Arnaud Balard’s flag design is now the official Deaf flag!

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The General Assembly of the World Federation of the Deaf voted an hour ago on 9 July 2023 during the World Congress in Jeju, South Korea, for the introduction of an official flag for the Sign language community and Deaf people. The design by French Deafblind artist Arnaud Balard narrowly won against the design from Lebanon and the Russian design.

The creation of a separate flag for Deaf people is an important step in promoting the visibility and recognition of this community. The flag serves as a symbol of identity and belonging for Deaf people worldwide. It raises awareness of the unique culture and language of Deaf, hard of hearing and Deafblind people and supports the call for barrier-free access and equal rights for all.

Before the decision, there was an uproar on the French side because the Russian design was very similar to the French design in terms of colours and motifs.

In the first round of voting, the French design received 25 votes, the Lebanese 23 votes and the Russian 17 votes. A second round of voting then took place. The French draft received 36 votes, the Lebanese 31 votes. The decision was close.

Thus, the design by Arnaud Balard was officially declared the flag of the Sign language community and Deaf people. The rights to the flag were also transferred to the World Federation of the Deaf.

The creation of a special flag for Deaf people has become increasingly important in recent years. Arnaud Balard, a dedicated Deafblind designer, has created a „Sign Union Flag“ to represent the identity and community of deaf people around the world. Born in 1971, Balard is an advocate for Deaf people and realised that the deaf community needed a visual representation that symbolised their culture and values. Therefore, he designed the flag ten years ago after spending two years studying flags around the world and learning about the principles of vexillology. The design of the flag shows the stylised outline of two hands in the colours turquoise and yellow. The three colours that make up the flag represent deafness, Deafhood and Humanity (dark blue), Sign Language (turquoise) and Enlightenment and Hope (yellow). Balard’s intention was to make the flag an international symbol welcoming Deaf people. The French Deaf Association approved the flag in May 2014, and it has already been raised in various places around the world, especially in South America.

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Tags: Arnaud Balard, Flagge, Jeju, Sign Union Flag, Südkorea, Weltkongress, WFD

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