In the Pinterest age it’s easy to get caught up in the fun times and adorableness that is a pennant string. While they do add whimsy to garden parties, birthdays and big celebrations, pennant flags can also serve a communicative purpose. Historically, pennant flags were used to mark ships at sea and could indicate the ship’s intention and loyalties. While many ships still fly them today, another use has emerged.
On Granville Street
Here’s something to think about next time that you’re waiting for the bus. If you notice a bit of construction going on look up, way up, and check out the orange and white pennant flags hanging from the trolley cables. These flags are used to signal to bus drivers that a line has been moved. In addition, the drivers of over-height vehicles can also make use of them to avoid low electrical wires. The Flag Shop supplies these pennants to Coast Mountain Bus Company; BC Hydro uses pennants too, only theirs are orange only with no white.
Pennants aren’t only attractive but they are also great communicators.
From left to right: Whitecaps Banners on the Georgia Viaduct; SFU 50th Anniversary on the Dunsmuir Viaduct; Brand New Whitecaps Banners on the Cambie Street Bridge; PNE Banners on the Granville Street Bridge; More SFU Banners on the Burrard Street Bridge.
Vancouver, we’ve got you surrounded!
Driving in anywhere from the south around to the east, you can’t miss the banners up on the Cambie, Granville, and Burrard bridges, nor can you help notice the vibrant designs lining the Dunsmuir and Georgia Street Viaducts. These banners all have one thing in common (besides great designs) – they were printed here in our Powell Street production facility.* None of this would be possible without our great, long-time customers, the Vancouver Whitecaps, Simon Fraser University and the Pacific National Exhibition (PNE). Think you can dodge by going down Quebec? Think again, we’ve got Science World covered, too.
Keep in mind that the larger bridges in Vancouver are not outfitted to carry street banners, so we’ve managed to cover every available bridge in the city. Maybe the next step will be to have them installed on the Lion’s Gate Bridge so we can commemorate the Lion’s Gate Bump?
*You may notice that some of the PNE banners look a little more sun-bleached than others. That is because the PNE, in an effort to reduce waste uses a mix of older banners, that were printed a different facility and new banners that were made here at The Flag Shop.
Our founders, Jack and Doreen Braverman, recently celebrated their 50th Anniversary at the Jericho Tennis Club where they had met in 1964. The party was full of friends and family and even included some specially made toothpick flags with a picture of the couple from their wedding day.
A small excerpt from the invitation:
“We met at the Jericho Tennis club in 1964. Jack had a broken ankle from skiing. He asked me to dance! Well, it was the day of the twist. Somehow we managed. […] When we got married he said it was just for 50 years and then he was cutting out. Please join us at the Jericho Tennis Club… Maybe you can help him change his mind.”
I think it’s safe to say that the crowd succeeded in their mission.
2015 was a big year for The Flag Shop’s involvement in LGBTQ+ Pride celebrations with a lot of firsts. We launched our new Pride mini-site: pride.flagshop.com, joined in partnerships, and made donations to important local charities as well as launching a new contest. Read on to see the specifics of our involvement.
This year The Flag Shop came out in a big way. While our company has a longstanding relationship with members of the LGBTQ+ community this year we really took things to the next level.
Beginning in May, with the launch of our Pride-specific website, pride.flagshop.com, our commitment to the cause has really taken on steam. The website not only features our entire Pride product line but has also expanded to include a comprehensive listing of Pride events across Canada, Pride news coverage, a listing of Pride Societies across Canada and more. We are working on adding new products to our line to better serve the LGBTQ+ community.
Clockwise (from top-right): Our media wall looking great at this info booth (Photo: Vancouver Pride); Two of our Pride booth workers; A custom sewn Transgender flag for PFLAG Vancouver; One of our furry booth volunteers; Some Flag Shop paper flags adorning some fabulous shopping carts in the parade. (Photos: Rebecca Love)
We also deepened our involvement with local charitable organizations. We recently worked with the Vancouver Pride Society to produce a media wall for them as well as running a Pride flag booth at the Vancouver Pride Festival with proceeds being donated. We also donated a hand-sewn transgender flag for PFLAG Vancouver, an organization that speaks for a more accepting Canadian society in regards to sexual orientation and gender identity issues.
From left to right: A gamma banner outside of the Out on Screen Gala Opening; Two retractable banners fresh off the press in our production warehouse.
From left to right: Early Bird Winner, Tyler; 2nd Place winner, Kylee; Grand Prize Winner, Zoltan
This was also the year of our first ever #PrideFlag social media contest! In an effort to encourage people to proudly show their Pride Flags all around Vancouver, we launched a photography contest that yielded some great shots and a few excellent winners that helped raise the profile of the Pride flag even further.
From left to right: The Flag Shop Victoria takes part in the local Pride Parade; The Flag Shop London set up a booth at Niagara Pride.
Better still, it’s not just here in Vancouver that The Flag Shop is involved in Pride activities. Our store in London, Ontario had a great booth set up at Niagara Pride while The Flag Shop Victoria made a giant Pride flag and used a pick-up truck to drive it in the local Pride Parade!
All in all we made some great memories through this year’s Vancouver Pride season. Of course Pride issues aren’t just important at one time of year, so we’ll continue to grow and strengthen our participation in supporting LGBTQ+ people as an ally. What is coming next? I guess you’ll just have to wait and see.
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.
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!
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.
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:
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)
A 36″ x 72″ sewn nylon 6-colour pride flag sewn in-house at The Flag Shop Vancouver. (Value CAD $96.95)
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.
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: http://pride.flagshop.com/.
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!http://www.flagshop.com/street-banners.php
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.
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.