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


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.


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


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.

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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Pride 2015: Vancouver Wrap-Up

2015 was a big year for The Flag Shop’s involvement in LGBTQ+ Pride celebrations with a lot of firsts. We launched our new Pride mini-site: pride.flagshop.com, joined in partnerships, and made donations to important local charities as well as launching a new contest. Read on to see the specifics of our involvement.

This year The Flag Shop came out in a big way. While our company has a longstanding relationship with members of the LGBTQ+ community this year we really took things to the next level.

Beginning in May, with the launch of our Pride-specific website, pride.flagshop.com, our commitment to the cause has really taken on steam. The website not only features our entire Pride product line but has also expanded to include a comprehensive listing of Pride events across Canada, Pride news coverage, a listing of Pride Societies across Canada and more. We are working on adding new products to our line to better serve the LGBTQ+ community.

Clockwise (from top-right): Our media wall looking great at this info booth (Photo: Vancouver Pride); Two of our Pride booth workers; A custom sewn Transgender flag for PFLAG Vancouver; One of our furry booth volunteers; Some Flag Shop paper flags adorning some fabulous shopping carts in the parade. (Photos: Rebecca Love)

Clockwise (from top-right): Our media wall looking great at this info booth (Photo: Vancouver Pride); Two of our Pride booth workers; A custom sewn Transgender flag for PFLAG Vancouver; One of our furry booth volunteers; Some Flag Shop paper flags adorning some fabulous shopping carts in the parade. (Photos: Rebecca Love)

We also deepened our involvement with local charitable organizations. We recently worked with the Vancouver Pride Society to produce a media wall for them as well as running a Pride flag booth at the Vancouver Pride Festival with proceeds being donated. We also donated a hand-sewn transgender flag for PFLAG Vancouver, an organization that speaks for a more accepting Canadian society in regards to sexual orientation and gender identity issues.

From left to right: A standing banner outside of the Out on Screen Gala Opening; Two retractable banners fresh off the press in our production warehouse.

From left to right: A gamma banner outside of the Out on Screen Gala Opening; Two retractable banners fresh off the press in our production warehouse.

The Vancouver Queer Film Festival has some great new banners at a discount as a result of another print partnership, this time with their organizer, Out on Screen.

From left to right: Early Bird Winner, Tyler; 2nd Place winner, Kylee; Grand Prize Winner, Zoltan

From left to right: Early Bird Winner, Tyler; 2nd Place winner, Kylee; Grand Prize Winner, Zoltan

This was also the year of our first ever #PrideFlag social media contest! In an effort to encourage people to proudly show their Pride Flags all around Vancouver, we launched a photography contest that yielded some great shots and a few excellent winners that helped raise the profile of the Pride flag even further.

From left to right: The Flag Shop Victoria takes part in the local Pride Parade; The Flag Shop London set up a booth at Niagara Pride.

From left to right: The Flag Shop Victoria takes part in the local Pride Parade; The Flag Shop London set up a booth at Niagara Pride.

Better still, it’s not just here in Vancouver that The Flag Shop is involved in Pride activities. Our store in London, Ontario had a great booth set up at Niagara Pride while The Flag Shop Victoria made a giant Pride flag and used a pick-up truck to drive it in the local Pride Parade!

All in all we made some great memories through this year’s Vancouver Pride season. Of course Pride issues aren’t just important at one time of year, so we’ll continue to grow and strengthen our participation in supporting LGBTQ+ people as an ally. What is coming next? I guess you’ll just have to wait and see.

The Pride Flag, A Part of The Flag Shop’s History

This year, on Sunday, August 2, 2015, The Flag Shop will have a booth set-up at the Vancouver Pride Parade Festival. Look for us there under the big blue tent where we will have all of our rainbow Pride products for sale. We will be donating proceeds from our Pride flag sales to the Vancouver Pride Society as well as collecting donations in exchange for our new (and exclusive!) Smiley Face Pride tattoos. However, first read here to learn a little more about why the Pride flag is so important to us, and what we’ve done through the years to demonstrate our passion for LGBTQ+ rights and freedoms.

Here in Vancouver Pride Week is upon us. Every year the Vancouver Pride Society puts together a parade and festival even bigger and louder than the year before. Of course, a big part of any Pride celebration since 1978 has been Gilbert Baker’s Rainbow Pride Flag. Flag fanatics that we are, The Flag Shop couldn’t stay away. As our president, Susan Braverman, recently said:

“Our involvement with the gay pride movement began in 1978 when we produced Rainbow flags and decals in support of the San Francisco Gay Freedom Day Parade. Immediately afterward, we began manufacturing flags for the Canadian gay community in recognition of its history, courage and diversity. While demand in the early years was muted, as the Rainbow Flag transformed into the main symbol of unity for the gay rights movement, requests continued to grow and with support from the PRIDE & LGBT community we were able to invest in the development of new products which celebrate the future.”*

Video from GLBT Historical Society; Go to 7:00 for a glimpse of the Pride Rainbow Flag.

Since then, The Flag Shop Pride products have been flown all over the country from military bases to provincial legislatures. In 2014, when anti-LGBT Russian policies created a wave of outrage around the Sochi Winter Olympics, many Pride flags were flown across Canada to show support for LGBT athletes and Russian citizens that were facing these inhumane policies. In Victoria, B.C. a last minute request was made to The Flag Shop Victoria for an almost four foot by seven and half foot Pride flag, essentially needed yesterday. Paul Servos, the owner of The Flag Shop Victoria, managed to sew it together and deliver it in about 3 hours, and the flag was raised in time for the Olympic opening day.

