If there’s one thing (many) South Asian nations have in abundance, it’s people. Now, countries of this populous region are competing to hold the world record in an unusual phenomenon called the human national flag.
On 23 August 2014, more than 35,000 Nepalese came together in Kathmandu’s city centre to form the world’s largest “human national flag”. The feat was best seen from the air, and had a special visual significance too: the Himalayan nation has the world’s only flag which is not a quadrilateral (it’s made up of two triangles).
The exercise was billed as an effort to ‘unite the hearts of Nepal’. As seen from the Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/events/1521476671414710/), it entailed plenty of preparation. Unless you’re in North Korea, getting thousands of people to perform an act of mass coordination isn’t easy.
If Guinness World Records accepts this claim based on photographic and video evidence, Nepal will replace Pakistan as current record holder. On 15 February 2014, a total of 28,957 people came together at the National Hockey Stadium in Lahore to make up their flag during Punjab Youth Festival 2014. http://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/world-records/2000/largest-human-national-flag
Pakistanis beat Bangladesh to this record. A total of 27,117 volunteers, mostly students, stood up with red and green blocks to form their flag at the National Parade Ground in Sher-e-Bangla Nagar in Dhaka on 16 December 2013. They stood there for 6 minutes 16 seconds, though the requirement for setting a new world record was 5 minutes.
My friend Shahidul Alam photographed it from the air – see: http://www.driknews.com/issue/849
So here’s a chance for Sri Lanka’s patriots to literally fly their flag into a world record. Of course, coordinating the creation of the Lion Flag will be more demanding (making up Pakistani and Bangladeshi flags is relatively easier than Nepal’s).
Who’s willing to take up this little challenge?