Reclaim the North Pole with Native Flags

Video: Xavier Cortada, “Native Flags (North Pole), 4m10s, 2009.
Music: Juan Carlos Espinosa

 On June 29, 2008, Xavier Cortada planted a green flag at the North Pole to reclaim it for nature.  The NYFA sponsored artist project’s video was premiered in by ecoartspace at the 2009 Verge Art Fair in Miami Beach, Florida.

As the Arctic sea ice melts, nations clamor to raise their flags over newly open waters to claim the natural resources that lie beneath them – oil, manganese, diamonds, fish – and to control shipping lanes. Meanwhile, rising sea levels threaten the world below.

Cortada created this NYFA sponsored artist project to engage people globally to help slow the polar thaw: Participants plant a native tree next to a green flag at home and ask their neighbors to do the same. (Scroll down to participate.)

Reforestation reduces the greenhouse gases that cause global climate change.

Participate by following these steps:

1. Purchase a native tree from a local nursery.

2. Create a project flag (take green cloth and paint a leaf on it, tie it to a stick).

3. Plant the tree and the flag in your front yard and state “I hereby reclaim this land for nature.”

4. Upload photo at

5. Ask your neighbor to do the same.