Cascadia by Moonlight

A flag sent to us by "Random Pendragon" along with this note: "A flag I made, inspired by a night in the woods. After hours of wandering the chilled forest, I stumbled out of the thicket and into an open field. Looming before me was a single doug fir, with the moon glaring behind it in all its glory. I call it "Cascadia by Night." I have been designing flags almost nonstop in the past few months. The Portland Flag Association has really inspired me. "
Here is a flag sent to us by Random Pendragon, accompanied by this note:
A flag I made, inspired by a night in the woods. After hours of wandering the chilled forest, I stumbled out of the thicket and into an open field. Looming before me was a single doug fir, with the moon glaring behind it in all its glory.
I call it “Cascadia by Night.”
I have been designing flags almost nonstop in the past few months. The Portland Flag Association has really inspired me.

The Cascadian Nautical Flag

by Alexander Baretich, Vexilloid Tabloid #53

Cascadia is a bioregion roughly encompassing Oregon, Washington, British Columbia and parts of other states and provinces in the U.S. and Canada’s Pacific Northwest (see VT #36).

In 2012, nearly 17 years after designing the popular Cascadian flag, I created a nautical flag for Cascadia, specifically for vessels of oceans, rivers, and the sky.  The “Cascadian Wave Flag” is a tribute to the bioregion’s waters and sky.

The Cascadian Nautical Flag: A tribute to the waters and sky of the bioregion. Designer: Alexander Baretich.
The Cascadian Nautical Flag: A tribute to the waters and sky of the bioregion. Designer: Alexander Baretich.

At the top of the flag, the two blue and three white waves represent the mountains and partially clear sky.  Hence the white waves next to those two top blue waves represent snowpack and clouds.  Two green waves are the forest-covered hills.  Between the two green waves is a single white wave that represents mist or low clouds.  At the bottom of the flag, the two blue waves represent the Pacific Ocean and the Salish Sea as well as the region’s rivers (Columbia, Willamette, Frazer, Snake, etc.).  The white waves next to the two lower blue waves represent sea foam and the crest of waves.

The green isosceles triangle with its base against the hoist represents the forest-clad hills and mountains.  The Douglas Fir echoes the central symbol of the 1995 Cascadia flag.

Several other flags in the Pacific Northwest have blue and white waves, including British Columbia, the Zapatopi Cascadian flag, and the city of Vancouver, B.C.—they may have played an unconscious element of my creation of Cascadian Nautical flag.  It is certainly part of our collective iconography to represent bodies of water with blue and white waves.

I intentionally made the flag extra long (longer than 1:2), although I have made versions in standard proportions.  A longer flag may well serve a vessel better than a shorter one.

Three colleagues and I have just launched the Cascadian Flag Making Cooperative.  Our general goal is to provide Cascadian flags, locally produced and “artist-certified” with our logo, the @Doug symbol.

The “@ Doug” logo of the Cascadian Flag Making Cooperative.
The “@ Doug” logo of the Cascadian Flag Making Cooperative.

We hope to sell or offer this flag only to owners or captains of vessels—ideally merchant vessels that conduct fair trade as opposed to “free trade” or vessels that have a mission of exploration, research, ecology, bioregional awareness, and/or for socioeconomic and ecological justice.

Like the classic Cascadian flag,  also known as the “Doug Flag”, I hope this flag—as well as all my designs—will not be used for hate, exploitation, and against the values or principles of bioregionalism.

In seeking out a bioregional flag, I believe that it’s the bioregion that will capture the artist—not the  artist capturing the bioregion.

Flutterings (from VexTab #53)

from Vexilloid Tabloid #53

Note: “Flutterings” — notes from the editor on our last meeting — is a regular feature in The Vexilloid Tabloid.

July Flutterings You Need to Know

In our July meeting, hosted by Ted Kaye, 16 PFA members enjoyed a lively 3+-hour evening of flags and other wide-ranging topics.  As the host, Ted led the introductions and moderated the discussion.

John Schilke exulted in seeing a photo of a Roerich flag displayed on SE Stephens St.) and gave a brief description of its creator and its purpose—to protect cultural sites in wartime—(see VT #20).

Michael Orelove gave updates on his flags-for-educational-purposes solicitations, showed off some flags and burgees, and passed around the results of his writing off for state seals—40 of 50 states have responded so far.

David Koski described his project to facilitate flag image construction using Adobe InDesign, with layers for standard flag components—he showed resulting example flags.

David Koski shows some results from his flag image generator.
David Koski shows some results from his flag image generator.

Ted Kaye led a discussion of the Confederate Battle Flag controversy, using actual flags to illustrate the history of the CSA’s flag use.  He has been very actively giving interviews in the past two weeks at the local and national levels on that and other subjects (see The Confederate Flag Flap).

