Category Archives: Articles

Mandala Fold

Mandalas are a wonderful starting point for flag designs. When the flags are flown, their radial symmetry becomes a dazzling kinetic kaleidoscope. For those who might prefer a name with less reach into the cosmos, it is also known as the “paper airplane fold.”

What is a Mandala?

A mandala is a symbolic picture of the universe. It can be a painting on a wall or scroll, created in colored sands on a table, or visualization in the mind of a very skilled adept.

The mandala represents an imaginary palace that is contemplated during meditation. Each object in the palace has significance, representing an aspect of wisdom or reminding the meditator of a guiding principle. The mandala’s purpose is to help transform ordinary minds into enlightened ones and to assist with healing.

Chakra Fold Tie-Dye Technique

Materials Needed:

A long thin waterproof form, maybe 4 or 5 inches wide and about as long as the diagonal on your flags. I use one side of a Dharma fabric box covered in Saran Wrap, so it’s about 5″ by 45″.
About a dozen rubber bands, big newspaper ones, not the wimpy little ones.
An old beach towel you can get dye on.

Flagging around the world: Brasil

The more recent origin of flagging in Brazil can be traced to the city of Belo Horizonte (Portuguese for “Beautiful Horizon”) in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais, beginning the late 1990s. Flagging moved from the parties in Belo Horizonte to Rio de Janeiro and then later to São Paulo, Brasilia and Florianópolis.

At first, flagging was imported directly from the American parties. Later, as it has become more popular, flaggers have incorporated local cultural elements in their designs and flags including drawing inspiration from local painters and artisans.

Flagging Stories: A History

The first story I remember hearing on the dance floor involving spinning was the story of Rumi. He was a 13th century scholar who taught by sharing the stories he gained in his many travels. He had many followers, and one changed his life forever. Rumi took Shams, a beautiful young dervish, for his lover. Their affair was cut short when, one night, Shams disappeared, never to be seen again.

Meditation Flagging

The first key to spinning flags is Awareness. Flags increase our physical sphere of influence about 10 feet. Most people are fairly conscious of their own personal space, but spinning flags increases it dramatically, so it’s important to increase our awareness of people and objects in your vicinity. The hidden weights can impact yourself and others. If you are in a crowded area, it is wise to find a less crowded place to spin, or to save the flags for later.


It is important to learn the conventions, language, and appropriate behavior of my new community. After asking questions, reading posts in forums, and observing flaggers at parties, I have a brand new vocabulary (see the Flagging Dictionary).