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The Native Flags blog is used to complete the third step of the Native Flags project: uploading photos of your sapling(s) and flag. Videos of trees are optional. Also, please include the name of location where the tree was planted, the name of tree, and the date the tree was planted. (You must register as a member before posting to the blog. If you need assistance posting please email


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Top tags: native flags  xavier cortada  reforestation  Capitol  climate change  Congress  ECHO  Embassy  exploratorium  Finland  flag  global climate change  Helsinki  IGLO  Latvia  native  native trees  North Pole  Open-Air Museum  Pedvale  Ros-Lehtinen  Russia  San Francisco  Sequoia redwood 

Seeking Oil, Russia Claims North Pole

Posted By Xavier Cortada, Sunday, January 3, 2010
Updated: Sunday, January 3, 2010

Seeking Oil, Russia Claims North Pole

Planting A Flag In Thawing Region, Captain Declares "The Arctic is Russian"

by Matthew Sparkes, London, UK  on 07.28.07


Russian geologists claim that they have found a link between Russia and the North pole in the form of the Lomonosov Ridge, a geological feature on the sea floor. Because of this, they claim 460,000 square miles of ocean as Russian territory. However, their claims have been knocked back by the UN before, in 2001. There are reports that they are trying again, with some claiming that they are even sending a submarine to plant a flag 14,000 feet under the Arctic ice shelf.

The motivation, as is often the way, is oil. The area is a potentially lucrative oilfield, and with the ice melting (ironically because of oil and the resulting climate change caused by its use), access will be easier.

The expedition leader, Artur Chilingarov, is quoted as saying, "The Arctic is Russian. We are going to be the first to put a flag there, a Russian flag at the bottom of the Arctic Ocean, at the very point of the North Pole." ::The Daily Green ::The Guardian

Tags:  flag  North Pole  Russia 

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Native Flags (North Pole), 2008

Posted By Xavier Cortada, Monday, November 30, 2009
Native Flags

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.  

On June 29th, 2008, Miami artist Xavier Cortada arrived at the North Pole and planted a green flag to "reclaim it for nature.”  

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. 

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San Francisco: Sequoia redwood at exploratorium finds home

Posted By Xavier Cortada, Monday, November 23, 2009
June 30, 2009 letter from staff at the exploratorium

Hello Xavier et al,
I hope you're all doing well. I just wanted to give you a quick update about the sequoia redwood tree we all ceremonially planted at the end of our Climate Change Symposium in April as part of Xavier's Urban Reclamation project. It is now leading a new and happy life! 

After a cameo stint on the Exploratorium floor, our little tree had a lot of interest from local schools looking to adopt it. One Bay Area public school's eighth grade graduating class, however, wanted to present our little redwood as its class gift to the school (so we selected them to be the recipients).

I just heard from the school, where they successfully planted the tree and sent us a picture of the eighth grade graduating class with it! The e-mail from the school is below, and a picture of the 8th graders with their class gift is attached

Thanks so much to everyone who participated and, of course, most of all thanks to Xavier who brought us such a wonderful, lasting symbol of the importance of environmental discourse. 

All the best,

San Francisco, California: On behalf of the San Carlos Charter Learning Center's 8th grade graduating class, I would like to thank you for the beautiful redwood tree.

I am including a photo of our graduates with the tree!

Many thanks!

Tags:  climate change  ECHO  exploratorium  native  native flags  San Francisco  Sequoia redwood  xavier cortada 

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Latvia: Native Flags Installation at the Pedvale Open-Air Museum‎

Posted By Xavier Cortada, Sunday, November 22, 2009

On July 17, 2008, Miami artist Xavier Cortada planted an oak tree native to Latvia with a green flag as an installation  at the Pedvale Open-Air Museum in Latvia. Scroll down to learn more about the installation and to learn more about the Pedvale Open-Air Museum.

