Durham Alternative Secondary School, in Oshawa, ON Celebrates Canada 150!

Young Canadians Express National Pride

We are honoured to be part of Canada 150 events with Durham Alternative Secondary School (DASS), who are celebrating for the entire semester! When DASS first contacted us about Canada 150 products, no one could have known what would happen next. It began with invaluable client feedback and quickly and unexpectedly morphed into a chance to be a part of something special!

Durham Alternative Secondary School. Source: Durham District School Board

The Flag Shop President, Susan Braverman, a former public school teacher herself, saw an opportunity to support these students’ efforts by donating a Canada 150 flag. Susan said, “We love supporting our teachers and we recognize that the youth of our nation are the future.” Adding, “It’s heart-warming to know that we not only made things right, but we also made a beautiful connection with the staff and students.”

DASS students posing proudly with their donated Canada 150 flag from The Flag Shop. Source: DASS

DASS is a high school for re-engaged youth in the Durham School District. They recently held a “Decade Door” decorating contest and a celebration luncheon featuring Canadian food. Rosalie Krem, DASS Department Head of Canadian and World Studies and Science, says, “DASS is taking full advantage of this momentous year for all Canadians, to promote the study of Canada’s history.” She adds, “It’s especially meaningful for us, because we find that our students rarely sign up for history courses.”

Decade Doors: 1867-2017. Source: Durham Alternative Secondary School

During a recent day of celebrations, students and teachers took part in a drum call, a smudging ceremony and territorial acknowledgement. And the staff, as the Masters of Ceremonies, impersonated Bob and Doug McKenzie of SCTV fame. Talk about a Canadian event, eh?

They played videos: CBC Canada Video (150 Facts About Canada….in 150 Seconds), Canada 150 video (We’re Canadian….Canada 150 Song) and This Land Is Your Land , all beautiful reflections of what it truly means to be Canadian.

The Flag Shop is the supplier of choice for all your Canada 150 events and celebrations. If your school or organization has a vision for celebrating Canada 150, we offer a full range stock and custom  products to help you mark this historic occasion, while showcasing your own brand.

It’s Canada’s 150th birthday! And that’s a lot of candles!



Happy Earth Day – Saturday, April 22!

Showing Our Support for Environmental Protection

How It All Began
In 1970, after seeing the effects of the 1969 oil spill in Santa Barbara, California, U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson had the idea for a “National Teach-In on the Environment.” He had hoped to assemble and organize the student community, so he chose April 22, falling between Spring Break and final exams. On April 22, 1970, more than 20-million Americans came out to the streets, public spaces and campuses in solidarity to show their support for a sustainable and healthy environment. That same year, the United States Environmental Protection Agency was established and Clean Air, Clean Water and Endangered Species Acts were passed.

Students from Arvada High School in suburban Denver march on the first Earth Day—April 22, 1970. Image credit: Rocky Mountain News

It was two decades later, in 1990, when Earth Day achieved worldwide levels of public engagement, rallying 200 million people in 141 countries, elevating environmental awareness to a global scale. It was Earth Day 1990 that brought new focus to the importance of recycling efforts and helped to pave the way for the United Nations Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, in 1992. Today, Earth Day is celebrated by more than a billion people every year.

The Flag Shop Demonstrates Environmental Responsibility
We’re so honoured to partner with our friends at Common Thread Cooperative , a local enterprise that sources street banners and other fabric to convert into colourful and durable products. Common Thread’s main social purpose is creating employment by providing sewing training and production coaching for newcomers to Canada, people living with mental illness and others. Upcycling used banners keeps them out of the landfill and contributes to the livelihood of the people who make them!

Common Thread producers working in The Flag Shop’s production area

We proudly offer GREEN options to our discerning clients who care as much as we do about making a positive difference in preserving the environment. Developed by The Flag Shop, Echotex® is 100% recycled banner fabric which consists of 65% pre-consumer polyester fiber and 35% PET bottles waste. Echotex combines corporate social responsibility with vibrant and durable options for street banners. The City of West Vancouver was the first municipality to use Echotex for their street banners which was for the 2010 Winter Olympics. Since then, dozens of municipalities have chosen to go green by getting their street banners made by The Flag Shop using this fabric.

