A participatory art project - a growing series of Flash animations with many authors. Every animation shows a relation, a connection, an interaction between two (or more) countries.

Each animation starts with a flag and ends with a different one. The flags are transformed, their shapes and meanings are morphed into other symbols and figures. Each contributing artist creates an animation with flags of his/her own choice and expresses a relation between two (or more) countries in his/her own way.

Flag Metamorphoses is an exploration into the meaning of imagery on flags, aiming to create interrelated associations through questioning, reassessing, fluidizing and re-mixing diverse national iconographies. This project encourages you to think in images, to understand and express cultural and historical processes and relations without words. Symbols of identities turn into elements of dialogues.

You too can contribute!  Download call as PDF


For some hundred years, states and nations are symbolized through their flags and coats of arms. Nowadays, every national state has got its flag, but the symbols on the flags are sometimes much older than the state they represent, and the symbols sometimes don't even belong to the dominant nation in the state.

Although the symbols on flags are related to the real history of a country, they often more clearly express specific claims or aspirations - such as strength, independence, beauty or the greatness of the country and its achievements. This makes working with the symbols more complicated, but at the same time elevates the issues under consideration onto a more abstract, philosophical and cultural/historical plane.

The Myths hidden in the flags can be revealed through research and be productively employed in the animation. You and I will also examine relationships between the countries: neighbouring countries, colonial relationships, cultural influences etc. Basis for the visual realisation of the flag transformations: The symbols displayed on the flags and their meanings; the relationships between countries - historical, cultural, political, religious, economic.

Artistic realisation

The aim is therefore to add shapes and figures to it which express some connection to the country of the next flag. The transition between two flags can vary greatly, depending on which aspect of the relationship between the two countries the authors choose to accentuate. This is then in effect a never-ending project: every flag could be transformed into every other flag, in both directions and in many different ways.

Flag Metamorphoses lays stress on the relations between nations as changing ones: Only in the permanent re-creation of values, symbols and ways of life, in mixing with others and differing from others, identities, cultures and societies stay alive.

With every new animation we'll understand more points of view.


Download call for participation as PDF

Email to info@flag-metamorphoses.net

Call for participation

Deadline: ongoing

Invited are any interested parties from all countries to develop an animation for this series.

If you like to contribute an animation, please send me an email saying which flags you would like to animate. I will provide you with the desired flags as Illustrator files, to be imported directly into your Flash project.

Each participating artist / author will research the connections between their two chosen countries and independently realise the animation in Flash and send me their Flash scene as project (.fla).

Technical requirements:
Pure Flash image + animation, no ActionScript, no text, no photo or video.
With sound preferred (please use only your own, or royalty free sounds).
No text (written or spoken).
Duration: at least 40 sec., or longer.
Format: 768 x 576 px, 25 frames per second, black background.
Every animation starts and ends with 1 second of a full size flag.

Public presentations

This long term project - including all its animations - is presented on the internet, as well as in exhibitions and at festivals. Before each presentation, all contributing artists are informed and they‘ll be named in the presentation. Each artist keeps the copyrights and intellectual property right for her/his own animations, but has to name Myriam Thyes as author of the project concept.

Flag Metamorphoses is an uncommercial public art project. If the animation series should ever be sold, the money will be distributed equally between all authors, corresponding to the amount of animations they have contributed.

Concept / Project: © Myriam Thyes, 2005 -
© Each artist for his / her own animation(s)