Many people ask us about our logo – the Union Hack. Some people simply want to know where it comes from but a lot of people want to know the story behind it. We also get frequent requests from people who want to buy one of our mugs, t-shirts, scarves or other products and they usually have further questions too.
For a start, most people want to check if they can find their country’s flag and we are yet to find an example of anyone who has been disappointed! This is not surprising really considering all the effort that was spent in making sure that every national flag was represented. The whole point is that everyone should feel included. A lot of thought went into this design and it’s never an easy thing to explain all the ideas that go along with it.
The Story of the Union Hack
The Founder of Globalised English also happens to be the originator of this popular design which can now be seen more and more frequently in schools, shops windows, and all kinds of public spaces.
The kernel (or the seed) of the idea came from an observation. Looking at the numbers of people who speak English today, it’s very easy to see a striking fact. Most English speakers are not English, American, Canadian or Australian. The vast majority of people who speak English are not native speakers at all but those who use it as a second language. Most people today learn English so that they can talk to other non native speakers.
However, the way that English is taught still appears to be focused on achieving an almost outdated form of communication, the ‘Queen’s English’. It’s very unlikely that most of us will ever move in the social circles this level of precision (or indeed these accents!) require. Most people simply want to be able to be able to communicate with others during the course of their lives, sufficiently well to both understand and make themselves understood. This does not require an exemplary and highly advanced knowledge of English. Someone with a good Upper Intermediate level will be able to survive in any situation, personal or professional. The question of learning how to decipher different accents and boost vocabulary is something which happens naturally over time. This is why Globalised English is focused on helping everyone to speak ‘sufficiently’ well. We aim to help Intermediate B1+ students to improve their confidence and take the next big steps with their English by exposing them to more conversation situations and more native speakers.
A Question of Identity
A nation and its culture are powerfully linked to the language spoken by its inhabitants. England has become increasingly diverse over the last century and as the population of English speakers has changed so radically, it seemed about time to create a new symbol which represented all the different nationalities who are united through this common language.
Work began on this logo over ten years ago and many iterations were tried before this design was finally chosen. As a flag, it’s something which is only made possible by the times in which we live. It is only thanks to the wonders of modern printing that we can now see such a multi-coloured design produced at such a high quality and level of detail.
The Union Hack is ‘multi-coloured’
Multi-coloured really is an excellent word to use because it represents our biological and racial differences so well. The world is full of different kinds of people, every colour and shade imaginable can be found and so a design which includes all the colours of the rainbow seems highly appropriate.
Union Hack – A Symbol of Inclusion
Now the Union Hack is starting to be used by other organisations who want to show they embrace diversity in the workplace. There’s no better way to show that racism has no place in your institution than by displaying one at the entrance of your building, a striking visual reminder of what inclusion really looks like.
The first outing of the full sized flag was in Brighton in 2019 when the Founders of Globalised English, New Paradigm Education and the Living Words University went to tour the streets of Brighton, UK. There’s a short clip you can see below filmed at the end of the night after having had an excellent response from hundreds of people.
Union Hack – The Flag of All Flags
Since its first appearances around the UK, the flag has been referred to as “The Flag of All Flags”, named by someone who was immediately struck by the integration of all the national emblems into one design. Many people have also said they see it as a symbol of peace given the white background.
For all these reasons, the Union Hack is becoming increasingly popular and we are very proud to have been the first organisation to use the design as our logo.