The Flag Shop: A Year in Review 2015

As the holiday season is upon us and the New Year approaches, we decided to take a moment to reflect on the events of 2015. This last year has seen it’s share of good times (the 50th anniversary of the Canadian flag), great times (Pride across Canada was blast!), and certainly controversial times (ahem, Confederate flag anyone?).

So without further ado, The Flag Shop 2015 Year in Review:

January

(Clockwise from top-left) The Flag Shop New Brunswick hiding behind a snow drift; A snow day meant a hard days work for store manager, Belinda's kids in New Brunswick; flags produced by the Make Club in Victoria
Clockwise from top-left: The Flag Shop New Brunswick hiding behind a snow drift; A snow day meant a hard day’s work for store manager Belinda’s kids in New Brunswick; Flags produced by the Make Club in Victoria.

The year started off snowy in New Brunswick. The blizzards out east were so bad, the store went into hiding. They made the best of things though, by having a lot of good, fun snow days! Meanwhile on the wet coast, creativity bloomed during a collaboration between The Makehouse and The Flag Shop Victoria.

February

(Clockwise, from top-left) Sales and marketing staff at head office pose in their pink attire; The Flag Shop Toronto pulls out the flag to show where they stand; The Flag Shop Victoria has a gorilla to protect against bullying; Le Flag Shop Montréal proudly displays the message in their window; The Flag shop Saskatoon shows their support for the cause; An anti-bullying flag flies at Winnipeg City Hall
Clockwise, from top-left: Sales and marketing staff at head office pose in their pink attire; The Flag Shop Toronto pulls out the flag to show where they stand; The Flag Shop Victoria has a gorilla to protect against bullying; Le Flag Shop Montréal proudly displays the message in their window; The Flag shop Saskatoon shows their support for the cause; An anti-bullying flag flies at Winnipeg City Hall.

Valentine’s Day may be in February, but that’s not why things turned pink at The Flag Shop. With our Anti-Bullying movement, our stance against bullying took hold as we all showed support to stop bullying in our schools.

(Left-Right) President, Susan Braverman; The Flag Shop Calgary and Edmonton Owner, Phyllis Mandshein Bright
Left to Right: President, Susan Braverman; The Flag Shop Calgary and Edmonton Owner, Phyllis Bright.

We also had the opportunity to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Canadian Flag. At fifty, our young flag still looks as beautiful as ever!

March

(Left to Right) Gordie Howe flag flies in Saskatoon; Roman Mars tells everyone how amazing flags are (still from www.youtube.com); The Flag Shop London makes some great flags to support Epilepsy Awareness Month (Left to Right) Gordie Howe flag flies in Saskatoon; Roman Mars tells everyone how amazing flags are (still from www.youtube.com); The Flag Shop London makes some great flags to support Epilepsy Awareness Month
Left to Right: Gordie Howe flag flies in Saskatoon; Roman Mars tells everyone how amazing flags are (still from www.youtube.com); The Flag Shop London makes some great flags to support Epilepsy Awareness Month

As we moved into the spring, some great stuff happened. The Flag Shop Saskatoon made flags to honour the great Gordie Howe. Roman Mars gave a Ted Talk that got everyone talking about flags. Meanwhile, The Flag Shop London was busy making flags for the Epilepsy Support Centre.

April

From left to right: The Flag Shop Winnipeg cheers on the Jets; the flag of Vancouver Island soars to new heights and new proportions (photo from the Times Colonist); Greenpeace Canada shows off their flag
Left to right: The Flag Shop Winnipeg cheers on the Jets; the flag of Vancouver Island soars to new heights and new proportions (photo from the Times Colonist); Greenpeace Canada shows off their flag.

The Flag Shop in Winnipeg cheered on the Jets, while in Victoria the Vancouver Island flag was made bigger than ever before. In Vancouver, Greenpeace Canada launched a new flag design.

May

May was a pretty quiet month as we prepared for the summer.

June

Then things got serious, in June we halted the sale of the Confederate flag. It was a big moment for the company, as we had to all come together and do what we thought was best. You can read more about that decision here.

July

Left to Right) World Cup banner on display at the Head Office / The Flag Shop Vancouver location; The Flag Shop Chilliwack puts out a fun display of FIFA merchandise.
Left to Right: World Cup banner on display at the Head Office / The Flag Shop Vancouver location; The Flag Shop Chilliwack puts out a fun display of FIFA merchandise.
Come July, we were glad to turn our attention to an International flag debate as New Zealand held a flag referendum. We also had the opportunity to cheer on the Canadian Women’s team at the World Cup!

