The Pride Flag, A Part of The Flag Shop’s History

This year, on Sunday, August 2, 2015, The Flag Shop will have a booth set-up at the Vancouver Pride Parade Festival. Look for us there under the big blue tent where we will have all of our rainbow Pride products for sale. We will be donating proceeds from our Pride flag sales to the Vancouver Pride Society as well as collecting donations in exchange for our new (and exclusive!) Smiley Face Pride tattoos. However, first read here to learn a little more about why the Pride flag is so important to us, and what we’ve done through the years to demonstrate our passion for LGBTQ+ rights and freedoms.

Here in Vancouver Pride Week is upon us. Every year the Vancouver Pride Society puts together a parade and festival even bigger and louder than the year before. Of course, a big part of any Pride celebration since 1978 has been Gilbert Baker’s Rainbow Pride Flag. Flag fanatics that we are, The Flag Shop couldn’t stay away. As our president, Susan Braverman, recently said:

“Our involvement with the gay pride movement began in 1978 when we produced Rainbow flags and decals in support of the San Francisco Gay Freedom Day Parade. Immediately afterward, we began manufacturing flags for the Canadian gay community in recognition of its history, courage and diversity. While demand in the early years was muted, as the Rainbow Flag transformed into the main symbol of unity for the gay rights movement, requests continued to grow and with support from the PRIDE & LGBT community we were able to invest in the development of new products which celebrate the future.”*

Video from GLBT Historical Society; Go to 7:00 for a glimpse of the Pride Rainbow Flag.

Since then, The Flag Shop Pride products have been flown all over the country from military bases to provincial legislatures. In 2014, when anti-LGBT Russian policies created a wave of outrage around the Sochi Winter Olympics, many Pride flags were flown across Canada to show support for LGBT athletes and Russian citizens that were facing these inhumane policies. In Victoria, B.C. a last minute request was made to The Flag Shop Victoria for an almost four foot by seven and half foot Pride flag, essentially needed yesterday. Paul Servos, the owner of The Flag Shop Victoria, managed to sew it together and deliver it in about 3 hours, and the flag was raised in time for the Olympic opening day.

Understandably, LGBTQ+ rights and Pride demonstrations are something we are one hundred percent behind. Moving forward, we are always looking for ways that we can better show our support for this cause. This year we are partnering with the Vancouver Pride Society working with them to raise funds and create engaging signage for their event. Also, we are a new print partner of Out on Screen who puts together Vancouver’s Queer Film Festival. Look for the banners we made for them at the festival which starts August 13th!

Finally, while we love working with all of these groups, it doesn’t hurt that the Pride flag is incredibly beautiful. We can’t help but agree with designer, Gilbert Baker, in this quote from the CBC:

“The rainbow is a beautiful part of nature, all of the colours, and even the colours you can’t see. So that really fit us as a people because we are all of the colours, our sexuality is all of the colours; we’re all the genders, and ages, and races.”

Fly proud everyone!

*In 1978, the year the rainbow flag was launched, one of The Flag Shop’s conscious designers attended the San Francisco Gay Freedom Day Parade with rainbow flags and decals for himself and his friends crafted out of our Vancouver location.

If you’re particularly excited about the Pride Flag be sure to enter our #PrideFlag contest via Instagram & Twitter!

Pride Products:

Further Reading:
Time: How the Rainbow Flag Became an Icon of LGBT Right
San Francisco Travel: A Brief History of the Rainbow Flag
Slate: How the Rainbow Became a Symbol of the GLBT Movement.
Gilbert Baker’s Website

Our First Ever #PrideFlag Contest

The Vancouver Pride Parade is fast approaching, and things are getting rather technicoloured here at The Flag Shop. We love the pride flag (a lot!), and we want to see it out in the community. But we need your help! This is where we ask you, fellow flag enthusiasts, to snap a picture of pride flags out in the community, and share it with us on Twitter or Instagram!

The Challenge

All you need to do is take a respectful photo of the rainbow pride flag somewhere in your community and then, using your preferred social channel, post the picture to either Twitter or Instagram tagging us here @TheFlagShop and using the hashtag #PrideFlag. You have from now until Sunday, August 2nd at midnight to enter via Twitter and Instagram. One entry per person or organization!

