Native Flags is a participatory eco-art project created by Xavier Cortada to help rebuild our native ecosystems across the planet one yard at a time. Locally, and across the globe, plants and animals evolved together to create a unique interdependent community of organisms. We depend on this native ecosystem for food, shelter, clean water, and fresh air.
Participate in Native Flags by following these steps:
1. Buy or create a Native Flag
The project’s green flag portrays Xavier Cortada’s design for the Native Flags project. You can make or buy your flag.
- MAKE IT: To make your flag, just attach a green cloth to a pole, using white paint to draw a leaf on it and write: “I hereby reclaim this land for nature” and “nativeflags.org”
- PURCHASE IT: Participants can also purchase a 2′ x 3′ project flag.
2. Purchase a native tree
Miami-Dade residents can purchase a Native Flags package or individual trees from the artist to be delivered directly to their home.
If sourcing your tree elsewhere, be sure to consult your local native plant society to determine which native species are suitable for planting in your yard.
Click below to see what native species were featured in Native Flags collaborations in these regions:
3. Plant the tree and flag in your front yard
Planting a flag next to a tree in one’s home front yard is the performative act that defines this art piece. Using the powerful symbol of a flag, the participant is being proactive in helping rebuild the native tree canopy that one stood on that very place. It’s a reverse conquest, returning a portion of that now developed parcel of land back to nature.
As you plant your flag next to the tree, say:
“I hereby reclaim this land for nature!”
Don’t forget to ask your neighbor to do the same!
4. Upload a photo to social media
Post a photo of your green flag and native tree to your Instagram feed or story, tagging @xcortada and #nativeflags to be considered for future “Native Flags” exhibitions.
The project’s conspicuous green flags and your post serve as a catalyst for conversations with neighbors, friends and family, who will be encouraged to join the effort, protect biodiversity, sequester carbon dioxide, and help regrow our native tree canopy.