August

Clockwise from top-left: The Flag Shop Vancouver at the Vancouver Pride Festival; The Flag Shop Victoria and their giant Rainbow flag marching at Victoria Pride; The making of The Flag Shop Victoria Pride flag; The Flag Shop Victoria having fun making a giant rainbow flag; One of our first sewn Canada Pride flags; The Flag Shop Saskatoon at a pride event; (centre) Sarah the Wonder dog relaxing in her Pride scarf at The Flag Shop Edmonton
Clockwise from top-left: The Flag Shop Vancouver at the Vancouver Pride Festival; The Flag Shop Victoria and their giant Rainbow flag marching at Victoria Pride; The making of The Flag Shop Victoria Pride flag; The Flag Shop Victoria having fun making a giant rainbow flag; One of our first sewn Canada Pride flags; The Flag Shop Saskatoon at a pride event; (centre) Sarah the Wonder dog relaxing in her Pride scarf at The Flag Shop Edmonton.

For our yearly review, we put this one in August, but really The Flag Shops across the country are involved with Pride all year long! To see a more in-depth review on some of this year’s Pride involvement click here.

Clockwise, from top-left: Toothpick flags made for the occasion; Front and back of toothpick flags; Jack and Doreen Braverman after 50 years of marriage; Jack and Doreen Braverman's wedding portrait
Clockwise, from top-left: Toothpick flags made for the occasion; Front and back of toothpick flags; Jack and Doreen Braverman after 50 years of marriage; Jack and Doreen Braverman’s wedding portrait.

In anniversary news, our founder, Doreen Braverman, and her husband Jack celebrated fifty years of marriage this year with their family and friends.

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.
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.

Also in Vancouver, we celebrated what we called ‘Total Bridge Domination‘ when banners made right here in our production facility were on every major thoroughfare leading into downtown Vancouver.

September

Clockwise, left to right: A bird became stuck in the Head Office; Corporate staff attempt to catch (and free) the bird; banners go up at UBC and at SFU; Vancouver Opera and Vancouver Symphony Orchestra banners are installed in Vancouver.
Clockwise, from top-left: A bird became stuck in the Head Office; Corporate staff attempt to catch (and free) the bird; banners go up at UBC and at SFU; Vancouver Opera and Vancouver Symphony Orchestra banners are installed in Vancouver.

September, in Vancouver at least, saw a lot of sunny skies and a little bit of excitement. Banners from our production facility went up all over the city and we also ended up with a wild bird as a pet for the day in our head office!

October

Clockwise, from top-left: Decoda Literacy Flags are flew all over British Columbia; Kooza banners go up in Vancouver; A line of Blue Jays flags ready for sale at The Flag Shop Saskatoon; Michael B. went as all of the Avengers; A nice car flag in New Brunswick; Rebecca L. asks if you want to build a stick flag?
Clockwise, from top-left: Decoda Literacy Flags were flown all over British Columbia; Kooza banners go up in Vancouver; A line of Blue Jays flags ready for sale at The Flag Shop Saskatoon; Michael B. went as all of the Avengers; A nice car flag in New Brunswick; Rebecca L. asks if you want to build a stick flag?

In October, the Blue Jays made a run for the World Series! It was also Co-op Week in Canada and Decoda’s Literacy Month. Cirque de Soleil’s Kooza came back to Vancouver and jealous of their amazing costumes, some of the head office staff dressed up for Halloween.

November

Clockwise, from top-left: Two children walk the path at the George Derby Centre; The flags of the Camp Hill Memorial in Nova Scotia; The flag parade during the Victory Square Ceremony in Vancouver.
Clockwise, from top-left: Two children walk the path at the George Derby Centre; The flags of the Camp Hill Memorial in Nova Scotia; The flag parade during the Victory Square Ceremony in Vancouver.

A great deal of November was dedicated to Remembrance Day. Nova Scotia showed that they have some of the most beautiful memorials. In Vancouver, we once again produced flags for the George Derby Pledge-A-Flag campaign and the Victory Square Remembrance Day Ceremony was as busy as ever.

A Transgender flag flies in Winnipeg (photo from cbc.ca); A photoshoot for our new transgender flag in Vancouver.
A Transgender flag flies in Winnipeg for Transgender Day of Remembrance (photo from cbc.ca); A photoshoot for our new transgender flag in Vancouver.

We also produced our first full line of Transgender flag products, many of which were used at Transgender Day of Remembrance events across the country.