Pedvale Open-Air Art Museum
Pedvale, Sabile  LV-3294

Miami artist Xavier Cortada will bring his Native Flags intervention to the Pedvale Open-Air Art Museum in Latvia. Following his trip to the North Pole where he planted a Native Flag, Mr. Cortada is creating this installation to increase awareness of global climate change and the need to combat it through reforestation.
Itinerary to and from the Pedvale Open-Air Art Museum

9.00 a.m. – Departure from Riga to Pedvale

10.30 a.m. – Arriving in Pedvale

10.30 – 11.00 a.m. – Coffee and talk

11.00 a.m. – 13.00 p.m. – Walk around Pedvale Open-Air Art Museum

13.00 – 13.30 p.m. – Coffee and preparing for planting tree and flag

13.30 – 14.00 p.m. – Action of eco-art project — planting tree and the green flag

14.00 – 15.00 p.m. – Meal

15.00 – 15.30 p.m. – Action of "Planting stone" in Pedvale

15.30 p.m. – Departure from Pedvale to Riga

17.00 p.m. – Arriving in Riga

About the Pedvale Open-Air Art Museum
Pedvale is located near town of Sabile in Kurzeme province, only 115 km from Riga, the capital of Latvia. The World’s Cultural Heritage Fund has nominated Pedvale among the 100 World’s unique and most endangered monuments. There, you can enjoy the view of the deep ravines and flat slopes, vast arable fields and peaceful meadows, brooks, creeks and water springs with crystal-clear water. You will be surprised by the objects of art, modern installations and sculptures as well as the monuments of architecture. Enjoy the far vistas to the Sabile town and to the opposite side of the primeval valley of Abava River with an ancient castle mound of Curonians, the Hanging Hill and the famous Vineyard Hill, the most Northern open-air vineyard in the world.

Tags:  Latvia  Native Flags  Open-Air Museum  Pedvale  reforestation 

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Congress and IGLO display Native Flags

Posted By Xavier Cortada, Sunday, November 22, 2009
United States Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, 18th District, Miami, has teamed up with Xavier Cortada to participate in the Native Flags installation. Previously, IGLO has publicized Cortada's work because of the shared goals of raising climate-change awareness. So enthused by this urban reforestation project that aims to help restore native species, Rep. Ros-Lehtinen has written to fellow members of Congress urging them to partner with science centers and plant a native tree and a flag specially designed by Cortada. In addition to Native Flags expanding in the U.S. beyond Miami, Cortada is traveling to the North Pole and will display a flag upon his arrival on June 30. This event will kick off Native Flags on a global level - citizens worldwide are encouraged to plant indigenous trees as well as a flag. Institutions that have been contacted by their local congressmen should e-mail with any questions they may, or if they would like information on how to approach elected officials about participating in Native Flags. For a copy of Rep. Ros-Lehtinen's letter, click here.

Tags:  Capitol  Congress  global climate change  IGLO  Native Flags  native trees  reforestation  Ros-Lehtinen 

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American Artist Xavier Cortada Talked About Eco-Art

Posted By John Constantinide, Friday, July 11, 2008
Updated: Friday, July 11, 2008

American Artist Xavier Cortada Talked About Eco-Art

--Helsinki, Finland
American Artist Xavier Cortada visited the U.S. Embassy and gave a presentation on eco-art on July 8. The emphasis in eco-art is on collaboration across disciplines—artist to scientist to public official and beyond. Eco-art also engages communities to address environmental problems directly, and in highly creative ways. Mr. Cortada emphasized how everybody - artists and individuals alike – can make a difference by small actions. After his presentation Mr. Cortada and Chargé d'Affaires Michael Butler planted  a native tree and a green flag on the U.S. Embassy compound to encourage people all over the planet to help reforest their communities.
More information on Xavier Cortada:
Courtesy of the the U.S. Department of State.

Tags:  Embassy  Finland  Helsinki  Native Flags  Xavier Cortada 

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How to post your flag and tree

Posted By Xavier Cortada, Monday, May 19, 2008
When posting your picture of your flag and tree, please upload a picture of your tree using the blog form. Videos of trees are optional. Also, please include the name of location where the tree was planted, the name of tree, and the date the tree was planted.
For example:
I assisted the Mayor of Miami in planting a Paradise Tree at the Miami Science Museum in the Coconut Grove neighborhood of Miami, Florida, on October 4, 2007. This served as the launch of the Native Flags exhibit at the museum.

Tags:  Native Flags  Xavier Cortada 

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FIU College of Architecture + The Arts

Xavier Cortada
Florida International University
College of Architecture + The Arts
420 Lincoln Road, Suite 430
Miami Beach, FL 33139

Xavier Cortada's participatory art practice is based at Florida International University.


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