Flying the Flag

Using Philosophy for Children this activity engages students together in a self-critical (reflective) practice of asking questions, testing ideas and arriving at conclusions.

KS2 | 30 Mins | Group

KEY QUESTION: How do we represent who we are?


BackgroundConcentric circle

This is a creative activity that could be developed for art and design, ICT or media studies depending on learners and ability. The outcomes could be used for a class/school display or could be part of materials that are exchanged with a link partner.

We are surrounded by visual images every day; images that are designed to say something about identity. We may take these images for granted, but companies, organisations and even governments spend vast amounts of money thinking about them and thinking about how they represent their identity. There are many examples of these to draw on. They include:

  • Flags
  • Shields
  • Emblems or badges
  • Symbols or logos
  • Uniforms or characters
  • Shapes and colours
  • Mottos, strap-lines or catchphrases

Some common and readily available examples to use might include national flags, car company badges, clothing logos, football team emblems, county emblems, school badges or mottos, major event characters (Olympics, World Cup etc).


1. Introduce learners to the idea of the images around us, and how these seek to say something about the people, thing, place etc that they represent. You might like to share one or two examples and see what others they can think of.

2. Ask them to think about how they would represent who they are as a group (class, school etc) to the outside world. As an aid to their thinking you might like to provide them with some samples that will be familiar to them. You might also ask them to draw on the way groups they are already part of represent themselves.

3. The outcome of this activity can be varied according to the ability of learners or the equipment and facilities available. It could be a flag or logo and motto. You may choose to use very practical approaches (hands-on) or take more of an ICT approach where they are producing a design rather than the actual product. The Victoria and Albert Museum have an interactive coat of arms web page that you could use for this. See web link right.

4. Once completed, learners should be given the chance to explain the thinking behind their choices. They might want to refer to some of the examples or stimuli that they particularly liked or disliked. Do the shapes and colours they selected have particular purpose?

Linking Activity

There is a clear opportunity to exchange the outcomes of this activity with a link partner.

What can we learn about each other by the way in which we ‘fly the flag’ for who we are?

Some groups have made joint shields or flags or displayed each others.

Download Template here:
Coat of Arms Template


Based on original material created by The Linking Network and Lifeworlds Learning

Resources to download