A great activity for everyone

Fabulous Flags

Design Your Personal Flag: An Icebreaker Activity to Uncover Hidden Symbols of Identity and Interest

Fabulous Flags
By Jon Zajac

What is Fabulous Flags?

The Fabulous Flags icebreaker, also known as the Personal Flags Game, is an engaging activity designed to help individuals convey their unique identities and interests through the symbolism of a self-designed flag. The purpose of this get-to-know-you game is to foster understanding and connections among participants by encouraging them to express themselves creatively. During the activity, each person draws a flag that incorporates symbols or objects representing who they are or what they value. This icebreaker is suitable for various age groups, including children aged 7 and up, and can accommodate any number of participants. The required materials are simple: paper, pens, and colored pencils, crayons, or markers. By participating in Fabulous Flags, individuals not only learn more about their peers but also have the opportunity to reflect on what makes them unique.

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Rules for Fabulous Flags

  1. Each person will be given several sheets of paper, pens, and colored pencils, crayons, or markers.
  2. Participants must draw a flag that represents or symbolizes themselves.
  3. The flag should include symbols or objects that convey who they are or what they enjoy.
  4. Provide a set amount of time for everyone to complete their flags (e.g., 15-20 minutes).
  5. After the drawing time has elapsed, ask for volunteers to share their flags and explain the meaning behind their symbols and objects.
  6. If it is a large group, consider dividing participants into smaller groups for sharing or asking a limited number of volunteers to present their flags.
  7. Optional: After sharing individual flags, brainstorm ideas as a group for a class-wide flag. Delegate individuals to draw certain parts of the class-wide flag. Alternatively, collect individual flags and paste them together on a board to create a “quilt” of individual flags, representing unity.

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Materials needed for Fabulous Flags

  • Several sheets of paper: Participants will use these to draw their flags on.
  • Pens: These will be used by participants to create the outline of their symbols or objects.
  • Colored pencils, crayons, or markers: Participants can use these to add color and life to their flag designs.

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Setting up for Fabulous Flags

To set up for the Fabulous Flags icebreaker activity, you will need to prepare the following:

  1. Choose a suitable indoor location for the activity, making sure there is enough space for all participants to sit comfortably and have room to draw their flags.
  2. Set up chairs or seating arrangements in a circle or semi-circle formation, ensuring that everyone can see each other during the sharing session.
  3. Divide the participants into smaller groups if you have a large number of attendees. This will encourage more intimate conversations and better interaction among participants.
  4. Determine the time limit for the flag drawing activity and inform the participants beforehand so they can manage their time accordingly.
  5. Designate a space where participants can display or share their flags, such as a wall, board, or table, depending on your preference and resources.
  6. Ensure that there is ample lighting in the room to facilitate comfortable drawing and viewing of the flags during sharing sessions.

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How to play Fabulous Flags

  1. Pass out materials: I distribute several sheets of paper, pens, and colored pencils, crayons, or markers to each participant.
  2. Explain the activity: I tell the group that we will be drawing flags to represent ourselves, encouraging them to include symbols or objects that symbolize who they are or what they enjoy. I may show my own sample flag for inspiration.
  3. Set a time limit: I give everyone a set amount of time (e.g. 15-20 minutes) to draw their flags.
  4. Invite volunteers to share: After the drawing time has elapsed, I ask for volunteers to share their flags and explain the meaning behind the symbols they used. If it’s a large group, I can divide them into smaller groups or just ask for a few volunteers to share.
  5. Brainstorm a class-wide flag (optional): After everyone has shared their individual flags, we can brainstorm ideas as a group for a large class-wide flag and delegate individuals to draw certain parts of it. Alternatively, I can collect the individual flags and create a “quilt” of flags on a board to represent unity.

Note: Credits for this activity go to Eunice.

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Benefits of Fabulous Flags

  • Encourages Self-Expression: By drawing symbols or objects that represent who they are or what they enjoy, participants can express themselves in a creative and personalized way.
  • Promotes Understanding and Connection: As participants share the meaning behind their flags, others can gain insight into their interests, values, and experiences, fostering connections and understanding among the group.
  • Enhances Communication Skills: Sharing their flag design and explaining its symbolism requires participants to articulate their thoughts clearly and effectively, honing their communication skills.
  • Fosters Active Listening: When participants listen to others share the meaning of their flags, they develop active listening skills, which are crucial for building strong relationships and collaborative environments.
  • Encourages Teamwork and Collaboration: Variations such as creating a class-wide flag or a quilt of individual flags promote teamwork and collaboration among participants, reinforcing the importance of working together towards a common goal.
  • Cultivates Empathy: By learning about their peers’ unique experiences and interests through their flag designs, participants can develop empathy for others, creating an inclusive and respectful environment.
  • Enhances Self-Awareness: Designing their flag encourages participants to reflect on their own values, passions, and identity, fostering self-awareness and personal growth.