Left to Right: Greetings from Winnipeg, host of the 2015 Grey Cup; The Flag Shop Ottawa stands dejected after a lost bet with The Flag Shop Edmonton.
Left to Right: Greetings from Winnipeg, host of the 2015 Grey Cup; The Flag Shop Ottawa stands dejected after a lost bet with The Flag Shop Edmonton.

There was time for a little fun though. As the Grey Cup approached, The Flag Shops in Edmonton and Ottawa made a friendly wager. The losing team’s shop had to post a selfie with the winning team’s flag. Well we all know how that turned out…poor Alan.

December

Left to Right: An around the world theme for a Santa Claus parade in Fredericton, NB; The Flag Shop Saskatoon did an informative series on the flags of 'Christmas.'
Left to Right: An around the world theme for a Santa Claus parade in Fredericton, NB; The Flag Shop Saskatoon did an informative series on the flags of ‘Christmas.’

Finally the holidays are upon us and the year is ending. Things took a decidedly global turn as the Santa Claus parade in New Brunswick had a theme of ‘Around the World.’ Meanwhile, The Flag Shop Saskatoon has been posting a very informative series all about the flags of Christmas.

 

That brings an end to our trip down memory lane. We hope that your 2015 was as eventful and rewarding as ours was and we wish you nothing but the best in 2016!

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

– The Flag Shop

Actually, The Flag Shop New Brunswick is going to save all their wishes so that it will stop snowing…

Kooza in Vancouver

With the days getting shorter and grayer, we look forward to late fall activities. The bright purple of Cirque du Soleil’s Kooza banners makes a welcome contrast to the November gloom.

Kooza (1)Kooza (6)

This is not our first time making their beautiful banners; we also produced banners for their Totem show last summer.

Totem (1) Totem (2)

Now those banners have been given new life by Common Thread Co-op. They are currently available for purchase in our Vancouver store.

IMG_2688

Kooza is playing until December 27th!


For more information on Common Thread Co-op, please visit their website: www.commonthreadcoop.ca. To find our more about the Cirque de Soleil show Kooza (and maybe even purchase tickets) visit their website here: www.cirquedusoleil.com/en/shows/kooza.

 

A Field of Flags at the George Derby Centre

George-Derby-(29)

It was an overcast day, but still bright and surprisingly rain-free, when 200 high-school students descended upon the lawn of the George Derby Centre, a veteran care facility in Burnaby, B.C. Within minutes the lawn was filled with thousands of flags, winding down either side of the pathways, dispersed over the grass and a few more adventurously placed in the nooks and crannies of the nearby trees and shrubs. The sight is one to behold, sombre and patriotic, the flags creating a meditative walk of Remembrance for members of the nearby community.

George-Derby-(39)

Meanwhile, sparks of joy emerged from the haphazard way the flags have been arranged. Children of all ages visited the centre, from the high school across the road and the neighbouring elementary school, to assist with the flag planting. This activity gave the children a healthy way to commemorate Remembrance Day by allowing them to participate, rather than only observe. Veterans of many ages were present to greet the children and interact with them as they excitedly determined the most beautiful location for their flag. Their energy brought smiles to fragile heroes and added life to the display that will surely remain long after they’ve returned to their classrooms.

George-Derby-(9)

Left to right: Cpl. Daniela Panesar, Pamela Cole, S.Sgt. Maj. John A. Buis

Finally, the most precious flags were saved for a place of honour. A few flags had been inscribed with messages of remembrance and gratitude for the Centre’s residents. One flag summarized it all. It read, “In very loving memory to all the veterans who called George Derby home.”

We would like to add a “Thank You!”

George-Derby-(53)


The George Derby Centre cares for 300 aging and wounded veterans and could use your support! If you would like to Pledge a Flag yourself, there is still time (and flags) to do so. Be sure to visit www.georgederby.ca to find out more about the Centre and to make a donation today! The flags will remain on the grounds until November 12th, at which point that large group of high-school students will return to undo their handiwork.

The Flag Shop produced all of the flags for this event, they are customized, water resistant paper flags that were specially printed for George Derby. For more information on how you can create your own Remembrance Day flag display, contact The Flag Shop nearest you or visit our Remembrance Day website.

Commendable Customers: Decoda Literacy Project


The Flag Shop has been very fortunate to work with amazing individuals and organizations all over the country. With our ‘Commendable Customer’ blog entries we want to focus the spotlight on the groups that make our business thrive and our communities better.


Decoda is derived from the word “decode,” which means to create understanding; to unravel the mystery – literacy helps us make sense of the modern world.” – Decoda website

Decoda Literacy Project is the only BC-wide organization that works to support individuals, families and communities with literacy improvement projects. With 15% of British Columbians at a Level 1 literacy rate or below, organizations like Decoda are important in the economic resiliency of our province. Literacy makes people more employable which can raise the standard of living for individuals and families.

