Elysium Artists in New York - Returning of the TEC flag 101 at the Explorers Club 112th Annual Dinner at the Waldorf Astoria

Elysium Artists in New York

Returning of the TEC flag 101 at the Explorers Club 112th Annual Dinner at the Waldorf AstoriaElysium-flag-return

The Explorers Club is a prestigious organization that was founded in 1904 “to unite explorers in the bonds of good fellowship and to promote the work of exploration by every means in its power”. Club members have been recognized for many firsts over the last century including the first expeditions to both the North and South Poles, the first summit of Mount Everest, the first to the deepest point of the ocean, and even the first to land on the moon. Along with this history of excellence in pushing the bounds of what we know about our world, the associated Explorers Club flag is a symbol of the courage and vision required to mount an expedition to gain knowledge and insight about remote locations at the farthest reaches of our planet.

Ambitious explorers began carrying the Club flag in 1918, and it is still the greatest honour and privilege to carry one on an expedition. The flag’s primary colours of red and blue represent courage and fidelity respectively, and they border a band of white emblazoned with the compass rose to symbolize the worldwide circle of the Club’s interests. There are currently 222 numbered flags, some of which have been retired, and each one of them has a rich history of travel, exploration, and field science that spans the globe. The award of the flag is a significant accomplishment. The flag has been carried to all of the Earth’s continents, as well as under the sea and into the stars. To date, 850 explorers have carried the flag on over 1,450 expeditions.

Michael AW was awarded the Explorer Club flag 101 for the Elysium Artists for the Arctic expedition. The Elysium team was beyond proud to carry EC Flag 101 on their epic journey to the top of the world. The travel history of Flag 101 began in Liberia in 1940 and has included Egypt, Guatemala, the South Pacific, Greenland, and now the high Arctic. The mission of the Elysium expedition is to create a multi-faceted interpretation of the Arctic in order to inspire greater appreciation, understanding, and love for this critically important region of our planet, while drawing attention to the impacts of climate change. Through photos, paintings, science, art installations, videos, music, and educational outreach programs, we can connect with people around the globe, changing their perception of this northern polar region so that they better comprehend the importance of the Arctic and why we must do everything in our power to protect it.

Michael AW, FI 08 and the Elysium Artists for the Arctic expedition team were granted the unique opportunity to return the expedition EC Flag 101 during the Explorers Club 112th Annual Dinner on March 14, where a segment of the Elysium Arctic documentary trailer was screened in public for the first time. Fifteen members of the Elysium team were present, and we all gathered on stage to return the flag while Michael Aw and Dr Sylvia Earle expressed their gratitude for the Explorers Club’s support of Elysium and our mission of polar conservation. The positive response was inspirational and support for the project was overwhelming. The next Elysium epic now beckons for us to carry an EC flag to Antarctica in 2018.