The City of West Vancouver had these Echotex street banners made and installed by The Flag Shop in 2012

Echotex street banners made and installed by The Flag Shop for the Vancouver Aquarium on the Burrard Street Bridge in 2014

Join us on Earth Day, Saturday April 22nd as we stand together as part of the global community, showing our commitment to ensuring a sustainable environment for future generations.

The Earth flag is available for purchase at The Flag Shop. Show your support by waving it not only tomorrow, but also throughout the year!

The earth is what we all have in common.
-Wendell Berry

The Sikh Community Celebrates Vaisakhi

The Sikh New Year

Sat Sri Akal!

Vaisakhi is a festival which celebrates the founding of the Sikh community, known as the Khalsa. It is celebrated on April 14 each year.

The Flag Shop is proud to serve its diverse range of clients representing cultural community interests, some of whom we have been working with for many years. Clients celebrating Vaisakhi include Gurdwara Sahib Kalgidhar Darbar, in Abbottsford and Sikh Temple Gurdwara, in Chilliwack.  We’ve also had the honour of supplying the Punjabi Market with street banners over the years, to highlight this friendly and colourful district around Main Street and 49th Avenue, and we hear they will be hosting their own Vaisakhi parade, too!

The History of Vaisakhi
On Vaisakhi day in 1699, a guru named Gobind Singh called Sikhs from all across India to the city of Anandpur Sahib. At this gathering, the guru called upon Sikhs to uphold their faith and preserve the Sikh religion. Guru Gobind Singh lifted his sword and asked anyone prepared to give his life for his faith to come forward. One Sikh came forward and followed the guru into a tent. Shortly after, the guru reappeared alone, carrying a sword covered in blood. He asked again. Another Sikh stepped forward. Again, the guru took him into the tent, and reappeared alone, with his sword covered with blood. This was repeated until five Sikhs had offered up their lives in the name of their faith.  In the end, the guru emerged from the tent with five men dressed regally in blue. Guru Gobind Singh called the five Sikhs the Panj Pyare: the Five Beloved Ones.

Panj Pyare. Photo © [S Khalsa] / Source: www.thoughtco.com

The Five Beloved Ones were the first members of the new Sikh community, called the Khalsa.  Khalsa men took the surname of Singh (meaning lion) to represent courage and women took on the surname Kaur (meaning princess) to emphasize dignity.

Khalsa and Vaisakhi celebrations are taking place across Canada, most notably in Calgary, AB , Burlington, ON, Toronto, ON  and Surrey, BC.

  Source: https://hiveminer.com/Tags/vaisakhi,vancouver/Recent
Happy Vaisakhi!

National Tartan Day – April 6

Celebrating Scottish Heritage

On October 21, 2010, the Minister of Canadian Heritage officially declared April 6 as Tartan Day. It is celebrated on this date because it is the anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Arbroath, a declaration of Scottish independence, made in 1320, which says, in part: “…It is in truth, not for glory, nor riches, nor honours that we are fighting, but for freedom – for that alone, which no honest man gives up but with life itself…”

Source: The Declaration of Arbroath, 6 April 1320/National Records of Scotland, SP13/7

Tartan Day in Canada is an annual observance, which was initiated at a meeting of the Federation of Scottish Clans in Nova Scotia in 1986. The following motion was put forward: “That we establish a day known as Tartan Day. This to be a day chosen to promote Scottish Heritage by the most visible means. The wearing of the Scottish attire, especially in places where the kilt is not ordinarily worn, i.e.: work, play or worship.”

Source: iStockphotocom/Paul McKinnon

Thanks to the tireless efforts and work of Jean Watson, spanning 30+ years, Tartan Day is recognized by all Canadian legislatures as well as the Senate of the United States.

The tartan is a traditional woolen fabric woven in patterns, striped or checkered (plaid), and has long been a symbol of Scotland. Canada’s national tartan, the Maple Leaf Tartan, was created by David Weiser in 1964, in preparation for the 100th anniversary of Confederation. It has been proudly worn by Canadians over the years, and was given official status in 2010.

Today, join The Flag Shop as we honour and celebrate the more than four million Canadians of Scottish heritage, who represent an important part of our national identity of freedom, cultural diversity, unity and strength.


For more information about tartans, symbols of Scottish heritage and pride, please visit Tartan flags and Highland flags on our website.