Extinction Rebellion is a movement that was established in the United Kingdom in May of 2018 when about one hundred academics signed a call to action. It was launched at the end of October by Roger Hallam, Gail Bradbrook, Simon Bramwell, and other activists. In November of 2018 various planned acts of civil disobedience were carried out in London. At that time a large number of the activists in the movement pledged to be arrested and go to prison.
Sources and further information:
1. Extinction Rebellion
2. Extinction Symbol
3. Wikipedia: Extinction_RebellionEsteban Rivera, 19 April 2019
Extinction Rebellion (XR) "is a leaderless, decentralised, international and apolitical network using non-violent direct action and civil disobedience to persuade governments to act justly on the Climate and Ecological Emergency."
On 31st October 2018, British activists assembled on Parliament Square in London to announce a Declaration of Rebellion against the UK Government. The next few weeks were a whirlwind. Six thousand rebels converged on London to peacefully block five major bridges across the Thames. Trees were planted in the middle of Parliament Square, and hole was dug there to bury a coffin representing our future. Rebels super-glued themselves to the gates of Buckingham Palace as they read a letter to the Queen - and the Extinction Rebellion was born.
The call to rebel swiftly became global, with branches popping up the following week in Europe, the US, and soon after the world over. Leaderless and truly global, each new branch makes the movement stronger, bringing in new perspectives, wisdom, expertise, energy and inspiration. (source) Ivan Sache, 23 March 2020
About the Flag and Extinction Symbol
Extinction symbol - image by Pete Loeser, 28 March 2020
The basic XR flag is a square cloth with the extinction symbol
and (here) in black outline in the middle over (any of the following) plain colors: white, blue, green, yellow, orange and pink colors as background. "The Extinction Symbol was created in January 2011 by ESP, an artist from London whose identity is kept secret. It represents the Holocene or Sixth Mass Extinction. The symbol is described on the Extinction Symbol website as (follows): "The circle signifies the planet, while the hourglass inside serves as a warning that time is rapidly running out for many species". A variant symbol (here)
here) is also used, but it is less common (in fact: I haven't seen a flag with the stencil symbol so far).
An interesting disclaimer is located on their website: "Please note: In response to
people attempting to use the symbol on their clothing/giftware products, and to avoid any future requests that it be allowed to be used in this manner, the following clarification is now made: Since its inception the extinction symbol has always been a strictly anti-consumerist project. No extinction symbol merchandise exists, and it never will. The free use of the extinction symbol by individuals in their personal artwork or other forms of expression is strongly welcomed and encouraged, but any form of commercial use of the symbol
is completely against its ethos and should therefore be refrained from. To reiterate, please do not use the symbol on any items that will be sold, or for any other fundraising purposes. There are no exceptions to this policy. Thank you for your understanding in this matter."
The following pictures display the several versions of their flag:
More images of the various colors of flags and information can be found at Historical Flags of Our Ancestors - Modern American Protest and Message Flags (Part III) - Extinction Rebellion (XR) Flags 2018 Pete Loeser, 20 April 2019
"The circle signifies the planet, while the hourglass inside serves as a warning that time is rapidly running out for many species. The world is currently undergoing a mass extinction event, and this symbol is intended to help raise awareness of the urgent need for change in order to address this crisis. Estimates are that somewhere between 30,000 and 140,000 species are becoming extinct every year in what scientists have named the Holocene, or Sixth Mass Extinction. This ongoing process of destruction is being caused by the impact of human activity. Such a catastrophic loss of biodiversity is highly likely to cause widespread ecosystem collapse and consequently render the planet uninhabitable for humans." (source) Ivan Sache, 23 March 2020
These flags used by the militants of the Extinction Rebellion feature the movement's complete logo with its name added beneath the Extinction Symbol. These are less commonly seen and the combination usually appears more often on signs, posters and banners.
images by Pete Loeser and Tomislav Todorovic, 25 March 2020
These are two examples of the XR Critical Swarm Bee flags that were used as part of the Extinction Rebellion's "die-in" held in front of the Tate Modern Museum in London in April of 2019. Pete Loeser, 25 March 2020
XR Monarch Butterfly Flag
image by Pete Loeser and Tomislav Todorovic, 25 March 2020
This black on white flag was carried by Extinction Rebellion activist at the Climate Change Protests in London this week. It features a monarch butterfly, now endangered, surrounded by four XR symbols. The flag was carried upside down, apparently an indication of the species pending extinction. Pete Loeser, 25 March 2020