The Barenaked Ladies have a blog . . . Steven Page is the more prolific poster, and I love his writing. He posted this the other day, and I wanted to share:

Icaro Doria is Brazilian, 25 and has been working for the magazine Grande Reportagem, in Lisbon, Portugal, for the last 3 years. He is part of the team (with Luis Silva Dias, João Roque, Andrea Vallenti and João Roque) that produced the flags campaign which has been circulating the Earth in chain letters via e-mail. Icaro gave us a small statement about the campaign, translated by Isabell Erdmann:

The magazine Revista Grande Reportagem is a Hard Journalism magazine, on the same line as the Times. The idea was to bring across the concept that the magazine offers profound journalism about topics of real importance to the world of today.

This is how we thought of the concept Meet the World.

We started to research relevant, global, and current facts and, thus, came up with the idea to put new meanings to the colours of the flags. We used real data taken from the websites of Amnesty International and the UNO.

The campaign has been running in Portugal since January 2005. There are eight flags that portray very current topics like the division of opinions about the war in Iraq in the United States, the violence against women in Africa, the social inequality in Brazil, the drug trafficking in Columbia, Aids and malaria in Angola, etc.

With regards to the email presenting the campaign as being done by a Norwegian diplomat, this information is completely wrong. There is no Norwegian diplomat called Charung Gollar, there was no presentation in the UNO, and the campaign is not called ‘The Power of the Stars’. This was all invented and is going round the world via email.

That’s it, basically.

Meet The World Flags

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