Feeling camera shy?

If social media isn’t your thing, we have another way to enter. Stop by our Flag Shop booth at the Pride Festival on August 2, 2015, and you can enter to win by filling out a ballot. No purchase necessary.

The Prizes


Two of the flag prizes available in our #PrideFlag Contest. Not pictured: The Canada Pride flag, as it is currently in production.

We have three (3) prizes up for grabs:

  1. EARLY BIRD! The winner of our early bird draw on July 31st will be awarded their very own 33″ x 60″ Pride Pirate flag, made at The Flag Shop Vancouver. Yar! (Value CAD $59.95)
  2. A 36″ x 72″ sewn nylon 6-colour pride flag sewn in-house at The Flag Shop Vancouver. (Value CAD $96.95)
  3. One of the first ever made 36″ x 72″ sewn nylon Canadian pride flag sewn in-house (as we speak!) at The Flag Shop Vancouver. (Value CAD $299.95)

The sewn nylon flags will be drawn for on August 4th at approximately 12:00 pm.

Additional Information

A full version of our official contest rules and regulations is available on our website at:

Don’t have a flag? We will be handing out 1,000 paper pride flags to our social media followers at the Pride Festival in Vancouver’s West End on August 2nd. Be sure to come and get one for yourself!

The Flag Shop is involved in Pride events all over Canada. For a comprehensive look at The Flag Shop’s involvement, as well as to purchase Pride products online please visit:

The Honda Celebration: A Flag Shop ‘Tail’

Above: Celebration of Light banners in 2013 (left) and 2015 (right). The same banners were used with attached black tails for different event dates.

This year the Honda Celebration of Light is turning 25 and as seasoned Vancouverites know, some of the best viewing is from one of the city’s downtown bridges. Every year our client brand.LIVE, the event organizer, works with us at the Flag Shop to deck out the Granville Street bridge end to end with Celebration of Light street banners.

Something that The Flag Shop has been able to do to help reduce costs, and more importantly waste, for the event has been to help brand.LIVE and Celebration of Light re-use their street banners year after year.

Printed on 200 denier Dacron, the banners last far longer than the month or so that they are on display. Following the event, we give the banners a good cleaning and then store them safely for the next year. Then, to keep them current and informative, new tails are produced every year with the event dates listed and replaced on the bottom of the banners. This allows brand.LIVE to reuse the banners but lose none of their informative value.

Now that’s a bright idea!

Do you have a recurring event in your community? Street banner tails are a great way to get more mileage from your banners without missing a chance to inform your audience of a great event!

How to fold a Canadian flag

The Vancouver Sun interviewed Susan for Canada Day about the Canadian flag turning 50. The article also includes a video of our store manager, Deanna, giving a brief history of the red ensign as well as describing how most Canadian flags are folded since there is no standardized way.


Photograph by: Nick Procaylo, PNG

The Confederate Battle Flag will not be sold at The Flag Shop going forward

This is just a quick announcement to say that after much consideration, we are halting the sale of Confederate battle flags until further notice permanently.

We will have much more to say about this decision after our peak season is over so stay tuned for further details.

Update: Please see our press release here.

News stories:

5th Annual Mike Gibson Memorial Golf Tournament

On June 13th, 2015 family, friends, and fellow golfers will gather for the 5th Annual Mike Gibson Memorial Golf (MGMG) Tournament to raise funds for the Canucks Place Children’s Hospice. The Tournament was started in June 2011 following the death of Vera Gibson’s son Mike who, alongside his high school sweetheart Kelly Pockett, were involved in an accident that took both of their lives while driving back from the family cabin near Penticton.

Each year about 65 participants ranging in age from teens to late sixties enter the Texas Scramble format tournament, which allows players of all skill sets to participate in a fun filled round of 18 holes. Following the tournament portion with prizes up for grabs, there’s a family style BBQ and silent auction / raffle hosted at the Gibson’s cabin. To date, $15,529 has been raised with no plans to end the tournament anytime soon. Vera says that the Canucks Place Children’s Hospice was specifically chosen because “helping other families who are dealing with challenging circumstances feels like a good fit.”


