Monday, 29 March 2010

Food flags, informative flags

I always check my Tweets while I'm having my breakfast in the morning.  This morning there was one in particular which caught my eye:

Last year's Sydney International Food Festival was promoted with these wonderful images of national flags made up of their country's iconic foods.  Here is a copy of the poster, which you can download as an A3 or A4 PDF here

You may know by now that I am passionate about international education, in particular about getting people to see past stereotypes and find the "real" people and countries in the world.  These flags seem like an excellent place to start.

Esther Mercier (the genius behind A tantôt) suggests giving the pictures to Food Technology teachers so that they can join in European Day of Languages.  Students can research which flag is portrayed each time, and which foods are used to make them.  They could then have a go at making their own flags for other countries.  This links in nicely with the World Cup as well.  While pupils are finding out about the 31 teams who aren't England, they could research the typical foods of the countries and have a go at representing them pictorially like this.

But why stop at food ?  There are all sort of images and indeed words that could be represented as flags.

Here is a Spanish flag I made using MS Publisher.  Is it the truth or is it stereotype ?
And here is a French flag represented as a Calligram that I made using Imagechef and Publisher.  Students could do the writing themselves.

There are many possibilities.  If you're not averse to a bit of mess in your classroom, get some travel brochures and get the students to make some mosaic flags with images of the chosen country.  Whichever method you choose, they will certainly make for an eye-catching display.

One flag that is missing from the Sydney poster is ours.  What foods would your students put on a pictorial representation of our flag ?  Why ?  What other images would they put on our flag to represent our country.  They are obliged to think about their own country and its identity.  Community cohesion.


  1. The Spanish flag is stereotype but still is nice. Greetings from Madrid

  2. Here is another good link for the food flags - Thanks @elvisrunner!