No Matter How You Like to Celebrate, Easter Weekend is Almost Here!

Easter’s Origins, Symbols and Traditions Around the World

On Easter weekend and between Christmas and New Years are the only times of the year that The Flag Shop closes its shop and offices for more than two days. During these times, our team takes a well-deserved break from work to enjoy quality time with family and friends. But Easter is about more than taking a 4-day weekend.

Source: liberaldictionary.com/easter-sunday/

What is Easter?
For many people, Easter is about decorating eggs, chocolate bunnies, springtime, and new beginnings. But how many of us know the origins of Easter? Like Christmas, Easter is a Christian observance and celebration, which focuses on the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and his resurrection three days later. On Good Friday, Jesus died, and on Easter Sunday, he rose again.

Syrian Passover Feast – Source: Nir Kafri @ haaretz.com

The origins of the word “Easter” are subject to debate. The word is said to be derived from the Jewish festival of Passover, which is known as “Pesach” in Hebrew. This corresponds with several European terms for Easter, such as “Pascha” in Greek, “Paques” in French and “Pasqua” in Italian. Passover celebrations take place around the same time as Easter, in remembrance of the time when the Israelites were freed from slavery in Egypt.

Ēostre – Source: thaliatook.com/AMGG/eostre1.php

The term “Easter” is also said to reference to the Old English pagan goddess of spring or renewal, known as Ēostre or Ostara. Mentioned in the scholarly writings of a monk named Bede, Ēostre was celebrated by the Anglo-Saxons in the month of April.

Why Does Easter Fall on Different Dates Every Year?
If you’re unclear about why Easter falls on different dates every year, we’re pretty sure you’re in good company, among the many others who would love to know! The date for Easter Sunday is based on ancient rules which dictate that Easter must take place on the first Sunday following the first full moon after March 21st (also known as the vernal equinox). This means that for most Christians, Easter will fall somewhere between March 22nd and April 25th.

World’s Largest Egg – Source: guinnessworldrecords.com

Brazil Boasts World’s Largest Egg
Speaking of eggs, the town of Pomerode in Brazil is home to a famous local artist named Silvana Pujol, who developed her own style of painting eggshells. Each year the town hosts an Easter Festival called Osterfest to celebrate this homegrown artist and her work. The world’s largest decorated Easter egg is the pride Pomerode and will be featured at the festival, which welcomes more than 200,000 visitors each year. The egg is 49.25’ tall and 28.6’ in diameter and took nearly seven weeks to build. The colourful design is Pujol’s creation, which was scaled to adorn the giant egg.[1]

Source: fun4easter.info

Easter Around the World
1. Canada – People attend church services, get together with family for a special dinner, have Easter egg hunts, and give gifts of chocolate eggs and bunnies.
2. Greece – In the Orthodox tradition eggs are dyed in a dark red colour, which is symbolic of life, victory and blood.
3. France – In Alsace, people celebrate Easter with special markets where bunnies, both of the furry and the chocolate varieties, can be found.
4. India – While only 2.5% of the population is of Christian faith, Easter celebrations take place most commonly in the northeastern states. In Goa, they hold street carnivals and street plays, and give gifts of brightly-coloured lanterns and flowers.[2]
5. Australia – We’ve all heard of the chocolate bunny, but what about the chocolate bilby? The bilby is an endangered native animal to Australia and candy companies more commonly make chocolate bilbies – not bunnies, for Easter.

Easter Bilbies – Source: discoverenglish.com.au

Vatican City and the Flag
Easter Week starts on Palm Sunday when the Pope leads a special mass at St. Peter’s Square in Vatican City. Vatican City is the smallest country in the world with a population of 800,[3] and is ruled by the head of the Roman Catholic Church. Surrounded by Rome, Italy’s capital, this tiny nation is home to the Sistine Chapel.

Sistine Chapel – Source: selectitaly.com

The flag of Vatican City is a square shape containing two vertical blocks of gold and white, with the Vatican City Coat of Arms centered on the white side. The coat of arms features the papal tiara and two keys of silver and gold representing spiritual and worldly powers. It was on June 7th, 1929, when Pope Pius XI signed the Lateran Treaty with Italy, creating Vatican City and adopting its flag.

Vatican Flag – Source: https://pamelaho.wordpress.com

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Happy Easter!


Sources:
[1] http://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/news/commercial/2019/4/giant-multicoloured-easter-egg-towers-over-brazilian-town-567276
[2] https://www.rd.com/culture/easter-traditions-around-the-world/
[3] http://worldpopulationreview.com/countries/vatican-city-population/

Happy 20th Birthday, Nunavut!

Canada’s Largest Territory Turns 20 on April 1st, 2019!

Map of Nunavut – Source: en.wikipedia.org

As proclaimed 20 years ago, on April 1st, 1999, Nunavut (an Inuit word meaning “our land”) became the newest territory in Arctic Canada. As part of the largest land claims settlement in our nation’s history, this monumental event gave the Nunavummiut – which means “the people of Nunavut” – control over the eastern portion of what was formerly the Northwest Territories. Nunavut spans 350,000 square kilometres, and brought about the first change to the map of Canada since Newfoundland joined Confederation 50 years earlier, on March 31st, 1949.

