OPEN CALL: Design an alternative flag for Amsterdam

For the upcoming ‘Subjective Atlas of Amsterdam’

17.10.22 Eeke Brussee

What do you feel when you think of Amsterdam? Is it a city you love? Do you feel at home in this city? And does the flag of Amsterdam match your personal feelings?

For the upcoming publication ‘Subjective Atlas of Amsterdam’ we invite you to design your subjective flag of Amsterdam!


Whatcreate your own version of the Amsterdam flag and give it a title
Whendeadline Open Call: 30 October 2022
Where: design from your home or office or come to Arcam to sketch in the Atelier of the Subjective Atlas, Prins Hendrikkade 600
For whom: anyone who feels connected to Amsterdam
Whyas part of the project Subjective Atlas of Amsterdam 


Flag of Amsterdam

Today, the official flag of Amsterdam is characterized by three horizontal strips. Red strips above and below, and a back strip in the middle. Three white crosses are placed across the black strip. Collective myths and Dutch history can give us an idea of what the symbols of this flag intend to portray. However, do you personally associate with these visual elements?

What does a flag represent?

Generally, since the onset of modernity we often use flags as a symbol of a nation state. This means that flags have historically had an important role in defining the unity or boundaries of a group or even a nation. Flags can tell us many stories as their colours and icons represent a plethora of powerful sentiments such as freedom, independence, political and religious believes or even oppression and fear. Flags are powerful tools, to say the least.

A flag can be interpreted in many different ways. Flags can be used to uphold imagined communities, as states continue to use flags over generations to cultivate the sense of unity among certain groups.

YOUR Amsterdam Flag!

Now imagine if you had a say in creating YOUR Amsterdam flag. What would this flag look like? What or who would this flag represent?

Creating a new flag may sound strange, as they are usually grounded in historical, political and social layers. In this Subjective project, together, we challenge these former doctrines. By drawing personalized maps, and now flags we cultivate a bottom-up approach, which allows people to reflect on the ways in which they belong in Amsterdam, or how Amsterdam belongs to them. This is in line with the objective of the Subjective Atlas, as people are encouraged to reflect on their own experience and connection to the city of Amsterdam.

Through this open call, Arcam invites you to create your own version of the Amsterdam flag. Maybe your flag will be showcased in the publication Subjective Atlas of Amsterdam!


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