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What do you think of architect Rem Koolhaas’ proposed redesign of the European Union flag, revealed by The Independent on Wednesday 8 May?

‘It is so blatantly like the Paul Smith corporate identity Aboud Sodano created in 1996. Unfortunately, Swatch also appeared to have scanned the Paul Smith carrier bags to create a new watch. We’re getting slightly fed up with all the multi-stripe pastiches.’

Alan Aboud, Director, Aboud Sodano

‘It’s an absolutely fantastic idea.’

Michael Johnson, Director, Johnson Banks and president-elect, British Design and Art Direction

‘It’s a brief from hell. Whatever the solution, you are always going to seem to fail and antagonise a whole bunch of people. I think the idea of a little bit of every country is a sound basic idea, but Koolhaas hasn’t transformed that into a powerful, simple result. Everyone is already calling it the ‘barcode’, and it has nasty associations for the EU: commercial, commodified and systemised.’

Quentin Newark, Director, Atelier Works

‘I love the idea of Koolhaas’ Rileyesque fusion of vertical strips, regardless of whether it’s part of a stylistic revival in the broader design spheres. It just gets us away from all of that nationalistic jingoism.’

Mike Dempsey, Chairman, CDT Design

‘It’s unique – which makes a nice change – so it’s easy to recognise. You couldn’t draw it from memory and it would presumably mutate as more countries join. Good idea, I think.’

Wally Olins, Chairman, Saffron Brand Consultants

‘This has gone beautifully wrong. The EU needs a symbol, not a multi-national flag. A symbol that works well across all media. The current symbol does all that. Just try and reduce Koolhaas’ flag to logo size and print it in black only: you end up with a barcode. I can only find solace in the fact that from now on European Commission president Romano Prodi will ask designers instead of architects to design buildings for the European government.’

Justus Oehler, Partner, Pentagram

‘Double Dutch. If this flag was to represent a printing company or a new range of Pantone paper, then maybe Koolhaas could get away with it – just. As a new symbol for EU nations I don’t think so, my old Dutch. Think again.’

Richard Morrison, Director, Fig

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