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:
http://pride.flagshop.com/

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

Prize-Photo-(2of3)

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: http://vancouver.flagshop.com/pdf/PrideFlag-Contest-Rules-Regs.pdf

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/.



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! http://www.flagshop.com/street-banners.php