German Cancer Aid Heimat

German Cancer Aid rethinks the beach warning flag to tackle melanoma

Heimat Berlin collaborated with the charity on the flag design, which alerts beachgoers to the harmful effects of UV radiation

Every year, 400 people die in Germany in drowning accidents. While this statistic might make you more wary next time you head to the beach, German Cancer Aid’s new campaign is highlighting an even more worrying stat: eight times more people die from melanomas caused by sun.

In order to spread the word about the dangers of UV radiation, the charity teamed up with agency Heimat Berlin to create a new kind of beach warning flag: the world’s first Sun Warning Flag.

Designed to be used alongside the well-established green flag (low hazard), yellow (hazard) and red flag (high hazard), the black Sun Warning Flag indicates when the UV Index reaches a critical level.

One of the key design elements of the flag is a black sun, which nods to the fact that melanoma comes from the ancient Greek word for black. It also features the colour code of the United Nations World Health Organisation UV index – the international standard measurement for the strength of the sunburn-producing radiation since 1994.

The team behind the sun warning flag have submitted it to the International Organisation for Standardization (ISO), with the aim of it being implemented worldwide.

In addition, they’ve created a microsite that is accessible via a QR Code on the flag pole, and which provides location-based details about the current UV levels and how to protect yourself from the sun.