even across long distances. This happens even without knowing who the person/people are who did the hanging of the flag.

In the examples below, flags convey the same message of inclusion, plus a message of courage, by those who are waving them. They say a combination of “all you have to be is you” as well as “I am what I am.”

Both examples strike an emotional chord and especially so if a person belongs to multiple groups who have been excluded from society.

Madrid Pride Orgullo 2015 Power of Flags Collage 58789
Madrid Pride Orgullo 2015 Power of Flags Collage 58789 (View on Flickr.com)

Isn’t it remarkable how a flag or any visual message can contribute to a culture of acceptance, that allows all humans to acheive their full potential. As usual, I find lots of analogies to health care 🙂 .

Create a culture of acceptance. If there is one bisexual man in your unit his fitting in depends on how open to diversity your unit is. It is NOT based on how hard he tries to fit in. (UK Army LGBT Forum training, 2013)

Original photos are below, enjoy.

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