The International Cooperative Alliance (ICA) is the oldest international cooperative federation. The idea about making a flag for it came from an article I was writing about the flag of Cusco (Peru): the former ICA flag was identical to the Peruvian city's, and are probably related.
That was the first flag of ICA (that was identical to Cusco's), officially adopted in 1925 (read its symbolism on my article):
In 2001, to avoid the confusion to the many rainbow flags that appeared since 1925, it was substituted for a logo flag, with doves appearing from a six-colored rainbow; the seventh color was moved to the letters, that formed ICA's acronym in one of its official languages. For instance, the Anglophone version:
Since then, the flag was replaced once again, for a more logo-like flag. Notice the image formed by the two letters O.
My proposal uses a different cooperative symbol: the twin pine trees. I put it on a green background.
The pine tree is an ancient symbol of life and endurance, while the circle represents eternity. The fact that there are two pine trees represent union and cooperation. Green is a color of life (because of chlorophyll), while the golden yellow represents the sun (specially because it's on a circle), the giver of the life and the light.
For the final design, I chose a variant of the logo where the pine trees are formed by the negative area of the yellow part, but whatever twin pine trees would work. I am happy with the flag, and I think it could embrace not only ICA but cooperativism as a whole.
Comments and suggestions are welcome.
Have you read my post about Cusco? No? You have another chance.