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MAD PRIDE Flag Campaign, and Some Ideas

November 17, 2011

OK!  Here it is!  Sarafin has put up your interactive, collaborative site for designing the Mad Pride flag.

© 2011 Sarah Griffin

Hit it!  Mad Pride Flag Design Campaign.  It’s going to have PRIDE of place on the Blogroll!

Here are a couple of my rather pedestrian attempts, done in Paint.  You can tell why she’s the artist.

A bit obvious, as I was trying to keep things soft.  Maybe too soft, and too obvious.  Hospital green contrasting with hospital white.  I figure both should be on there somewhere.  But this scheme does not allow for transcendence.  So I came up with the following:

You’ve got the green ground — something we all value and miss “on the inside” morphing to the institutional green of the inside.  There’s the blankness of our empty lives when warded for long periods, dead centre.  This is followed by a blue, which is paradoxically both the colour of the sky above us yet also an institutional colour.  Finally, we’ve transcended upward beyond that into a bold, bracing, pure firmament whence we can never fall: full circle, back into a free, natural world.  Questions?  Comments?  Criticisms?

With “Psi” characters, you get the following:

Or the following:

Then there is this:

This is the same as the above, only I’ve added the red of struggle and bloodshed between the outdoor green and the ward green, just as I’ve added “Yellow Wallpaper” yellow between our institutionalized glimpses of sky and the real thing.  Personally I think it’s too busy with 7 stripes.  Compare with the Gay Pride flag (below), which has but 6.

My next 6-striper is the following:

The narrative is as follows.  From the “jaws of the black dog” we rise up to the purity of white, which is something we’ve reclaimed from the institution: formerly the colour of the ward, it now indicates full acceptance of oneself.  The intervening grey is that necessary area which inhabits the space between our rises and falls, our successes and failures, our concepts of what constitutes morbidity and health.  The hospital green represents our individual struggles during institutionalization; the “Yellow Wallpaper” colour stands for our individual struggles in the community; and the red which crowns it all is nothing less than our collective fight for dignity, respect, independence, and self-determination.  I think this one’s pretty tight.  I’d only suggest perhaps a (winged?) psi in optimistic sky blue to crown it.

Hmmm… at the very least, this stuff needs a lot of tweaking!

5 Comments leave one →
  1. January 18, 2012 9:09 pm

    Hey, I’ve nominated you for the Blog For Mental Health 2012 awards

    • January 19, 2012 5:56 am

      Thank you kindly! Your own blog touches me deeply, as you are extremely articulate in your presentation of your circumstances. It is an honour to know you.

  2. Elsie permalink
    June 1, 2012 1:56 am

    For any mad pride flag, instead of straight, parallel stripes, I vote for *zig-zagged* stripes. Like the one on Charlie Brown’s shirt. Graphically, zig-zag designs have often been associated with madness, craziness & things being “out of order”. (For example, in comics, a TV on the fritz is often depicted as having zig-zagged lines on it.)


  1. Wundernutbar’s flag designs & blogger Zoe Kessler’s articles on the campiagn… « madprideflagdesigncampaign

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