When PopSci published Will Snyder's article on terraforming Mars, we opined that the Mars Society's colonial flag could use some sprucing up, so we asked readers to submit their own designs. The week the article appeared, 42 Martian-flag mockups turned up in our inbox. Some featured elaborate designs and detailed explanations (which we've printed in their entirety in the slideshow), while others simply included a name. A couple flags were even sent anonymously.
We promised readers that we'd award our favorite flag with a year's subscription to Popular Science and submit the winning design to the Mars Society for consideration. After much internal debate (the PopSci staffers are a contentious lot), we narrowed the field to two finalists: Christian Garcia's [above] and Michael Richardson's [left]. Both flags got strong marks for composition, but they also both elicited a bit of head-scratching from the panel of judges. One panelist remarked that Richardson's flag reminded him of Cameroon's; another said that Garcia's flag seemed to be representing Saturn. (The ellipse in the background of Garcia's design is intended to represent the solar system). In any case, when the tally came in, Garcia was the winner, with 20 votes to Richardson's 10. We liked the symbolism of Richardson's so much, though (the transitional colors represent Mars-the Red Planet-transforming into another Blue Planet), that we'd like to offer him a subscription to the magazine as well. Congratulations, gentlemen, and thanks to everyone who submitted designs for this contest.-The PopSci Editors
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.