Aishah, 15, helps fashion icon choose winning design

Vivienne Westwood: Arctic flag competition judge.

An Irish girl guide has helped fashion design icon Vivienne Westwood select a flag that will be planted on the seabed beneath the North Pole as part of a environmental campaign to save the Arctic.

Aishah Morshed, 15, who lives in Bandon, Co Cork, was on the judging panel with Westwood for the worldwide competition run by the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts, and Greenpeace.

A passionate environmentalist, Aishah has witnessed first-hand the impacts of climate change through her regular visits to Bangladesh to visit family.

The Bandon Grammar student, who is a member of St Peter’s Guide Company, said she hopes the competition inspires more young people to take action to tackle climate change.

“I can’t bear to think of an Arctic without icebergs and polar bears; even though the North Pole is far from where I live, I feel a personal sense of responsibility to protect it, which I hope others will share and join the campaign to Save the Arctic,” she said.

The flag design contest encouraged young people to create a flag that would symbolise peace, hope, and global unity, as a statement of the commitment of millions of people who have signed a petition to protect the Arctic from oil drilling and over-fishing.

Aishah, who was on the panel with two Canadian indigenous artists and Hilary Tam, a Chinese/Canadian TV presenter, helped Westwood chose the winning design submitted by 13-year-old Girl Guide Sarah Bartrisyia from Malaysia.

Sarah’s design features seven doves, representing the seven continents, each carrying an olive branch which, when combined , form a laurel wreath — a symbol of Arctic protection.

The design will be produced as a titanium flag to be planted at the North Pole, 4km beneath the ice, and put on the seabed in a time capsule containing the signatures of millions of Arctic defenders.


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