At the July 2015 PFA meeting, Ted Kaye provides a summary of the flags of the Confederacy, displaying the first national flag, the “Stars and Bars” as John Schilke and Fred Paltridge look on.
Ted Kaye provides a summary of the flags of the Confederacy, displaying the first national flag, the “Stars and Bars” as John Schilke and Fred Paltridge look on.

Lorraine Bushek, joining us for the first time, described her work as an artist, including the 3rd-place finalist in the 2009 Oregon flag redesign effort.

Lorraine Bushek describes her finalist entry for the Oregon flag redesign.
Lorraine Bushek describes her finalist entry for the Oregon flag redesign.

Ken Dale reflected on the symbolism of the U.S. Capitol building—whose construction continued even during the Civil War.

Scott Mainwaring noted that cellphone cases featuring the Portland flag orient upside-down when the phone is held vertically.  He created a corrected version on Zazzle.com.  He has also been experimenting with giving digitally generated US flags a “hand-made” feel, with “randomly-perturbed” stars and colors.

Scott Mainwaring and his U.S. flag with “randomly perturbed” stars.
Scott Mainwaring and his U.S. flag with “randomly perturbed” stars.

Max Liberman consulted with the assembled members on agenda items for the 24th general assembly of FIAV in Sydney in September; he and Ted were named delegate and alternate.  He then shared some of the thousands of submissions for a new flag for New Zealand—the good and the bad.

Some of the stranger New Zealand entries amuse Max Liberman.
Some of the stranger New Zealand entries amuse Max Liberman.

Nathaniel Mainwaring, who enters 4th grade this fall, updated us on his Minecraft-based flag work, featuring zombie pig-men.

Nathaniel Mainwaring shares his Minecraft-based flag.
Nathaniel Mainwaring shares his Minecraft-based flag.

Casey Sims described the development of his personal flag, and closed his presentation with a song on his guitar.

Casey Sims sings a song inspired by his new personal flag, enjoyed by Robert Izatt, Ken Dale, and Dennis Stephens.
Casey Sims sings a song inspired by his new personal flag, enjoyed by Robert Izatt, Ken Dale, and Dennis Stephens.

Patrick Genna displayed a recent Goodwill acquisition—a large flag of Antigua & Barbuda and distributed a fact sheet about it.

Robert Izatt described the crowdfunding campaign for the Cascadian Flag-Making Cooperative.

David Ferriday showed his latest flag-based art and noted that a  recent local flag store’s ad depicts the Portland flag upside-down…

David Ferriday fooled everyone when unfurling a black military flag.
David Ferriday fooled everyone when unfurling a black military flag.

Alexander Baretich shared some of his recent designs, including the Cascadia nautical flag (see article, p. 6), religious flags, and another bio-regional flag—that of Danubia.

Alexander Baretich debuts a topical variant of his Cascadia flag.
Alexander Baretich debuts a topical variant of his Cascadia flag.

Dennis Stephens lauded the recent Roman Mars TED Talk on city flag design: “Why city flags may be the worst-designed think you’ve never noticed” (ted.com), and showed the flag stickers on his laptop documenting his travels.

The meeting started at 7:00 and adjourned at 10:20, reflecting the host’s poor timekeeping ability.

Our next meeting will be at the home of Larry Snyder on Sept. 10th.  Patrick took the Portland Flag Association flag for him—the customary task of the next host.

Miscellany (from VexTab #52)

from Vexilloid Tabloid #52

Portland Flag Miscellany

Items about the Portland city flag.

Participants in a recent Reddit “Design your own Portland TriMet MAX train” used the Cascadia and Portland flags as prospective light-rail decoration schemes. [Thanks to Keryn Anchel for spotting this]
Participants in a recent Reddit “Design your own Portland TriMet MAX train” used the Cascadia and Portland flags as prospective light-rail decoration schemes. Here’s the Portland design…
... and here's the Cascadia design. Thanks to Keryn Anchel for spotting these!
… and here’s the Cascadia design. Thanks to Keryn Anchel for spotting these!
smartphone-case-upside-down
Our smartphones can now sport the Portland city flag. Cases like that on the left are available on Zazzle, Etsy, and Amazon. But as this illustration shows, when the phone is held upright, the flag is actually shown upside (hoist side) down. The two designs on the right would remedy this: the middle design is just the front of the flag rotated (the way you would hang most flags vertically), the rightmost design is the back of the flag rotated (hung the way the US flag is supposed to be when displayed vertically, with the “canton” in the upper left).
NW Flag & Banner, at NE 57th Ave and Sandy, occupies a small loft space above Northwest Auto Accessories, a retailer of a broad range of items for cars and trucks. An Annin dealer, it has a very small inventory and focuses on auto dealers (which were, ironically, the initial clientele of Elmer’s Flag & Banner over 50 years ago). It also sells flag poles.
NW Flag & Banner, at NE 57th Ave and Sandy, occupies a small loft space above Northwest Auto Accessories, a retailer of a broad range of items for cars and trucks.
An Annin dealer, it has a very small inventory and focuses on auto dealers (which were, ironically, the initial clientele of Elmer’s Flag & Banner over 50 years ago). It also sells flag poles.
A local website uses the central element from the Portland city flag. invictusdance.com
A local website uses the central element from the Portland city flag. invictusdance.com
The Rogue Distillery and Public House, in the Pearl District at NW 14th and Flanders, flies a plethora of flags—mostly sports-related—as well as the Portland flag (upside-down).
The Rogue Distillery and Public House, in the Pearl District at NW 14th and Flanders, flies a plethora of flags—mostly sports-related—as well as the Portland flag (upside-down).