20th Anniversary Commemorative Coin – Source: www.mint.ca

20th Anniversary Calls for Something Special
We think Nunavut’s 20th anniversary is a big deal, and it so happens that the Royal Canadian Mint does too! In celebration of Nunavut, the mint produced its first-ever coin minted of 99.99% pure Nunavut gold! The commemorative coin was designed by Inuk artist, Andrew Qappik, of Pangnirtung and reflects beautiful Nunavut wildlife, such as the ptarmigan, the walrus and the bowhead whale – all of which are outlined by a maple leaf. [1]

Nunavut Flag Proclaimed on April, 1st 1999

The Flag Tells Its Own Story
With the proclamation of the territory, the official flag of Nunavut was also proclaimed. The Inuksuk at the centre of the flag represents the stone structures, deeply rooted in Inuit culture, and made by people on the land. They are used for marking sacred or other locations, such as fishing or hunting spots. The colours of yellow and blue represent the richness of the sea, land and sky, while the red reflects Canada. The blue star, known as Niqirtsuituq or North Star, is the traditional guide for navigation and also serves to honour the leadership role of the elders in the community.[2]

Seven Interesting Facts about Nunavut [3][4]
1.  Iqaluit is the capital of Nunavut, Canada’s smallest capital city, with a population of 7,082.[5]
2.  In June, Iqaluit has nearly 24 hours of daylight and in December, only about six hours.

Arctic Char Drying in the Sun – Source: destinationnunavut.ca

3.  Traditional Inuit foods, called “Country Food” include arctic char, whale meat and seal meat.
4.  Mining industries includes diamonds, sliver, gold, copper, zinc, oil and gas.
5.  Languages most commonly spoken include Inuktitut, French and English.
6.  Jordin Tootoo, who played hockey on various NHL teams, was raised in Rankin Inlet, Nunavut.

Stop Sign in English and Inuktitut – Source: en.wikipedia.org

7.  Most roads are not paved and Stop signs are in English and Inuktitut.

Hey Newfoundland! Happy Ever-So-Slightly Belated 70th!
If you’re wondering what we mean by “ever-so-slightly”, it was on March 31st, 1949, at one minute before midnight, that Newfoundland and Labrador, joined Confederation with Canada. Before then, Newfoundland was its own independent nation. Happy septuagenarian (that’s fancy talk for 70th birthday) to Canada’s 10th and youngest province!

Newfoundland Flag Approved by the House of Assembly, Province of Newfoundland, on May 28, 1980

The Flag Shop is here to help you celebrate your province or territory! We’ve got everything you need in flags, but did you know, there’s a lot more to us than flags? To take a closer look at our provincial and territorial offerings, including flags, lanyards, windsocks, decals and more, please visit: http://shop.flagshop.com/index.php/canada-flags/provincial-territory-flags.html

Subscribe Today So You Won’t Miss a Thing
If you enjoyed this blog, and would like to read more interesting stories about flags, or events taking place in your community, subscribe to our blog in the upper right corner of our blog page at: blog.flagshop.com. It’s quick and easy! And, don’t worry, if you’re not hanging on every word, unsubscribing is easy, too!

Sources:
[1] Royal Canadian Mint
[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flag_of_Nunavut
[3] http://www.softschools.com/facts/canada/nunavut_facts/2813/
[4] https://kids.kiddle.co/Nunavut
[5] Census Profile, 2016 Census

Vancouver Turns 133 Years Young on Saturday, April 6th, 2019   

City Council Adopts Motion Declaring Yearly Celebration

At The Flag Shop, we have a long-standing tradition of celebrating birthdays, and we try to never let one go by without notice. Whether it’s a team lunch, or bringing in the birthday person’s favourite Starbucks order, or decorating our workspaces with balloons and streamers, or a mani/pedi with the team, or even a thoughtful note, that’s how we do it!

We’ve even been known to honour our fur babies with birthday parties, including cake for everyone, of course! Speaking of fur babies, for more about our adorable four-legged babies, follow us on Facebook @TheFlagShop and check out Fur Baby Fridays!

Vancouver’s birthday is a big deal to us, too. This city has been home to The Flag Shop Head Office since 1975, and it’s not every day that we can recognize a great city like Vancouver, as it turns 133 years young!

Beautiful Vancouver – Source: vancouver.ca

Vancouver’s Birthday Proclaimed April 6th
When we heard that Vancouver City Councillor Colleen Hardwick was calling for an annual birthday celebration to take place on April 6th, we could not miss our chance to get behind it. Who doesn’t love a great birthday party, especially when we have so much to celebrate? And, would you believe, the last time Vancouverites celebrated our great city’s birthday as a community, it was back in 2011? So, we have a lot of catching up to do! The Flag Shop President, Susan Braverman said, “I was born and raised here, so Vancouver has always been my home. I think every city in Canada should have a birthday party and now we do!” She added, “I can’t think of a better way to recognize this big day than to raise the Vancouver flag at Vanier Park, and across the city, every year on April 6th!”

Doreen Braverman and Rob Watt at City Hall – May 17th, 1983

About the Vancouver Flag 
Robert Watt, who was the Director of the Vancouver Museum and the Chief Herald of Canada, designed the flag. The Flag Shop Founder, Doreen Braverman recalls, “We worked with Robert Watt’s design and the mayor at the time, Phillip Owen, to bring the flag to life. We took the original design and came up with a few options.” About Vancouver Day, Doreen said, “As someone who used to write to City Council every year, encouraging a Vancouver Day celebration, I’m glad to see that Councillor Hardwick brought the motion forward and it was approved.”

