ESA is inviting young people to take part in a competition to draw a flag to represent the Earth. The overall winner will fly to Kourou, in French Guiana, to see the launch of Envisat, the new advanced Earth observation satellite. The Ariane 5 launcher that will carry Envisat into space will bear the Envisat logo and the winning picture of the Earth flag. Prizes also include 16 sets of computers and printers: one for the winner from each of the 15 ESA Member States and from Canada, a contributor to the Envisat programme.


Are you aged between 8 and 12 and a national of an ESA Member State or Canada? If so you could win the chance to travel to French Guiana in South America to see your drawing launch ESAís biggest Earth observation satellite, Envisat, into space.

Why does ESA want a flag of the Earth on the Envisat launcher?

Envisat is the satellite for Planet Earth.

As its job is to help care for the Earth, we feel that the Ariane launcher that will be used to send Envisat into space should carry a flag depicting the Earth, the planet it has been designed to protect.

What do I have to do to win?

Just as each country has its own flag, we want you to draw, paint or make a collage of a picture of a flag to represent the Earth. As you can see from the picture, your drawing will be placed underneath the Envisat logo in landscape format.

Prize-winning entries will be chosen on the basis of originality and simplicity, remember, it must be visible from a distance. Your picture should be in colour and accompanied by a short text of not more than 300 words telling us what your flag represents.

What can I win?

  • First: 16 flag designs will be selected, one from each of the 15 ESA Member States and one from Canada. The 16 winners will each receive a computer plus colour printer, together with exciting new software about space.
  • Then: the best flag design from the 16 winning entries will be chosen, blown up to approximately 2 metres by 2 metres and put on the huge Ariane 5 launcher that is going to propel the new Envisat satellite into orbit.
  • Plus, if you are chosen as the overall winner you will be invited, together with your parents, to be ESAís guests for three days in French Guiana, South America in June 2001. From ESAís launch base in Kourou you will be able to watch the Envisat launch. Just think, you could see your flag being sent into space!

How do I enter?

Your entry can be sent either by post or email. If by post, it should be on a piece of paper sized 30 cm x 21 cm and accompanied by a short description on a separate piece of paper. Remember to put your name, age and address both on the back of the drawing and on the description, so that we can contact you if your entry is selected.


Postal entries should be sent to:

Earth Flag Competition


Via Galileo Galilei

Frascati (RM) 00044



Scan your picture and send it by email in a jpg, gif or bmp format to:

compcom@esrin.esa.it Again, remember to send the short description and to include your age, name and address.

All entries should be received by 31 March 2001 so that the winners can be notified by the end of April 2001. We are sorry that we cannot return your designs to you and that the relatives of ESA staff members cannot take part in this competition.

Good luck and remember the deadline: 31 March 2001!