Sanofi creates Meningitis Flag for 2024 Paralympic Games disease awareness push

Sanofi is kicking its preparations for the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games up a notch, partnering with patient groups and para-athletes on an initiative to raise awareness about meningitis. The visual centerpiece of the initiative is a flag designed to symbolize the push to defeat meningitis by 2030.

Meningitis remains a significant health problem, affecting 2.5 million people annually and causing death and disability despite the availability of vaccines such as Sanofi’s MenQuadfi that prevent infection. With one year to go until the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games, Sanofi, which is sponsoring the sporting event, has identified meningitis as a focal point of its disease awareness activities. 

The French drugmaker is working with the Meningitis Research Foundation and the Confederation of Meningitis Organisations on the initiative. Sanofi and its partners, with the support of the para-athletes Ellie Challis, Théo Curin and Davide Morana, have created “The Meningitis Flag.”

Sanofi CEO Paul Hudson hailed the flag as the first-ever symbol for the global meningitis community. In a video released as part of the campaign, Laura Spring, the textile designer who created the flag in collaboration with the para-athletes and members of the meningitis groups, explained the thinking behind the design.

“The final design builds on this idea of three. In the middle we have a yellow semicircle. Yellow feels like a very positive, hopeful color, so that was always in my mind from the start and that is designed to reflect the individual at the center of everything,” Spring said.

The other two elements of the flag are a purple triangle and two blue triangles in the background. The purple triangle symbolizes the patients’ families, Spring said, and is a “very positive sign that points upwards” with “a feeling of speed.” The focus on speed reflects the fact it is crucial that people who think they might have meningitis get diagnosed quickly.

“Then we have two softer triangles that are the blue in the background,” Spring said. “The blue was necessary because blue is just such a calm, steadfast color with this sense of determination which ties in with this idea of defeating meningitis by 2030.”

Sanofi’s Meningitis Flag initiative will include out-of-home awareness messages shown at around 500 locations during the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games. The drugmaker plans to make the flag  “a beacon for the Team Sanofi athletes.”