A South African advertising agency could be taking its cue from the iconic Kevin Costner movie In ‘The Field of Dreams.’ In the movie, Costner’s character gets this crazy notion that he must build a baseball field in the middle of his corn farm in Iowa. A voice keeps telling him, ‘If you build it he will come.’ And so – why not? – he builds it.
And while the ‘it’ in the movie was a baseball field, the ‘it’ in a far-reaching new South African project is a massive 66-hectare flag!
The Flag of Dreams
It will be built and nurtured in the Valley of Desolation, somewhere just off the road between Graaff-Reinet and Aberdeen in the Camdeboo area of the Eastern Cape.
And whereas Costner’s character paid for the baseball field himself, nearly going bankrupt in the process, the cost of the Giant Flag, as it’s being called, is hopefully going to be spread more judiciously among investors far and wide.
In fact, anyone can become an investor in the Giant Flag. For just $10 to $250 you can buy your bit of the banner that will eventually be so gigantic it will be visible from outer space.
After ‘adopting’ a plant or plants in the piece of the flag you wish to purchase, you will be given the GPS coordinates for the sections of the flag you have bought so that you can then monitor its progress online. (It probably comes as no surprise that Google has given the project a permanent monthly advertising grant of R100,000 and powers the online platform of www.giantflag.co.za. )
Making up the colours of the flag – an area equal in size to 66 football fields! – will be 2.5 million Karoo succulents: blue dans, golden barrels, red fire barrels and green spekbooms.
Solar panels – for this is a green project – will make up the black triangle, while a gravel road will stand in for the flat’s white stripe.
The plants will not only create a mini-Namaqualand that it is hoped draws tourists, but will be a major carbon-offsetting boost in the largely barren area.
Giant Flag is the brainchild of Guy Lieberman, the green and social new business development manager at advertising firm FCB. The idea was to rekindle the national pride and excitement of the FIFA 2010 World Cup as well as to create growth in a neglected rural area.
When the project is in full swing, it is hoped to bring 700 new jobs to the area, mostly to women. The first phase is complete, with land purchased, zoning completed, and the second phase was started in October, during which the flag itself will start to take shape.
The project is expected to take three years and cost R180 million. The 6.6 hectares of solar panels will be able to deliver four megawatts of electricity to 4000 homes.
According to those behind The Giant Flag, it is not just about planting cacti. It’s about building a community, and allowing all those who ‘adopt’ a plant (or plants) to feel, no matter where they live in the world, that they are contributing to making change happen in South Africa, to transforming people’s lives…and leaving a legacy for generations to come.
“The South African flag was designed with a vision for building a country that not only works for its people but encourages us to work together for positive change. The Giant Flag will embody that spirit and serve as a living reminder of the true spirit of South Africa for hundreds of years,” says a statement on The Giant Flag’s website.
In other words: If we build it, South Africa will grow…This is South Africa’s Field of Dreams. The Flag of Dreams…
Watch Videos – The Giant Flag, South Africa
The GIANT Flag Promo, South Africa
To buy your piece of the Giant Flag, follow the easy steps here: www.giantflag.co.za
Looks nice, only problem is that the solar panels will be stolen pretty quickly like the telephone wires, cars, highway signs … and everything else that isn’t locked up or under armed guard…
I think this is a BRILLIANT idea! Makes me so proud of South Africa! I’ve bought myself a little spekboom 🙂
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