The Vancouver flag was adopted by City Council on May 17th, 1983. Symbolic elements of the flag include the axe and paddle on a gold shield, for logging and fishing, and the blue and white wavy ribbons, representing the ocean and rivers around Vancouver.

Temporary City Hall – Circa 1886 – Source: vancouverisawesome.com

A City is Born – Highlights Through History [1]
1886: Granville, with a population of about 1,000, was incorporated as the City of Vancouver.
1887: As the last stop in a trip across the continent, the CPR’s first train arrived in Vancouver.
1889: The original Granville Street Bridge was completed. Future versions were built in 1909 and 1954.
1898: Sand was added to the beach at English Bay, before that you’d have had to walk through bush.
1911: The Arena, Canada’s first artificial ice rink opened. It was the largest indoor rink in the world.

University of British Columbia – Source: thestar.com

1915: With only a few students, UBC opened. Today’s enrollment is greater than 65,000.
1920: Vancouver grew past Winnipeg in size, which until 1920 had been the main city of western Canada.
1938: The Lions Gate Bridge was built with an expected lifespan of 50 years.
1939: Hotel Vancouver was built at the corner of Georgia and Burrard and is still a well-known landmark.
1957: At a price of $2 a ticket, fans attended an Elvis Presley concert at Vancouver’s Empire Stadium.
1964: The BC Lions won their first Grey Cup at Exhibition Stadium in Toronto.
1970: The Canucks played in the NHL for the first time, losing to the LA Kings.

Pride Fest 2017 – Source: westvancouver.com

1978: Now an annual, week-long celebration, the first Vancouver Gay Pride Festival took place.
1985: An automated LRT, known as the SkyTrain started, with its first route from Vancouver to New West.
1997: Hosting local and international artists, the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts opened at UBC.
2002: The Economist magazine named both Vancouver and Melbourne as the world’s top cities, in a tie. Vancouver has regularly ranked in the top 10 since then.
2003: MHR Consulting, ranking quality of life, rated Vancouver as the top city in North America. Awarded the top spot numerous times, Vancouver has also regularly ranked in the top 10.
2010: Vancouver hosted the 2010 Winter Olympics in February.

False Creek in Vancouver – Source: tripsavvy.com

It was 133 years ago that Vancouver was born and today, our amazing city has a global reputation for its natural beauty, including the ocean, greenery and mountains, as well as its livability, its local fare, beers and wines, not to mention outdoor adventure opportunities, and world-class entertainment.

Vancouver’s 125th Birthday in 2011 – Source: bc.ctvnews.ca

It’s Party Time!
Don’t miss your chance to express your personal pride in calling Vancouver home! No matter how you choose to mark the day, fly the flag with civic pride! Read more about the Vancouver Day decision and plan to celebrate all that makes Vancouver great! We’re ready to set you up with Vancouver flags and other municipal flags at: shop.flagshop.com.

Happy 133rd Birthday, Vancouver!

Subscribe Today So You Won’t Miss a Thing
If you enjoyed this blog, and would like to read more interesting stories about flags, or events taking place in your community, subscribe to our blog in the upper right corner of our blog page at: blog.flagshop.com. It’s quick and easy! And, don’t worry, if you’re not hanging on every word, unsubscribing is easy, too!

Sources:
[1] https://www.tourismvancouver.com/vancouver/history/

International Women’s Day Honours Women’s Achievements

Better the Balance Better the World

International Women’s Day (IWD) comes around every year on March 8th. IWD is also known as the United Nations Day for Women’s Rights and International Peace, and is a day to recognize women’s achievements throughout history. This day is set aside to honour contributions of political, social, economic, and cultural impact by women. The 2019 IWD theme is #BalanceforBetter, spotlighting the importance of gender balance around the globe.

Source: www.international.gc.ca

What Does Gender Balance Look Like?
The time is now, more than ever, to make a collective effort towards gender balance, whether it’s in executive teams, government leadership, wealth, sports teams, or media.[1] Gender balance is not a women’s issue. Everyone has the power, the ability and the responsibility to make a difference, in terms of impacting gender balance for the better. By working together towards greater gender equality, girls growing up in today’s world will have the best chances to reach their fullest potential.

Doreen and Susan Braverman

The Flag Shop – Leadership by Women
In 1975, Doreen Braverman founded The Flag Shop, starting the first full-service flag store in the world. Talk about tipping the #BalanceforBetter, nearly 45 years ago! Then, in 2010, Susan Braverman, Doreen’s daughter, bought the company and became President. It’s the clear vision and strong leadership of these women in the earliest days of the company, that have contributed to its lasting legacy, which is the thriving business we know today.

Source: www.dailymail.co

What’s New to IWD This Year, You Ask?[2]
It’s the 2019 IWD Worldwide Photo Contest! Supported by the 2019 IWD campaign’s exclusive image partner, EyeEm, this contest promotes photography as a powerful way to celebrate the strength and diversity of women. For all the details, to enter, or to see some amazing imagery capturing the beauty of women, please visit: https://bit.ly/2G9cliZ.