We are proud to have worked with Decoda this year as they made a big splash across the province for Literacy Month in September. From Prince George to right here in Vancouver, cities flew custom-printed flags from The Flag Shop to draw awareness to the importance of literacy. Custom paper flags and buttons were also used to celebrate the events.

Congratulations to Decoda in their success this year and may they continue to grow and help people thrive through literacy!


If you would like to learn more about this great organization, please visit their website: decoda.ca.

Celebrate a Banner Year…with banners! (PHOTOS)

This year, 2015, is a very important year for the local universities in Vancouver.  Simon Fraser University turned 50 years old, and not to outdone, the University of British Columbia turned 100 years old!

Of course we know that there is no better way to celebrate a big anniversary than with street banners to match, so we’re quite glad that we were able to work with both of these amazing schools and produce hundreds of banners to go up all over Metro Vancouver.

Nearing the end of summer, we managed to get out there and photograph a few of them looking great with the Metro Vancouver city skyline. Photography fans, be sure you’re #lookingup the next time you’re on a photowalk!

A Celebration of Diversity in Moncton, NB

Is it the United Nations? No, it's the inclusive cafeteria at Evergreen Park Elementary School.

Is it the United Nations? No, it’s the inclusive cafeteria at Evergreen Park Elementary School.

For Evergreen Park Elementary in Moncton, N.B. flags go hand in in hand with every new school year. As New Brunswick becomes more culturally diverse, so do its students, and this school has found a great way to make new students feel welcome.

Adorning the walls of their cafeteria are flags of the world. Every flag represents a student or students that attend Evergreen and whose cultural heritage lies in another country. These flags serve to create a friendly environment for students and to remind everyone that Evergreen is an inclusive place that supports the ideals of multi-culturalism.

Madame Antigone Panagiotakis, the school’s principal, had this to say about the flag program:

“We are very pleased that Evergreen Park School’s student population is becoming increasingly diversified, with many international families choosing to make Evergreen Park School their home.  In order to welcome our international students, we decided to display their country’s flag. These flags celebrate our school’s multicultural flavor, create an inclusive environment, and prepare our students for today’s global community.”

The Province of New Brunswick has an official policy on multiculturalism which states:

“New Brunswick’s policy on multiculturalism strives for a unity which does not deny or eradicate diversity but which recognizes and transcends it. At the same time, it seeks to ensure that in acknowledging and appreciating cultural diversity, these differences, so accentuated, do not become a cause of discriminatory treatment to impede individuals in their desire to become an integral part of the larger community.”

The flags serve this initiative by visually accentuating the differences in culture while at the same time encouraging equality through hanging equally sized flags at equal heights in the same shared space. They also help to beautify a public space in the school, making it a more desirable community environment.

Great job Evergreen Park!!

—-

World flag collections are a great way to celebrate diversity in your community. To start your own international flag collection, visit the World Flag section of our online store.

UPDATE: The school has been featured by Global News!

Terry Fox Run, 35 Years and Going Strong

terryfoxflag

A Terry Fox Run Banner displayed at our store.

“Even if I don’t finish, we need others to continue. It’s got to keep going without me.” – Terry Fox

The Terry Fox Run celebrates its 35th Anniversary this Sunday which is a real cause for celebration. In 1980, young Terry Fox set out to race across Canada. Often,  he would cover about 26 miles in one day, and day after day he continued.

It was an inspiring endeavour and one that captured the heart of many Canadians. The Flag Shop was fortunate enough to be involved in that first year when our founder, Doreen Braverman, approached Terry Fox’s mother, Betty with an idea to produce flags for the event. We then designed a 3’x6’ flag that sold for $100 dollars apiece with all proceeds donated to the cause her son was championing.

We continued to produce these flags for the Terry Fox Foundation for several more years. Now we have only one left which will hang proudly this weekend behind the speaker’s podium at Stanley Park where Terry Fox’s sister, Judith Fox, will be speaking.

TerryFox-1980

A photo of Laura Hansen with one of the original flags in 1980.

Thank you to the Terry Fox Foundation, for allowing us to participate in this way and for those of you who feel moved to donate to the cause, we encourage you to visit their website and make a contribution.

Insider Info: Transit Pennants

Pennant-GIF

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

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.

The more you know.

The Flag Shop Dominates on the Local Bridge Scene

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.

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.

Jack and Doreen’s 50th Anniversary

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.

Best wishes Jack and Doreen!

 

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