Flag Day 2016: Honouring Patrick Reid

 

Monday, February 15th is a busy day for Canadians. With Family Day for some, and Islander, Louis Riel or Heritage Day for others, many Canadians will be enjoying the last day of a long weekend. However, February 15th is also Flag Day in Canada, and although it is not itself a statutory holiday, it is still one that anyone who loves the red and white maple leaf flag will find wonderfully important.

Canadian FlagUnfortunately, Flag Day 2016 also marks the first Flag Day since the passing of Patrick Reid, a man who was absolutely instrumental in the adoption of our modern flag.

The Adoption of the Flag

In the Fall of 1964, Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson was pushing through a new Canadian flag. Dubbed the ‘Pearson Pennant,’ this red, white and blue design was not approved in the House of Commons. It was eventually Patrick Reid, who was the Director of the Canadian government exhibition commission at the time, that pulled together and championed the design that we all know today.

There were no shortage of ideas for this new flag – people from all over the country had submitted designs. Through all of them, Reid knew that what was needed was something distinctly Canadian. It had to be a departure from the Canadian Ensign and British flags before it.

Reid wanted a flag that was simple and clear from a distance. He hired one of the Canadian exhibition commission’s designers at the time, the talented Jacques Saint Cyr. The final design, the one we know today, was adopted on February 15, 1965.

A Deeper Connection

As an immigrant to Canada from Ireland, Reid wanted to flag that represented Canada and not the British empire that had previously ruled it. He believed very strongly in Canadian institutions, but also in nation-building. It was important to him that Canada had a unique identity, and that it would stand apart as its own country.
Patrick Reid

The Man Was a Force
According to someone that knew Reid, he had a strong talent for diplomacy. He was firm in his opinions but he was able to make things come to fruition in spite of any conflict. He never had to force his opinions on others and was instead often able to bring others to see his point of view. At the time of the flag adoption, Canadians were divided in many ways over the symbol. Many were quite reluctant to leave the imperial past behind. Patrick Reid stood in the belief that this flag was the right one for Canada, and apparently Canadians agreed.

As we honour the adoption of a flag that is consistently ranked most beautiful and is the envy of others, let’s be sure to take a little second to remember Patrick Reid, a man with a plan, and a flag.


The Canadian Club of Vancouver will be hosting their annual Flag Day luncheon on Monday, February 15th. This will mark the first year in many that Patrick Reid will not be in attendance to speak about the Canadian flag. More information about the event can be found on their website.

There will also be a Flag Raising and City Proclamation at Vancouver City Hall at 8:45am that same day.

To learn more about Patrick Reid, who was also instrumental in Expo ’87 and the Rick Hansen ‘Man in Motion’ Tour, the Globe and Mail as well as the Vancouver Sun wrote some very comprehensive obituaries. The Vancouver Sun also wrote specifically about his involvement in the development of the Canadian flag.

Many thanks to Ted Hawthorne and Raymond Greenwood for their assistance.

Our 2016 Annual General Meeting

Greetings from Toronto! (Actually, we’re back in Vancouver now.)

Last week, head office staff and franchise owners came together in Toronto for our Annual General Meeting. This is our yearly chance to meet, greet, discuss, plan, and party, and did we ever accomplish all that and more! Since this year the meeting was in Toronto, we also did a few supplier visits and got to see firsthand just how a flagpole is made (I’ll write more on that next week). Below are some photographic highlights of the 2016 AGM Toronto.


The Flag Shop AGM takes place every year in January. This is an opportunity for all of the franchises across Canada to come together. Our next AGM will be right at home in Vancouver BC, and we’re already excited for it!

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.

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

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

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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.

 

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!

Terry Fox Run, 35 Years and Going Strong

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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.

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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.

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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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

5th Annual Mike Gibson Memorial Golf Tournament

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.”

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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!

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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.

Cambie Secondary contacts the International Space Station

Flag RentalsMarch 13, 2014 was the anniversary of Chris Hadfield becoming the first Canadian Commander of the International Space Station, and the day Cambie Secondary School in Richmond became the first school in Metro Vancouver to make contact with the International Space Station via amateur radio.

The Flag Shop is proud to have provided free flag rentals for the Canada, USA, Russia, and Japan flags displayed on the stage backdrop for this momentous event.

Street banners for TED’s 30th Anniversary conference in Vancouver

If you’ve driven over the Granville Bridge lately, you’ve no doubt noticed the dramatic black banners announcing the arrival of the 30th TED Conference to its new home at the Vancouver Convention Centre which has its own set of matching banners.

The street banners were printed right here in Vancouver and are made of Echotex, a 100% recycled banner fabric. Echotex street banners are just a small part of helping Vancouver become the Greenest City by 2020.