International Women’s Day Events Across Canada  
There are countless events and celebrations happening all over the world. Though we wish we could list them all, here’s a peek at few of we found taking place across Canada, with convenient links to more details:

Vancouver, BC
Friday, March 8th, 2019
Equality Breakfast
For information, please visit: https://bit.ly/2XuzqSE

Friday, March 8th, 2019
Recovery Blues: Live at the Metro
For information, please visit: https://bit.ly/2Tgsdab

Bandidas Taqueia’s IWD image created by Stephanie Gwynne  – Source: www.bandidastaqueria.com

Friday, March 8th, 2019
International Women’s Day Fundraiser & Art Show at Bandidas Taqueria
For information, please visit: https://bit.ly/2SLFdzu

To March 10th, 2019
Vancouver International Women in Film Festival – To March 10th
For information, please visit: https://bit.ly/2ThCov8

Victoria, BC
Friday, March 8th, 2019
Bridges for Women 9th Annual International Women’s Day Luncheon
For information, please visit: https://bit.ly/2tPTEIY

Nanaimo, BC
Friday, March 8th, 2019
BCFMWU Women’s Committee Meet and Greet
For information, please visit: https://bit.ly/2UlLIdV

Calgary, AB
Friday, March 8th, 2019
Getting to Equal
For information, please visit: https://bit.ly/2EMp3Cp

Friday, March 8th, 2019
Women Changing Lives
For information, please visit: https://bit.ly/2XDW9Mb

Source: www.internationalwomensday.com

Moose Jaw, SK
International Women Society of Moose Jaw Potluck Supper
Thursday, March 7th, 2019
For information, please visit: https://bit.ly/2Um2byK

Winnipeg, MB
International Women’s Day by Rising Strong
Friday, March 8th, 2019
For information, please visit: https://bit.ly/2H0JsWO

Toronto, ON
Thursday, March 7th, 2019
IWD Panel: Tech Leaders in Male-Dominated Industries
For information, please visit: https://bit.ly/2HdL26J

Friday, March 8th, 2019
The Resilience Gala presented by Azeeza for Women
For information, please visit: https://bit.ly/2tQ2Mgz

Bellville ON
Thursday, March 7th, 2019
Quinte International Women’s Day
For information, please visit: https://bit.ly/2VvAPX6

London, ON
Thursday, March 7th, 2019
Women in Communications & Technology
For information, please visit: https://bit.ly/2VzlRzB

Source: www.internationalwomensday.com

Windsor, ON
Friday, March 8th, 2019
IWD Concert for Hope
For information, please visit: https://bit.ly/2Hh79ZV

Montreal, QC
Thursday, March 7th, 2019
CIBPA Montreal Women’s Day Cocktails
For information, please visit: https://bit.ly/2NJKfeV

Halifax, NS
Friday, March 8th, 2019
Girls EmPOWERment Conference
For information, please visit: https://bit.ly/2BZM7LV

Friday, March 8th, 2019
4th Annual NSFL International Women’s Day Breakfast
For information, please visit: https://bit.ly/2IQV14r

Source: www.internationalwomensday.com

Whitehorse, YT
Friday, March 8th, 2019
International Women’s Day: Female Entrepreneurs Share their Best Advice
For information, please visit:  https://bit.ly/2GX5kSN

Custom flag made by The Flag Shop Nova Scotia for the Government House

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If you enjoyed this blog, and would like to read more interesting stories about flags, or events taking place in your community, subscribe to our blog in the upper right corner of our blog page at: blog.flagshop.com. It’s quick and easy! And, don’t worry, if you’re not hanging on every word, unsubscribing is easy, too!

Sources:
[1] https://www.internationalwomensday.com/Theme
[2] https://www.internationalwomensday.com/Photography

28th Annual Women’s Memorial March: Thursday, February 14th, 2019

The Flag Shop Provides Doggie Daycare for a Good Cause

Top Left: Crystal feeding our fur babies; Bottom Left: Our EVP’s adorable Ruby; Right: Our President’s beloved Mocha (who’s been with us since Day 1), counted during inventory

A few weeks ago, one of our customer service reps, Graham, asked if he could bring his girlfriend Vanessa’s dog, Ollie, to work on Tuesdays. It turns out that Vanessa would be busy on Tuesdays sewing a traditional star blanket in preparation for the 28th Annual Women’s Memorial March. To make this happen, she was looking for a temporary doggie daycare solution. This is where we came in! The Flag Shop is a family business – and that includes all of our fur babies, who come to work with us every day: Lizzy, Mocha, Nike, Ruby, and Fuzzbie. So, of course, Ollie’s in great company!

Ollie with Graham and Tatyana

The Star Blanket
The special star blanket is an expression of love and healing which will be presented to a family member of one of the missing women. When The Flag Shop President, Susan Braverman first heard about the reason that Ollie needed daycare, she said, “Having Ollie at work on Tuesdays is just one way we can help out, supporting the efforts of others who are getting ready for the march.” She added, “I’m so grateful to have a way to share this event with others, because this march is about honouring missing and murdered women, and helping to make sure that our lost sisters are never, ever forgotten.”

Women’s Memorial March DTES 2018 – Source: vancourier.com

The 28th Annual Women’s Memorial March is coming up on Thursday, February 14th, 2019. In 1992, an Indigenous woman was senselessly murdered on Powell Street, which hits close to home for us. This sparked action by the people of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside (DTES). What began from outrage and grief, turned into a constructive expression of caring and compassion for the lost women and girls of Coast Salish Territory, DTES. This is how the march began, nearly 30 years ago. The sad truth is that, even today, women of the DTES, and in particular Indigenous women, continue to face violence and abuse and death.[1]

Women’s Memorial March DTES 2018  Source: vancourier.com

The Staggering Truth About Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls[2]
According to the Government of Canada Department of Justice (DOJ), as of 2017, of the total population of missing women in Canada, 10% are Indigenous. According to DOJ findings, 6,849 women were murdered in Canada between 1980 and 2014, and of those, 16% were Indigenous. Of these women, 53% lost their lives at the hands of a family member. The highest number of cases of murdered Indigenous women between 2001 and 2014 were reported in Nunavut, Northwest Territories and Yukon. In Yukon alone, the numbers of homicides were 12 times higher for Indigenous women, compared to non-Indigenous women.

Women’s Memorial March DTES 2017  Source: rabble.ca

Marching for an Important Cause – Their Spirits Live Within Us
If you would like to join this march in honour of murdered and missing women, here is what you’ll need to know:
On Thursday, February, 14th, family and community members will gather in remembrance at 10:30 a.m.
The march will start at noon from Carnegie at Main and Hastings in Musqueam, Squamish, and Selilwitulh territories. For additional information, please visit: https://womensmemorialmarch.wordpress.com/.

Women’s Memorial March DTES 2015  Credit: Canadian Press  Source: nationalobserver.com

Don’t Miss a Thing!
If you enjoyed this blog, and would like to read more interesting stories about events taking place in your community, subscribe to our blog in the upper right corner of our blog page at: blog.flagshop.com. It’s quick and easy! And, don’t worry, if you’re not hanging on every word, unsubscribing is easy, too!

Sources:
[1] https://womensmemorialmarch.wordpress.com/
[2] https://www.justice.gc.ca/eng/rp-pr/jr/jf-pf/2017/docs/july04.pdf

G’Day Mate! Australia Day is on Saturday, January 26th

Get Your Flag on and Celebrate in Aussie Style!

Australia Day Parade in Victoria, Australia – Source: australiaday.vic.gov.au

It’s Australia Day on January 26th, and what a great time to spotlight this country and its people. It’s a day when all Australians and lovers of Australia around the world will be celebrating. Whether it’s the amazing wildlife such as koalas and kangaroos, or famous sights like the Great Barrier Reef, or the Sydney Opera House, Aussies have a lot to be proud of, and to celebrate! On Australia Day, many will gather with family and friends to enjoy drinks, barbecues, concerts, boat races and citizenship ceremonies.

Koala Momma and Her Joey – Source: www.lonsdaleinstitute.edu.au/

From Convicts and Criminals to Clothing-Optional Beaches
It was on January 26th 1788, when the First Fleet of British ships landed in Port Jackson. Captain Arthur Phillip raised the Union Jack, establishing the first British colony at Sydney Cove. And, did you know that the first colonies of Australia were designated as penal settlements, to exile criminals and convicts? Today, modern-day Australia is home to many awe-inspiring sights, such as Uluru (Ayers Rock), Shark Bay and clothing-optional beaches, like Maslin Beach in Adelaide.

Shark Bay, Western Australia – Source: https://www.sharkbay.wa.gov.au/

Seven Interesting Facts About Australia
Sourced from: http://tingoeducation.com.au/10-interesting-facts-about-australia/  

Australia is known as the world’s sixth largest country by total area after Russia, Canada, the US, China and Brazil.

Australia is a beach paradise, with over 10,000 beaches. If you visited a new beach every day, for 27 years, you still wouldn’t see them all.

Australia is ranked as the second-best in the world for quality of life, health, education and economic freedom.

Australia is one big island surrounded by more than 8,000 smaller islands.

The Red Kangaroo is the national animal of Australia. This species of kangaroo is known to be the largest, and is native to Australia. The meaning behind the Red Kangaroo as the national animal of Australia is that it’s not particularly good at walking backwards. This symbolizes determination to move forward, as a nation.

Over 300 different languages and dialects are spoken in Australia, together with 45 Indigenous languages.

Australia ranks number 54 in countries of the world by population, and the current population of Australia is over 25 million, as of 2019.[1]

Australia Flag

The National Flag
Australia’s national flag holds three main elements, which are the Union Jack, the Commonwealth Star and the Southern Cross. The Union Jack reflects the history of British settlement, the Commonwealth Star has seven points representing the states and territories of the commonwealth, and the Southern Cross is a constellation, positioned in the design to signify Australia’s geography. [2]

We all know that national flags are symbols of national identity and pride. No matter where we come from, we can understand how it feels to see our own nation’s flag being unfurled, raised and flying overhead! And, every flag has its own story to tell. Did you know that the Australian National Flag is the only one in the world which flies over an entire continent? This glorious flag is also the first one to involve a public competition. Five people tied in the competition and co-designed the flag. One of the designers was Ivor Evans, a 14-year-old from Melbourne, whose father owed a flag making business, and another was Annie Dorrington, a famous artist from Perth.[3]

Sourced from Twitter: @ausintheus

So Many Ways to Celebrate in Canada
We know there may be 14,000 kms, and the largest ocean in the world, separating us from Australia, but we Canadians love to celebrate with our Aussie mates. On January 26th, get your flag on and join in on one of the many Australia Day events happening in your community. While we couldn’t list all celebrations across Canada, here are few of them, with convenient links to more details:

Vancouver, BC
Australia Day Games at Strathcona Park (AFLBC)
Saturday, January 26th, 2019
For information, please visit: https://bit.ly/2AUCnCg

Kelowna, BC
Australia Day at Big White Ski Resort
Saturday, January 26th, 2019
For information, please visit: https://bit.ly/2FWQ1Z9

Silverstar Mountain Resort Annual Australia Day Bikini Run – Source: https://www.vernonmorningstar.com/community/