Understandably, LGBTQ+ rights and Pride demonstrations are something we are one hundred percent behind. Moving forward, we are always looking for ways that we can better show our support for this cause. This year we are partnering with the Vancouver Pride Society working with them to raise funds and create engaging signage for their event. Also, we are a new print partner of Out on Screen who puts together Vancouver’s Queer Film Festival. Look for the banners we made for them at the festival which starts August 13th!

Finally, while we love working with all of these groups, it doesn’t hurt that the Pride flag is incredibly beautiful. We can’t help but agree with designer, Gilbert Baker, in this quote from the CBC:

“The rainbow is a beautiful part of nature, all of the colours, and even the colours you can’t see. So that really fit us as a people because we are all of the colours, our sexuality is all of the colours; we’re all the genders, and ages, and races.”

Fly proud everyone!

*In 1978, the year the rainbow flag was launched, one of The Flag Shop’s conscious designers attended the San Francisco Gay Freedom Day Parade with rainbow flags and decals for himself and his friends crafted out of our Vancouver location.

If you’re particularly excited about the Pride Flag be sure to enter our #PrideFlag contest via Instagram & Twitter!

Pride Products:

Further Reading:
Time: How the Rainbow Flag Became an Icon of LGBT Right
San Francisco Travel: A Brief History of the Rainbow Flag
Slate: How the Rainbow Became a Symbol of the GLBT Movement.
Gilbert Baker’s Website

Our First Ever #PrideFlag Contest

The Vancouver Pride Parade is fast approaching, and things are getting rather technicoloured here at The Flag Shop. We love the pride flag (a lot!), and we want to see it out in the community. But we need your help! This is where we ask you, fellow flag enthusiasts, to snap a picture of pride flags out in the community, and share it with us on Twitter or Instagram!

The Challenge

All you need to do is take a respectful photo of the rainbow pride flag somewhere in your community and then, using your preferred social channel, post the picture to either Twitter or Instagram tagging us here @TheFlagShop and using the hashtag #PrideFlag. You have from now until Sunday, August 2nd at midnight to enter via Twitter and Instagram. One entry per person or organization!

Feeling camera shy?

If social media isn’t your thing, we have another way to enter. Stop by our Flag Shop booth at the Pride Festival on August 2, 2015, and you can enter to win by filling out a ballot. No purchase necessary.

The Prizes


Two of the flag prizes available in our #PrideFlag Contest. Not pictured: The Canada Pride flag, as it is currently in production.

We have three (3) prizes up for grabs:

  1. EARLY BIRD! The winner of our early bird draw on July 31st will be awarded their very own 33″ x 60″ Pride Pirate flag, made at The Flag Shop Vancouver. Yar! (Value CAD $59.95)
  2. A 36″ x 72″ sewn nylon 6-colour pride flag sewn in-house at The Flag Shop Vancouver. (Value CAD $96.95)
  3. One of the first ever made 36″ x 72″ sewn nylon Canadian pride flag sewn in-house (as we speak!) at The Flag Shop Vancouver. (Value CAD $299.95)

The sewn nylon flags will be drawn for on August 4th at approximately 12:00 pm.

Additional Information

A full version of our official contest rules and regulations is available on our website at: http://vancouver.flagshop.com/pdf/PrideFlag-Contest-Rules-Regs.pdf

Don’t have a flag? We will be handing out 1,000 paper pride flags to our social media followers at the Pride Festival in Vancouver’s West End on August 2nd. Be sure to come and get one for yourself!

The Flag Shop is involved in Pride events all over Canada. For a comprehensive look at The Flag Shop’s involvement, as well as to purchase Pride products online please visit:  http://pride.flagshop.com/.

The Honda Celebration: A Flag Shop ‘Tail’

Above: Celebration of Light banners in 2013 (left) and 2015 (right). The same banners were used with attached black tails for different event dates.

This year the Honda Celebration of Light is turning 25 and as seasoned Vancouverites know, some of the best viewing is from one of the city’s downtown bridges. Every year our client brand.LIVE, the event organizer, works with us at the Flag Shop to deck out the Granville Street bridge end to end with Celebration of Light street banners.

Something that The Flag Shop has been able to do to help reduce costs, and more importantly waste, for the event has been to help brand.LIVE and Celebration of Light re-use their street banners year after year.

Printed on 200 denier Dacron, the banners last far longer than the month or so that they are on display. Following the event, we give the banners a good cleaning and then store them safely for the next year. Then, to keep them current and informative, new tails are produced every year with the event dates listed and replaced on the bottom of the banners. This allows brand.LIVE to reuse the banners but lose none of their informative value.

Now that’s a bright idea!

Do you have a recurring event in your community? Street banner tails are a great way to get more mileage from your banners without missing a chance to inform your audience of a great event! http://www.flagshop.com/street-banners.php

How to fold a Canadian flag

The Vancouver Sun interviewed Susan for Canada Day about the Canadian flag turning 50. The article also includes a video of our store manager, Deanna, giving a brief history of the red ensign as well as describing how most Canadian flags are folded since there is no standardized way.


Photograph by: Nick Procaylo, PNG


The Confederate Battle Flag will not be sold at The Flag Shop going forward

This is just a quick announcement to say that after much consideration, we are halting the sale of Confederate battle flags until further notice permanently.

We will have much more to say about this decision after our peak season is over so stay tuned for further details.

Update: Please see our press release here.

News stories: