Our Beloved Betty Hits 100,000 Metres of Flags and Banners!


You know those spectacular streets banners that brighten up even the rainiest of morning commutes?  You may have noticed our beautiful Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation banners in the spring, or even our colourful street banners throughout the West End… but have you ever wondered how they’re made?

Most of the street banners made in our Vancouver facility are made on our DuPont™ Artistri®2020 digital textile printer, but we call her ‘Betty’ for short.

We just celebrated a marvelous achievement!  Betty officially produced over 100,000 metres of flags and banners!  That’s nearly enough material to stretch from our Vancouver store to our Victoria Store!

Photo: Google map from The Flag Shop Vancouver to The Flag Shop Victoria

Photo: Google map from The Flag Shop Vancouver to The Flag Shop Victoria

We got Betty in 2008.  At the time, she was the best digital printer on the market, and our Betty continues to live up to her reputation as a top-quality digital textile printer.  The fact that all of our street banners have been printed through her leaves no doubt that Betty is one heck of a workhorse!

If you haven’t been lucky enough to lay your eyes on some of the banners that Betty has made, check out the photo gallery below!  You won’t be disappointed!

Do you want to put Betty to work on your own custom flag or banner?  Request a quote on our website or email us at Vancouver@flagshop.com.

Thanks for stopping by our blog!

Until next time,

Ally Quinney
Public Relations and Social Media Manager

The Flag Shop Celebrates Pink Shirt Day

On February 24th, also known as Pink Shirt Day, everything looked rosy at The Flag Shop. From coast to coast, Flag Shop employees slipped on their pink shirts and lined up for selfies.

Anti-Bullying movements are a big deal to us here so we like to do what we can to support the initiatives that come our way. Most recently we launched a school fundraising program that enables schools to spread the Anti-Bullying message while raising money for school initiatives. In the pink shirt photos below, you may even steal a peek of some of the anti-bullying products we carry.

Now without further ado, the parade of pink shirts!

First up were the early risers at The Flag Shop New Brunswick:

Then Le Flag Shop Montreal got in on the lutte contre l’intimidation:

The Flag Shop Winnipeg made Pink Shirt Day a family affair:

While the The Flag Shop Edmonton location felt some puppy love:

Last but not least, the The Flag Shop Head Office staff posed outside for a photo. There were lots of cars driving buy, so hopefully we served as a human billboard for the message.



Pink Shirt Day isn’t the only day that promotes the Anti-Bullying movement; next up is Day of Pink on April 13th and the United Nations Anti-Bulling Day on May 4th. For more information on Anti-Bullying initiatives and to learn more about our school fundraising program, visit www.antibullyingflag.ca.

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.

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.


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


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.


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.


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!”


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.

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.

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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