North Okanagan, BC
Silverstar Mountain Resort Annual Australia Day Bikini Run
Saturday, January 26th, 2019
For information, please visit: https://bit.ly/2HrZJoC

Fernie, BC
Australia Day at the Kodiak Lounge
Saturday, January 26th, 2019
For information, please visit: https://bit.ly/2R6rjHi

Golden, BC
Australia Day at the Kicking Horse
Saturday, January 26th, 2019
For information, please visit: https://bit.ly/2RH8BeB

Nadulmi by Dick Nguleingulei Murrumurra – Source: audainartmuseum.com

Whistler, BC
Australian Aboriginal Art Exhibit at the Audain Art Museum
Open Until January 28th, 2019
For information, please visit: https://bit.ly/2S4RFhy

Calgary, AB
Unicorn Pub Australia Day Party
Saturday, January 26th, 2019
For information, please visit: http://superpub.ca/

Banff, AB
Australia Day at Sunshine Village
Saturday, January 26th, 2019
For information, please visit: https://bit.ly/2R7qMF4

Mad Hatter Pub Australia Day – Source: www.montreal.carpe-diem.events/

Montreal, QC
Australia Day at the Mad Hatter Pub
Saturday, January 26th, 2019
For information, please visit: https://bit.ly/2RFbQmM

Toronto, ON
Australia Day Celebration Dinner at the Australian Wine Society of Toronto
Friday, January 25th 2019
For information, please visit: http://www.aws.ca/
Tickets: https://bit.ly/2RKsP7t

Gladstone Hotel Triple J Hottest 50 Countdown Party
Saturday, January 26th, 2019
For information, please visit: https://bit.ly/2W9nXr0

Want to Know More About Where to Get Your Aussie Flags?
We’re so glad you asked! No matter how you’ll celebrate, all of our Flag Shop locations across Canada carry Australia flags in all sizes! We also have crests and friendship pins. So, stop “faffing around” as they say, and let us know how we can help you and your mates get ready for a “rip snorter” of an Australia Day!


On a Serious Note

From Devastation to a Brighter Future – While Australia Day is a national holiday set aside to celebrate the beauty, wonder, lifestyle and values of a unique country, sadly to many, January 26th is known as Invasion Day. The Flag Shop acknowledges the devastating impact of Invasion Day, as a regrettable time in history, when tens of thousands of Indigenous Australians lost their lives, their land and their rights. For more information about reconciliation, and a collective movement by the people of Australia, working for a better future,[4] please visit https://www.reconciliation.org.au.


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Sources:
[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_and_dependencies_by_population
[2] https://www.pmc.gov.au/government/australian-national-flag
[3] http://www.australianflag.net.au/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=103
[4] https://www.reconciliation.org.au

Carson Graham Secondary School Students Get Creative and Help the Environment 

Textiles Donated by The Flag Shop Find New Life and New Purpose

In today’s blog we’re giving a big shout-out to some students from Carson Graham Secondary School in North Vancouver. These grade 10, 11, and 12 Home Economics students, instructed by their teacher, Whitney de Beer, recently worked on some fun, creative, and socially responsible sewing projects.

Whitney de Beer with Grade 12 Students Victoria, Niki, Aynaz and Alyssa

It was back in the summer when Whitney’s family ordered a flag from us, and some time later, in preparation for her Home Economics classes, she started asking around to find textile donations for her class projects. She remembered The Flag Shop and reached out to us. Of course, we were thrilled to offer our recyclables to help the students give them new purpose.

Yesterday’s Banners and Flags Become Today’s Tote Bags

The students were very excited when they heard about the fabric donation, and were keen to design their bags based on the shapes and colours in the printed material. They were given creative freedom, and using a standard pattern, they chose how to position the material and where to cut it. They were proud and enthusiastic about using resources that may have otherwise been thrown out. The unique and one-of-a-kind bags combine design and functionality, and help to keep the conversation going about social responsibility among youth in our community.

Pinning and Sewing

Whitney has taught Textiles for six years to students in grades 8 – 12. Reflecting on these projects and the impact on her students, Whitney said, “This work encourages creativity while at the same time is perfect for all students, regardless of varying levels of sewing experience.” She added, “It’s an awesome opportunity to use resources from our community, and is a big plus in caring for our environment.”

From Tote Bags to Gym Bags
Grade 10 students also do a recycled fabric project every year and have always been asked to bring their materials from home. With plenty of fabric left over from the tote bag project, it was an easy decision to put it to good use.

Function and Style in the Making

Students were asked to identify a target group, who may have a specific need for a bag. Whitney explained, “While we call it our gym bag project, it’s not necessarily a gym bag that they make, but rather a bag intended meet a need and serve a defined purpose.” She added, “The flag and banner material donation was very valuable because it meant that all grade 10s would be able to use a common fabric, rather than a variety, which helped so much with collaboration.”

Students used basic sewing skills and incorporated a pocket with a zipper or a button. They each created three designs and made a pattern for a basic bag with a drawstring. The flag material worked so well because it’s durable, washable, and easy to sew.

Drawstring Bags with Zippers or Pockets

Our Planet Is Worth Protecting
We want to say “Thank you!” to Whitney and the Home Economics students of Carson Graham Secondary, for allowing us to be a part of something that has transformed banners and flags into beautiful and functional bags, giving them new and extended life! The Flag Shop President, Susan Braverman, is a former school teacher with the Vancouver School Board who understands the impact that projects like these have in influencing and empowering young minds to protect our world. Susan said, “If you’re a teacher who is thinking about leading a special project, we would love to help!” She added, “Encouraging a sense of social responsibility in our students, while teaching them to think creatively about environmental issues, – these are the things that will stay with them for a lifetime!”

