Fly the Flag for Human Rights

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National Museums Liverpool will mark Human Rights Day

The UN Declaration of Human Rights was drafted over 70 years ago, with no more than 50 countries getting involved. Today, over 190 countries have co-signed this significant document, demonstrating global solidarity and responsibility. 

This year, the focus is on Article 25 which is that everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control. Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection. Elements that have never been more important as Covid19 has exposed the inequalities within our society. 

National Museums Liverpool will mark Human Rights Day on 10 December 2020 by flying the Flag on the Edmund Gardner.  

Laura Pye, Director of National Museums Liverpool comments: “This past year we have seen how Covid-19 has affected people all over the world, and just how many don’t have access to basic human rights. This is a global shared crisis, and by taking part in these conversations and bringing this to light, we can be a part of positive social change.” 

“National Museums Liverpool is proud to Fly the Flag on Human Rights Day. Our venue, the International Slavery Museum is a campaigning museum that actively engages with human rights issues – tackling systematic inequalities, exclusion, and discrimination. It is our duty to stand up for human rights, not just on one day, but everyday and for everyone.” 

Ai Weiwei, artist and activist designed the flag which seems simple and unassuming at first glance, but then inspecting in detail, the footprint, which has lots of tiny white dots, represents those who are fleeing conflict – often barefoot – with nothing but the shirt on their backs. The design for this flag was inspired by a trip Ai Weiwei took to the Rohingya refugee camp. This became the symbol of the human struggle. 

On 10 December 2020, Fly the Flag will launch a series of specially commissioned poems in response to Article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Poets and spoken word artists from across the UK will perform their poems digitally, igniting conversations and reminding us that even in times of crisis, we must protect the rights of everyone. 

As an organisation, National Museums Liverpool encourages dialogue, and discussion around the importance of universal human rights, and putting people and communities at the heart of these discussions. The involvement of National Museums Liverpool in Fly the Flag is a small contribution to a much bigger issue – but no involvement, however small it might be, is trivial. And this year has been an extraordinary one, revealing unaddressed discriminations. The flag will proudly fly on the Edmund Gardner ship. 

Fly the Flag 2020 poems will be launched here on 10 December 2020 and you can follow @we_flytheflag for updates. 

Notes to Editors

About National Museums Liverpool
National Museums Liverpool comprises eight venues, including some of the most visited museums in England outside of London. Our collections are among the most important and varied in Europe and contain everything from Impressionist paintings and rare beetles to a lifejacket from the Titanic. We attracted more than 3 million visitors in 2019. Our venues are the Museum of Liverpool, World Museum, the Walker Art Gallery, Merseyside Maritime Museum, International Slavery Museum, Border Force National Museum, Sudley House and the Lady Lever Art Gallery. National Museums Liverpool is regulated by the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). Museums and galleries regulated by DCMS are exempt charities under Schedule 3 of the Charities Act 2011. Registered Office: World Museum, William Brown Street, Liverpool L3 8EN.