Global Health Ideas

Finding global health solutions through innovation and technology

“Meet the World” Flag Art a Hoax?


A couple of days ago I posted on the “flags as social art” exhibit. I did say in that post that I was unable to verify the numbers or sources of data, even though the official website for the art states “We used real data taken from the websites of Amnesty International and the UNO.

I apologize for being in a rush with that post because I did go back and take a look at the stats for one flag which seemed a bit far off. Somemone may also want to let WorldChanging know that some of these representations seem inaccurate (see their post from Jan 5, 2007 which I just spotted).

The Angolan flag indicates that half the people in Angola are infected with HIV and half with malaria. Two separate sources indicate this is not true:

1) Malaria in Angola – 1.2 Million (USAID report of malaria in 2002 – Link)
2) HIV in Angola – roughly 240,000 (CDC – Link, KFF report)

When looking specficially at Somalia, the flag may be accurate – UNICEF says that in the country – “Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) has a prevalence of about 95 per cent” (Link). So I am not sure what data was used to make the flags or how the artist arrived at these conclusions. I have not had time to check stats on the other flags and there may be something I mis-interpreted, but perhaps the artist should be more transparent. This concept is a very interesting way of getting across ideas, its a shame that some of the flags may be inaccurate.


Written by Aman

February 23, 2007 at 7:06 am

3 Responses

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  1. […] 19th, 2007 UPDATE – There is something a bit funny about the use of stats in these flags, see latest post. What a shame because it is an interesting […]

  2. Sociolingo – you raise a fantastic point, one that is often missed. Your idea is a great one, I wish I had more artistic ability and time to do this myself. I will keep this project in mind.


    March 3, 2007 at 8:12 pm

  3. Hi from Mali, the difficulty I have with this project is that it is SOOOO negative. It would be nice to have a positive flag alongside the negative one.


    February 27, 2007 at 5:55 am

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