Victoria, Niki and Alyssa Showing off Finished Bags

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The Flag Shop Nova Scotia Reaches Quarter Century Milestone

Join Us as We Take a Walk Down Memory Lane

The Flag Shop Nova Scotia recently celebrated a major milestone, marking an important day in its long and rewarding history. Join us as we take a look back – and what better place to start than the very beginning?

Debbie Visiting The Flag Shop Vancouver in the Early 1990s

As the first independently franchised shop, Debbie Hartlen bought The Flag Shop Nova Scotia in November of 1993. It began when Debbie’s husband, Bruce Hartlen, saw an ad in the newspaper. Debbie was intrigued by the concept, recognizing she could use both her love of sewing, and the management experience she’d developed through her nursing career. She said, “My career background is actually in Nursing – I’m an RN, and in those earliest days, I was doing both – part-time Nursing and running the shop!”

Original Press Release – 1993

Looking back, there are so many memories for Debbie and her family. The Flag Shop is a family business, and all of her kids, and even her granddaughter, Alyssa, have worked there over the years.

The Flag Shop Nova Scotia Family and Staff

As for major highlights, it was in the mid-90s when The Flag Shop Nova Scotia won its bid to supply the Navy with its first sets of minesweeper signal flags. The team cut and sewed an astonishing 2,400 flags for that first order, and since then, they have supplied military flags on many different projects.

Carole Aylard Sewing a Signal Flag – 2016

Debbie remembers the millennium flags project, for the Nova Scotia Art Museum, in 2000. This was a project whereby communities designed flags to present their visualization of their collective identity, and could participate by submitting their flag designs. Through this project, more than 50 flag designs were received. The Flag Shop Nova Scotia produced two of each of the flags, one of which was flown at the museum, with the second being displayed in the community.

Millennium Flags Project – 2000

Who can forget the 2011 Canada Winter Games in Halifax? Debbie, her husband, Bruce, her sales manager, Carole, and her daughter, Stephanie installed 30 flagpoles at the Emera Oval skating rink, in the middle of a raging snowstorm!

Canada Winter Games – Emera Oval – 2011

In 2013, The Flag Shop Nova Scotia expanded, doubling its shop and production space from 900 to 1,800 square feet. Debbie said, “It’s been an amazing journey over the years, with many hills and valleys.” She added, “We are most proud of our reputation – we are known for being helpful, while providing excellent service, as well as the highest quality products. We work with our clients, meeting their deadlines and providing whatever they may need.” It’s no wonder at all that they’ve had a consistent increase in sales, year after year!

The Flag Shop Nova Scotia – 2017

More recently, just this past September, as part of a ship building project, The Flag Shop Nova Scotia supplied Irving Shipbuilding Inc with the bunting for the Harry DeWolfe Naming Ceremony. Debbie said, “These are just a few of the many projects we’ve had over the last 25 years. There were countless others and we’re proud to have been a part of all of them!”

Harry DeWolfe Naming Ceremony – October 2018

As far as future plans go, Debbie says she is looking forward to slowing down, all the while identifying where new options for growth might be, and how to further expand the business.

Nursing has continued to be a part of Debbie’s life. This has been facilitated by the wonderful people, such as Carole Aylard, who have supported her decision and stepped up to make sure the shop continued to run smoothly. Debbie received her Masters of Nursing in 2013, and is currently doing doctoral studies in Education, having started in 2016. She is set to graduate in October 2019. Wow! So, this is what “slowing down” looks like to Debbie!

Debbie Sewing a Nova Scotia Flag

Debbie also volunteers by directing a children’s choir at her church and contributing to various food projects, such as Feed Others of Dartmouth (F.O.O.D).

Congratulations to Debbie and her family on their 25th Anniversary, and thank you for being a valuable part of The Flag Shop family.

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Announcing New Ownership of The Flag Shop Montreal

Keeping It in the Family: Best Wishes Ginette – Welcome Marc-André!

By Susan Braverman

It’s with a bittersweet sense of joy that I announce a change in ownership of Le Flag Shop Montréal.

Ginette Bazergui joined The Flag Shop Montreal as store manager in 2000 and loved it so much that she bought the franchise a year later. It was a natural fit for Ginette who, prior to her time with us, spent many years in retail management, and also owned a stationery and gift store.

Ginette Bazergui with Husband, Peter Liontos and Doreen Braverman at NAVA 37 in Montreal – 2003

Ginette fondly remembers those earliest days at The Flag Shop. She recalled, “I just loved it, from day one! Aside from the great relationships with our customers and suppliers, I remember other major things like setting up all the accounting.” She added, “They just could not tear me away from the shop!”

The First Flag Shop Montreal at 3187 Rue Saint-Jacques in Saint-Henri 

Talking with Ginette in recent years, I knew the time for new ownership would come “one day” but by the beginning of this year, I could tell it would be happening sooner rather than later. For Ginette, it took time to get used to the idea of retirement. As ready as she was to start the next chapter of her life, jet-setting around the world with her husband, Peter Liontos, she was torn because she loved the shop so much! Finding the perfect buyer to service her loyal customers in Montreal would be the biggest factor in helping her to hand over the reins.

