Flat-Earthers claim the logo of the United Nations is the so-called ‘flat-Earth map’. They are obviously wrong, the logo is a map of the Earth in the azimuthal equidistant projection. They picked the design because it shows all the countries of the Earth, and without emphasizing one over another.
In 1945, Donal McLaughlin was tasked to create a lapel pin for the delegates of the UN Conference on International Organization in San Francisco. In the future, the conference would pave the way for the formation of the United Nations. Because of time constraints, the manufacturer of the pin could only make circle pins, and McLaughlin needed to accommodate that in his design.
McLaughlin and his team created a few prototypes for the logo. They felt the most appropriate logo was the azimuthal equidistant map of the world. But there were other Earth shaped designs, like two with the orthographic projection. The drawback of this projection is that it doesn’t show all the countries of the Earth; only one side of the Earth is visible. There was also a design using the double orthographic projection (or the Nicolosi globular projection), but they felt this design were overused at that time.
They picked the logo with the azimuthal equidistant projection. This design shows all the countries of the Earth in a circle. The design was stuck, and it is used as the UN logo still in use today.
In the future, the logo was revised several times. The original design did not include countries beyond 30° South, so countries like Argentina, Chile and New Zealand were not included. The newer design includes all landmass to 60° South, and only Antarctica is excluded from the logo.
They also rotated the design. In the original design, the United States was placed in the bottom center. The new design was rotated 90°. The US is now in the left, and the USSR is no longer ‘upside down’. Other than that, the International Date Line and the Meridian is now vertical. It is symbolic as both lines are the results of international cooperation before UN.
It is clear there’s nothing suspicious about the UN logo. Imagine if you painstakingly expended all the effort to hide the fact that the Earth is flat from everyone in several generations; would you use the real shape of the Earth as the logo of your organization and use it everywhere?
- UN Logo and Flag – United Nations
- The Architect Who Designed the UN Logo – United Nations Blog
- Origin of the Emblem and other Recollections of the 1945 UN Conference – United Nations
- Maps, Flags, and Boundaries – Research Guides at United Nations Dag Hammarskjöld Library
- Origin of the Emblem and Other Recollections of the 1945 UN Conference – Donal McLaughlin