This year, after realizing that a windsurfing board and laminated photo of Mike used to promote the tournament was on its last leg, Vera visited The Flag Shop Vancouver to inquire about pricing for a custom flag that would be able to replace the damaged board. After coming across Vera during her in store visit (unaware that she was there to explore signage options), President Susan Braverman, touched by the story behind the tournament and Vera’s ability to turn her loss into something positive was happy to donate a flag of Vera’s choice. The final product – a feather flag specially designed for the tournament – speaks for itself!


With no official sponsors or staff, the tournament is truly a labor of love. As not only the main organizer but also an accomplished writer and certified life coach, Vera sees her involvement as an investment of time that would have been spent in other ways if Mike were still here. Instead of celebrating future birthdays and holidays together scattered over the years, Vera’s planning and hard work is a condensed ball of energy that gets poured into the weeks leading up to the event and on the tournament day every year. Although the pain that comes from losing a loved one never disappears, we couldn’t image a better way to celebrate Mike’s precious memory. Thank you for letting us be a part of your wonderful event!

If you know of a special event or charity that needs banners or signage, contact us to discuss how we can help your organization shine.

We are wearing pink today!

Staff in our stores across the country wore pink for Pink Shirt Day (February 25th)!

The Flag Shop Vancouver donated 1,000 Anti-Bullying paper stick flags to I Am Someone‘s annual Walk2Talk event on February 22nd.

Working together to end bullying

Susan Braverman, President of The Flag Shop, was bullied in grade 8 and will never forget the trauma of having to change schools to escape the torment. She was one of the lucky ones who had the support of her family to help her through a devastating period, but not everyone does. Ever since then, Susan has been conscious of what bullying can do to people.

In early 2014, The Flag Shop was asked to produce a flag based on the winning design for a Pink Shirt Day competition submitted by Grace Fenton, a Grade 7 student from New Brunswick. Susan immediately knew that she had found the perfect design to represent The Flag Shop’s Anti-Bullying Campaign, an initiative that all 13 shops across Canada were strongly committed to championing.

img-antibullying-susanBy the end of 2014, The Flag Shop was granted exclusive rights to use Grace Fenton’s design for any campaigns that would help communicate the important message that “Bullying is not acceptable and needs to be stopped.”

The Flag Shop team was ecstatic because Grace’s design offers a positive message representing helping those who need our help. It is easily understood by everyone.

Bullying is a serious problem, whether it’s happening at school, at work, on the internet or for racial, sexual or other predatory reasons. This problem is much bigger than people may be aware of or willing to admit, and The Flag Shop is committed to spreading the message that EVERY DAY IS ANTI-BULLYING DAY!

At The Flag Shop, we believe that business is about more than just the bottom line. With the launch of our Anti-Bullying Initiative, we are doing what we can to raise awareness across Canada that bullying behaviour is unacceptable.

The Flag Shop Anti-Bullying products price points have been established to enable fundraising initiatives across Canada, whether it be for your school, workplace, or social group. In addition, partial proceeds from every Anti-Bullying product sold will go into a fund to support product donations for Anti-Bullying awareness efforts.

The entire Flag Shop team is committed to spreading this Anti-Bullying message! We will continue to add new products based on Grace’s design and over time, as our fund grows, our capability to accept donation requests for products to support Anti-Bullying campaigns will increase. Donation requests can be submitted at any of our Flag Shop locations, from coast to coast.

The Flag Shop is committed to raising awareness that bullying behaviour inflicts tremendous damage, and while we cannot change the past, we can do our part to influence the future. With the support of our fellow Canadians, we will strive for to make our already amazing country BECOME BULLY FREE – a country where EVERY DAY IS ANTI-BULLYING DAY!

All of The Flag Shop’s Anti-Bullying products are available online and at each of the 13 Flag Shop locations across Canada.

See for more information.