The New Flag Shop Montreal at 1320 Rue Charlevoix in Pointe St-Charles

Keeping It All in the Family
Marc-André Bazergui, Ginette’s nephew, just so happens to live right around the corner from the new Flag Shop, on Charlevoix. One evening while out walking the dog, he noticed the new logo on the storefront and said to his partner, “It would be funny if I bought The Flag Shop.” Following discussions with the family, it became clear that this would be the right decision for Marc-André, and the family. He said, “It’s the best of all things because the flexibility of ownership will allow me to balance my work with my passions.”

Ginette, Peter and a Young Marc-André in 2003

Marc-André has worked many years in the field of IT and is passionate about engaging with a number of on-line communities. He is a huge advocate of STEM Robotics and is involved in advancing this field. He enjoys creating custom LEGO® projects – something which began in his childhood, and he likes connecting with people. As Marc-André learns the ropes from his aunt, I have no doubt he will become a Flag Shop powerhouse! And, Ginette will never be too far away as she supports him in this transition. She likes to remind me that I can’t get rid of her that easily!

In Spanish, there’s a beautiful word “jubilar”, which holds a dual meaning – to rejoice and to retire. Please join me in wishing Ginette a most jubilant retirement, and also in welcoming Marc-André as the new owner of Le Flag Shop Montréal.

Marc-André and Ginette in the Shop Office – November 2018  

Félicitations, Ginette et Marc-André!

November 14th is World Diabetes Day: The Family and Diabetes

The Staggering Reality of Diabetes in Canada and Beyond

40′ x 80′ World Diabetes Flag Made by The Flag Shop Head Office 

Happy Birthday, Sir Frederick Banting
World Diabetes Day (WDD) takes place every year on November 14th. It was established in 1991 by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and the World Health Organization (WHO). This important day is set aside to promote advocacy and collective action in addressing diabetes as a global health epidemic. In 2006, the United Nations (UN) passed Resolution 61/225, making WDD an official UN Day. November 14th was chosen because it is the birthday of Sir Frederick Banting, who together with Charles Best – both Canadians – discovered insulin in 1922.[1]

Sir Frederick Banting – Source: www.cdnmedhall.org

What is Diabetes?
In simple terms, diabetes is a condition in which the body cannot use glucose properly. As the main source of energy for the body, glucose levels are controlled by insulin. When the body (pancreas) produces no or very little insulin, this is type 1 diabetes. Type 1 diabetics need daily insulin injections and regular checks of blood sugar levels. In type 2 diabetes, the pancreas sometimes makes enough insulin, but the body doesn’t respond to it properly. This is known as insulin resistance. Treatment for type 2 diabetes may include exercise, healthy eating, medication, and monitoring blood sugar levels. Long-term complications of diabetes can lead to additional health risks, especially when diabetes is not well-controlled. These may include: impaired vision, stroke, and heart disease.

Source: www.diabeticcouncil.com

World Diabetes Day Theme 2018-19: The Family and Diabetes
According to IDF global statistics, more than 425 million people have diabetes, and half of all cases are undiagnosed.[2] The WDD theme, spanning two years, highlights the impact on families and the role families play in diabetes management, care, prevention, and education. Today, less than 25% of all family members have access to diabetes self-management education which supports improved quality of life. For those needing insulin, the costs can be very high, and even unaffordable, impacting the livelihood and health of families.[3]

Source: www.diabetes.ca

Diabetes in Canada
Every three minutes in Canada, someone receives a diabetes diagnosis.[4] According to Diabetes Canada, in 2015, 3.4 million Canadians were diagnosed with diabetes. Estimates for undiagnosed diabetes were at 1 million, and in that same year, 5.7 million Canadians were found to be prediabetic.[5] This amounts to more than 10 million Canadians living with diabetes or prediabetes. Looking ahead to 2025, the total number of Canadians to be diagnosed with diabetes is expected to reach 5 million.[6]

Source: www.worlddiabetesday.org

Get Involved and Make a Difference
Aside from World Diabetes Day on November 14th, the month of November is Diabetes Awareness Month. For a full listing of events in your community, please visit the Diabetes Canada events page at: https://www.diabetes.ca/in-your-community/local-programs-events/find-a-program-or-event

3′ x 6′ World Diabetes Day Flag Made by The Flag Shop New Brunswick 

World Diabetes Day Symbol – Flying High on a Flag
The blue circle is a universal symbol giving diabetes a common identity. Its purpose is to show support of all efforts to spotlight diabetes around the world. Across many cultures, the circle symbolizes life and health. It was the passing of UN Resolution 61/225 that inspired the blue circle, reflecting the colour of the sky, and the colour of the UN flag. This is significant because the UN represents unity among many nations, and holds a strong and influential position to signal governments to take action in the fight against diabetes.[7]

Diabetes concerns every family.
Know the signs and symptoms because early detection and treatment matter!

Don’t Miss a Thing! 
If you enjoyed this blog, and would like to read more interesting stories, or learn about events taking place in your community, you can subscribe in the upper right corner of our blog page at: blog.flagshop.com. It’s quick and hassle-free! And, don’t worry, if you’re not captivated by every word, unsubscribing is just as easy!

Sources:
[1] www.worlddiabetesday.org
[2][3] https://www.idf.org/e-library/epidemiology-research/54-our-activities/455-world-diabetes-day-2018-19.html
[4][5][6] https://www.diabetes.ca/how-you-can-help/advocate/why-federal-leadership-is-essential
[7] https://www.worlddiabetesday.org/resources/logo.html