Allyship to Advocacy Award Winner

“The Reality Flag”
Human Rights Campaign + WPP Unite: VMLY&R, BCW, Wavemaker, Hogarth

The Reality Flag campaign did something Americans are taught never to do: alter the American flag. But the alteration was necessary because basic freedoms are missing in 29 out of 50 U.S. states for LGBTQ+ Americans. So, 29 stars had to be stripped off the flag. Taking the ultimate symbol of freedom and changing it to illustrate that freedoms are missing got the country’s attention, and that was the point. Every piece of communication drove to where users could put immediate pressure on their senators to pass The Equality Act, legislation that would protect LGBTQ+ freedoms in every state.

To pass the Equality Act, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) needed to get the attention of voters beyond those who already support LGBTQ+ rights. They identified the largest group of people who could be persuaded to do so, a group they termed “the moveable middle.” From there, the HRC turned to a study conducted with hundreds of “moveable middle” citizens where they were asked what mattered most to them as Americans. Just 5% said “equality,” but 60% said “freedom.” 

To get any traction with the creative idea, it was clear the HRC needed to shift the narrative from the Equality Act protecting American “equality” to the Equality Act protecting American “freedom.”

The Reality Flag’s message resonated across the country, generating over 480 million earned impressions via outlets like USA Today, The Washington Post, Elle, Fast Company, Oprah Daily and more. Celebrities and influencers including Julianne Moore, Aisha Tyler, and Alyssa Milano shared Reality Flag content, reaching 12.4 million people. The message reverberated across the feeds of everyday Americans too, with thousands sharing Reality Flag posts reaching an additional 11.5 million people. The Reality Flag is a stark symbol that seeks to expose the current reality for millions of LGBTQ+ Americans.

Mosaic Award 2022 Winners