Decorating flags & sewing strings

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At each decorating event we recommend you setup: a welcome table, a decorating table and a place to take photos of makers with flags. For inspiration you can hang up a string of pre-decorated flags behind the welcome table.

The welcome table

Organisers can welcome participants at a trestle table stacked with pre-sown, blank flags, guides for flag makers and flag maker record forms.

Climate Flags Launch Castlemaine
Stack of blank flags on the Welcome Table, in bundles of ten so organisers can keep track. Also on the table are masonite inserts and a record form for participants to sign (photo by Ecologica)
  • On arrival, participants sign the record form, receive a flag with a cardboard/masonite insert and are given verbal instructions plus an information sheet
  • Instruct participants:
    • the open edge is at the top
    • leave space for sewing the flag to the string
    • we hope to take a photo of you with your flag
    • Return your flag to organisers and we will sew it on a string
    • Tell participants where you plan to fly your flags – a public space in your town, at the next climate rally, around polling booths at election day, around parliament house when flags come together from around Australia…..
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Welcome table at Wesley Hill Market, Castlemaine, Victoria

The decorating table

If you are in a hall or at a market, setup an area for making flags, with tables, chairs and decorating materials. This is particularly helpful for people who have trouble sitting on the ground. A big table allows for more conversations.

  • Provide permanent markers and wax crayons, fabric scraps/scrap paper to trial messages/colours, and cardboard inserts to avoid bleed through.
  • Stick a guide for flag makers to the decorating tables (and offer them to participants at the welcome table) so people can read more about the project and about creating their flag.
Climate Flags Launch Castlemaine
Decorating table at the Climate Flags launch, Castlemaine (photo by Ecologica)
Climate Flags Launch Castlemaine
A cardboard or masonite insert, slipped inside the double sided flag, avoids bleed through from permanent markers and allows people to work on their knees (photo by Ecologica)

Photo booth

When participants have finished making a flag ask  if you can take a photo of them with their flag (show only hands if they’re camera-shy). If you can, take a square photo on your phone to make it easy to upload photos onto this website and instagram.

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A square photo showing  flags and their makers

Its helpful to have a designated photographer in a designated location, so each flag decorator can come have their photo taken, before giving it back to the organisers.

Climate Flags Launch Castlemaine
Photo booth at the Climate Flags launch. We used an old projector screen for the back drop. You can have fun with your backdrop, but don’t let it distract from the flags and faces.
  • Remember, before taking a photo to inform each participant that consent to having a photograph taken is consent for Climate Flags to use the photo. Only take a photo showing the face of a child under 16 if they have a parent or guardian with them who gives you consent. The camera-shy can hold the flag over their face.

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  • Collect decorated flags ready for sewing onto a string. You can display new flags immediately by attaching them to a rope or cord with clothes pegs.

Record the event

Yes a picture says 1,000 words. Photos of sewing, decorating and flying flags are a powerful way to communicate how much your community cares about climate action. Ask a keen photographer to record your Climate Flag events. These records are precious.

Climate Flags Launch Castlemaine
Flag decorating in progress at the Climate Flags launch. These pictures say so much about communities involved in change-making (photo by Ecologica)
  • Send photos of your flags and event as jpegs to climateflags@gmail.com  or contact us for an invite to bulk file-sharing.
  • Email a filled out copy of the record form to climateflags@gmail.com (scanned or a photo is fine). We will keep a database of all participants and their postcodes to use as a petition for our MP’s.

Let your local member of parliament, or your local paper know what you’ve been up to. Send them a nice pic or two along with a request to take action on Climate Change.

Sewing the flags onto strings

After your decorating event organisers can take the decorated flags and sew the onto ‘strings’ with strong binding. You can even have a sewing machine at a decorating event and sew flags onto strings as they are handed in.

  • Sew flags onto strings of x 10 flags (~3 m string) plus one white flag with our logo, website and details of the group who made the flag (the 11th flag).
  • Sew flags 10 cm apart and leave ~20 cm of string at each end so strings can be tied to each other or hung in a public place. Here are some tips for sewing your flags into strings. This method requires no pins or ironing, just two lines of sewing. Read on for some tips about sewing flags to binding.
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Sew cotton tape along the top side of a flag, with the seam close to the edge of the tape
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Sew x 10 flags onto cotton tape to make a string (10 cm between flags)
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Working one flag at a time, fold along the seam so the tape now runs along the back of the flag
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Sew to secure tape to the back of the flag

The Eleventh Flag

To make sure passers-by on the street can find out about Climate Flags, on each string of ten flags add a white Eleventh flag, with the Climate Flags logo and web address. You can do this with an iron-on transfer, a screen print or by hand drawing a simple copy of the logo below in black marker. You can download the logo here. If you need a high resolution jpeg of the logo, email climateflags@gmail.com and we’re happy to send it to you.

Logo with text - close crop

  • On every 11th flag,  write the name of the group, the event location and date in the space beneath the logo. It will be powerful to see where flag makers have come from, when flags come together at rallies and events.
Climate Flags Launch Castlemaine
The 11th flag – ready  for the name of the group, location and date to be written in the space below the logo.