The Flag Shop in the news for Flag Day

Rebecca Bollwitt of Miss604 wrote this nice profile of us.

Xinhuanet came in to do a photo shoot of Canada flags being made and displayed in our store.

Flag-Day-5 Flag-Day-7

AM1470 came in to report on us for the radio.


Phyllis and The Flag Shop Edmonton celebrate Flag Day and 25 years in business.


Judy Denham from The Flag Shop Saskatoon sewed Canada flags at the Diefenbaker Centre on Flag Day.


The Flag Shop invites you to come see the making of high quality Canada flags as we get ready for the 50th Anniversary of the Canadian flag on February 15th


The Flag Shop is excited to be celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the National Flag of Canada and invites you to visit our production department while we make high-quality, appliqué sewn Canada Flags. Demonstrations are available, by appointment, throughout the first two weeks of February at participating Flag Shop locations from coast to coast.

The Flag Shop has been proudly making Canada Flags since 1975 and was the first retail flag store in the world.

The Flag Shop’s appliqué sewn Canada flag is beautiful to behold, yet incredibly durable and strong. It consists of three 200 Denier nylon panels sewn together for amazing strength and durability. The Maple Leaf is then appliqué sewn onto the centre panel. These flags can be finished with either a rope & toggle or grommets, or with an open sleeve.

Hanna has been sewing Canada flags for The Flag Shop since 1978.

The Flag Shop is excited to announce that we are participating in the 50TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION by offering 3’ x 6’ Appliqué Sewn CANADA FLAGS at the amazing low price of $50 each. This enables every Canadian regardless of racial, religious or cultural background, the opportunity to own a high-quality custom-made CANADA flag.

To ensure that as many as possible are able to participate in this offer, it is restricted to in-store purchases only, limited to two flags per customer and available while quantities last. Offer expires on Saturday February 14, 2015.

“We are so excited to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the CANADA flag!” says Susan Braverman, President of The Flag Shop. “My mother, Doreen Braverman, opened the first specialty flag store in Canada in 1975 when I was 7 years old. With hard work and the support of our fellow Canadians, we’ve been able to grow to 13 Flag Shops from coast to coast. Canada is this most amazing country and I am so proud to be Canadian. I want everyone to feel the emotion and pride that comes with flying our CANADA flag!”

The Flag Shop is Canada’s leading manufacturer of flags and banners. We are 100% Canadian Owned and offer one stop shopping for all patriotic paraphernalia, world flags, flagpoles and all flag-related products.

We are proudly Canadian!

Please contact The Flag Shop location nearest you to schedule an appointment!


The Flag Shop Vancouver
(Head Office)
1615 Powell Street, Vancouver, BC V5L 1H5 (604) 736-8161
The Flag Shop Victoria 822 Fort Street, Victoria, BC V8W 1H8 (250) 383-3524
The Flag Shop Calgary 7810 Macleod Trail SE, Calgary, AB T2H 0L9 (403) 640-1842
The Flag Shop Edmonton 15507 Stony Plain Road, Edmonton, AB T5P 3Z1 (780) 484-5850
The Flag Shop Saskatoon 309B – 33rd Street West, Saskatoon, SK S7L 0V3 (306) 651-3524
The Flag Shop Winnipeg 1195 Pembina Highway, Winnipeg, MB R3T 2A5 (204) 452-2689
The Flag Shop London 150 Exeter Road, London, ON N6L 1G9 (519) 652-2256
The Flag Shop Toronto Unit B, 5000 Dufferin Street, Toronto, ON M3H 5T5 (416) 736-3524
The Flag Shop Ottawa 838 Bank Street, Ottawa, ON K1S 3W1 (613) 789-5456
Le Flag Shop Montréal 3187 rue St-Jacques, #100, Montréal, QC H4C 1G7 (514) 396-3524
The Flag Shop New Brunswick 201 Champlain Street, Dieppe, NB E1A 1N9 (506) 389-3524
The Flag Shop Nova Scotia 115 Main Street, Dartmouth, NS B2X 1R6 (902) 434-1695

If you have any questions please contact The Flag Shop nearest you.