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Skills built with Fabulous Flags

  • Communication skills: By sharing the meaning behind the symbols and objects on their flags, participants learn to express themselves clearly and effectively to others. This helps them become more comfortable speaking in front of groups and conveying their thoughts and ideas.
  • Creativity and imagination: Designing a personal flag requires participants to think creatively and use their imagination to come up with unique symbols and objects that represent who they are or what they enjoy. This can help boost their creativity and problem-solving skills.
  • Empathy and understanding: As participants share the meaning behind their flags, others learn more about their peers’ interests, values, and experiences. This helps foster empathy and a deeper understanding of one another, leading to stronger relationships and a more inclusive community.
  • Self-awareness and self-reflection: The process of designing a flag encourages participants to think about what makes them unique and what is important to them. This can help increase their self-awareness and self-reflection skills, allowing them to better understand themselves and their place in the world.
  • Collaboration and teamwork: Working together to create a class-wide flag or “quilt” of individual flags requires participants to collaborate and communicate effectively with one another. This helps build teamwork skills and promotes a sense of unity and belonging within the group.

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Why I like Fabulous Flags

As someone who enjoys bringing people together and facilitating meaningful connections, I find the Fabulous Flags icebreaker to be an invaluable tool. There are several reasons why this activity resonates with me.

Firstly, I appreciate that Fabulous Flags is a visual and creative way for individuals to express themselves. By drawing symbols or objects that represent who they are or what they enjoy, participants can convey their unique identities and interests in a fun and engaging way. This can help to create a sense of inclusivity and belonging, as everyone’s contributions are valued and celebrated.

Secondly, I find that the Fabulous Flags icebreaker encourages active listening and empathy. When participants share the meaning behind their flags, they are invited to reflect on their own experiences and perspectives, while also appreciating those of others. This can help to foster a sense of connection and understanding between individuals, which is essential for building strong and effective teams.

Finally, I value the flexibility and adaptability of the Fabulous Flags icebreaker. Depending on the group size, age range, or time constraints, the activity can be easily modified to suit different needs and contexts. For example, in a larger group, participants can be divided into smaller teams to share their flags and brainstorm ideas for a class-wide flag. Alternatively, individual flags can be collected and displayed together to create a visual representation of unity and diversity.

Overall, I believe that the Fabulous Flags icebreaker is a powerful and engaging way to help people connect and communicate with one another. By inviting participants to express themselves creatively and listen actively to others, this activity can help to build trust, empathy, and understanding within any group or community.

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Tips for making Fabulous Flags more inclusive

  • Use simple symbols and language: By using easily recognizable symbols and avoiding complex language, you can ensure that everyone, regardless of their background or language abilities, can understand and participate in the activity.
  • Consider cultural significance of symbols: Be mindful of the fact that certain symbols may have different meanings or connotations across different cultures. Make sure to explain the meaning behind each symbol and encourage participants to do the same, to avoid misunderstandings.
  • Provide multiple means of communication: For participants who are more comfortable expressing themselves through art rather than spoken language, provide alternative ways for them to share their flags and the meanings behind their symbols. This can include writing down their thoughts or drawing a key to explain the symbols they used.
  • Create a welcoming environment: Encourage participation from all individuals by creating a safe and welcoming space where everyone feels comfortable sharing their flags and their stories. Be mindful of the fact that some participants may have experienced discrimination or bias in the past, and take steps to ensure that everyone is treated with respect and kindness.
  • Adapt the activity for different abilities: Consider adapting the activity for participants with different physical or cognitive abilities. This can include using larger paper, providing visual aids, or breaking down the instructions into simpler steps.
  • Encourage creativity and self-expression: Allow participants to use their imagination and be creative in designing their flags. Encourage them to think outside the box and represent themselves in unique and meaningful ways.
  • Provide multiple opportunities for sharing: Provide multiple opportunities for participants to share their flags, both individually and as a group. This can help build connections and foster a sense of community among participants.
  • Delegate tasks and responsibilities: When creating a class-wide flag or “quilt” of individual flags, delegate tasks and responsibilities to different individuals. This can help ensure that everyone feels involved and valued in the process.
  • Celebrate diversity and uniqueness: Celebrate the diversity and uniqueness of each participant’s flag, and highlight the ways in which they reflect their individual identities and experiences. Use this as an opportunity to learn more about one another and build connections based on shared interests and values.

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Reflection questions for Fabulous Flags

  1. What did you choose to draw on your flag and why? Understanding the symbols and objects that people chose for their flags can provide insight into what they find important or enjoyable about themselves.
  2. How did it feel to share your flag with the group? This question can help participants reflect on their comfort level with self-disclosure and vulnerability, as well as their ability to communicate effectively about themselves.
  3. What did you learn from hearing about other people’s flags? This question encourages participants to think about how they relate to others and what they can learn from their peers. It also reinforces the idea of unity and diversity within the group.
  4. Did any of the symbols or objects on other people’s flags resonate with you? If so, why? This question can help participants make connections with one another and find common ground, even if they come from different backgrounds or have different interests.
  5. How might you use this activity in your own life to learn more about yourself or others? This question encourages participants to think critically about the potential applications of the activity beyond the immediate context, and how it can be used as a tool for personal growth and relationship building.

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About the author

Jon Zajac

Jon Zajac

Founder & Chief Icebreaker

I started Icebreaker Spot because I truly believe that strong connections are the foundation of successful teams. I wanted to create a platform that would make it easy for people to find and share icebreakers and team building activities, empowering them to build trust, foster collaboration, and ultimately, achieve greatness together.

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