Expo 2002 Swiss flags

On the road on a «state policy» mission

How four teams from Steiner Sarnen Schweiz set out on an unusual Tour de Suisse, how we "saved" Expo.02 with this adventure expedition - and also a tiny bit of Swiss democracy.


Management Expo.02






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Wind- und wetterfeste Fahnen gegen den Sturm der Entrüstung

The joy and minne about the long-awaited Swiss National Exhibition threatened to fizzle out shortly after the opening. The Federal Council - for once united collectively in the principle of collegiality - was annoyed by the lack of flag decorations on the decentralized festival grounds. The Expo.02 management reacted promptly to the reproach and demonstratively placed four flags at each of the parking lots - these are, after all, also part of the festival grounds, albeit an upstream one. So far, so angry. We sent a text message to the artistic director Martin Heller - yes, this already existed at that time - and told him that we had long been toying with the idea of collecting the tattered and faded flags on the Swiss Alpine passes. His answer was short and clear: "How fast can you deliver how many flags?". We started the mission and the car engines. And sped across the country with four teams. Over mountain roads and passes. Steep curves up to the summits and daring descents down into the valleys. Within four days we had collected 120 Swiss flags. Blown by the wind, bleached by the sun and labeled with their origin, they soon hung together as a hundred in the tower on the Arteplage in Biel. Each flag told its own story. The Federal Council was (presumably) satisfied. And we were anyway.

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