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Sage Gateshead and BALTIC Fly the Flag for Human Rights

Posted on 24 June 2019


Sage Gateshead and BALTIC are flying a specially created flag this week to mark the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Artist Ai Weiwei has designed a new flag to offer hope and to educate generations to come about the importance of universal human rights.

Between June 24 and 30 over 150 organisations will be involved in events and activity to celebrate the anniversary. Sage Gateshead and BALTIC will be flying two flags (one in Mill Road car park and the other from the flag pole on BALTIC’s roof) for seven days.

Fly The Flag is co-produced by Fuel (lead producer), Amnesty International, Donmar Warehouse, Human Rights Watch, Liberty, National Theatre, Sadler’s Wells and Tate. Additional co-commissioners include Coventry City of Culture Trust and Farnham Maltings.

Everyone across the country is invited to Fly the Flag for Human Rights during the week. Other Flying the Flag events are taking place across the globe, in Mexico, Iceland, Germany, Holland, Denmark, Greece and the USA.

Abigail Pogson, Managing Director of Sage Gateshead, said: “Fly The Flag will raise awareness of human rights across the UK for generations to come and we are proud to be part of it.”

In a joint statement for Fly the Flag, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and Liberty said: “The original Universal Declaration of Human Rights was created by women and men who witnessed first-hand the horror and inhumanity of the Second World War and were determined that it should never be repeated. And today, through the UK Human Rights Act, this powerful idea protects the rights of everyone in this country.

“Human rights are more than just a catchphrase. They inspire and empower. Inspire a vision of a world free from abuse and cruelty. Empower by protecting us from state abuse and curbing the reach of society’s most powerful, so that a minimum standard of safety and dignity is guaranteed to every human being.”

Schools and individuals can download the Fly The Flag creative resource packs for inspiration and simple instructions on how to make their own flags and learn about human rights. Flags can be made of anything and people are encouraged to share their creations using #FlyTheFlag70.

For more information visit




For further information, interviews or images please contact:

Gaynor Ellis, PR and Communications Manager, Sage Gateshead

  1. E. T. 0191 443 4690

Emily Taylor, PR and Communications Manager, Sage Gateshead

  1. E. T. 0191 443 4617 M. 07793 762 879


Notes to editors:

Fly The Flag

24–30 June

To mark the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, artist Ai Weiwei has created a brand new flag to celebrate universal human rights.

In a far-reaching and unique collaboration, arts organisations and human rights charities have come together to Fly The Flag.

The flag was commissioned in response to the real and present dangers of a world changing at break-neck speed, and a community that has forgotten why human rights are so important, to offer hope and to educate generations to come about the absolute importance of universal human rights.

In June 2019, the flag will be flown for 7 days marking the 70 years across the UK and also around the world from Mexico to Iceland, Germany, Denmark, Greece and the USA. Organisations across the UK are programming events and activities to take place during Fly The Flag week. To find out more visit

Fly The Flag is co-produced by Fuel(lead Producer), Amnesty International, Donmar Warehouse,Human Rights Watch, Liberty, National Theatre, Sadler’s Wells and Tate Art Galleries. Co-commissioners include Coventry City of Culture Trust and Farnham Maltings.




Ai Weiwei is renowned for making strong aesthetic statements that resonate with timely phenomena across today’s geopolitical world. From architecture to installations, social media to documentaries, Ai uses a wide range of mediums as expressions of new ways for his audiences to examine society and its values. Recent exhibitions include: Ai Weiwei: RAIZ at Oca in São Paulo, Ai Weiwei: Life Cycle at the Marciano Art Foundation in Los Angeles, Fan-Tan at Mucem in Marseille, Good Fences Make Good Neighbors with the Public Art Fund in New York City, Ai Weiwei on Porcelain at the Sakip Sabanci Museum in Istanbul, Ai Weiwei: Trace at Hirshhorn at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington D.C., Maybe, Maybe Not at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, and Law of the Journey at the National Gallery in Prague.

Ai was born in Beijing in 1957 and currently resides and works in Berlin. Ai is the recipient of the 2015 Ambassador of Conscience Award from Amnesty International and the 2012 Václav Havel Prize for Creative Dissent from the Human Rights Foundation. Ai’s first feature-length documentary Human Flow premiered at the 74th Venice Film Festival in competition.


Sage Gateshead is an international music centre and renowned conference and event venue located in the North East of England. It is for artists, for audiences and for the North.

Every year it welcomes more than two million visitors. More than 400 concerts featuring all kinds of local, regional and international music, take place all year round. Music-making and learning activity takes place not only in the building but across the region, with 190,000 people of all ages taking part in over 10,000 music classes and workshops.

The iconic building, designed by renowned architects Foster + Partners, is home to Royal Northern Sinfonia and is a place where emerging artists are nurtured through dedicated programmes and festivals.

As a charity, the support it receives helps to ensure everyone in the community can experience the joys of music.


Arts Council England is the national development body for arts and culture across England, working to enrich people’s lives. We support a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to visual art, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections. Great art and culture inspires us, brings us together and teaches us about ourselves and the world around us. In short, it makes life better. Between 2018 and 2022, we will invest £1.45 billion of public money from government and an estimated £860 million from the National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country.