Flutterings (from VexTab #52)

from Vexilloid Tabloid #52

Note: “Flutterings” — notes from the editor on our last meeting — is a regular feature in The Vexilloid Tabloid.

May Flutterings You Need to Know

In our May meeting, hosted by John Schilke, 18 PFA members and guests enjoyed a lively 3-hour evening of flags and other wide-ranging topics.  As the host, John led the introductions and moderated the discussion.

Scott Mainwaring gave an update on the Oregon Flag Registry, especially thanking Elmer’s for sharing information on hundreds of flags.  He commended Michael Orelove on the complete entry for the city of Gresham.  He introduced a challenge of “people on state flags”, and shared David Dunnico’s A White Flag on the Moon.

Ken Dale reflected on the bicentennial of the end of the War of 1812 and on its causes.

David Anchel described how the equality flag (yellow equals sign on blue) was designed in Portland and how Elmer’s makes it in-house.

David Anchel leads an intriguing discussion of the high design quality of the flags of Caribbean states and the possible reasons for their success.
David Anchel leads an intriguing discussion of the high design quality of the flags of Caribbean states and the possible reasons for their success.

Dennis Stevens is pleased that his changed work schedule will  allow him to attend our meetings.

Dennis Stevens celebrates his native California with a gift from Patrick Genna.
Dennis Stevens celebrates his native California with a gift from Patrick Genna.

David Ferriday shared some of his recent flag-related acquisitions, including a beer stein, shot glass, and key ring.  He shared images of the Scandinavian flags at the Nordic Cultural Center on Oleson Road and some images from     design books.

Flags in Spokane's Cathedral of St. John, photo from www.inlander.com
Flags in Spokane’s Cathedral of St. John, photo from www.inlander.com

Larry Snyder showed an image of Spokane, Washington’s Cathedral of St. John, its interior festooned with the banners of every church in the diocese.

Larry Snyder shows off his Union Jack reading glasses.
Larry Snyder shows off his Union Jack reading glasses.

David Koski asked:  “How long does an outdoor flag usually last?”.  He got full answers from David Anchel (6 months to a year) and Mike Hale (who went on to explain his invention of “feather flags”).  They reported a rule of thumb common to flag dealers but new to us:  replace a U.S. flag when the stripes are shorter than the canton.

Mike Hale played “name that flag” with a souvenir bought during his May 2014 visit to Bruges, Belgium.

Mike Hale enjoyed the broad flag-flying he’d seen in Bruges.
Mike Hale enjoyed the broad flag-flying he’d seen in Bruges.

In response to his letters soliciting flags for educational purposes,  Michael Orelove continues to receive them from nations, cities, and government agencies.  The latest include Senegal; Springfield, Illinois; and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (which warned him to use the flag only for non-profit purposes!).

David Koski admires the Senegalese flag displayed by Michael Orelove.
David Koski admires the Senegalese flag displayed by Michael Orelove.

Max Liberman took careful notes; Jessie Spillers enjoyed the flags.

Patrick Genna reveled in giving out over a dozen flags of all sizes he’d gleaned at Goodwill. One inscribed “Cherokee Braves” at first seemed to him the flag of a sports team; he then learned of the Confederate troops raised from native tribes.

At first Patrick Genna thought this flag might represent a sports team!
At first Patrick Genna thought this flag might represent a sports team!

Visitor Casey Sims brought his Portland Ska Flag (see VT #51) and described the process of its creation by a bandmate as well as his own interest in flags.

sims-omsec-flag
Casey Sims shares the Portland-Jamaica fusion flag used by his band, the Original Middleage Ska Enjoy Club.

Keryn Anchel may commemorate the now-famous carpet from the Portland International Airport with a flag using its motif.

Karen Anchel wants to produce a flag based on the (old) PDX carpet.
Karen Anchel wants to produce a flag based on the (old) PDX carpet.

With Fiji’s new flag effort under way, Ted Kaye disclosed that in two days he would travel there to serve as technical advisor to the national flag committee.

Our special guest, Alexander Baretich, described how he’d designed the Cascadia flag in 1995 (see VT #36).  Robert Izatt, his student, helped him display a huge version.  He discussed his decision to put the design into “creative commons” for all to share.

baretich-cascadia
Alexander Baretich, designer of the Cascadia flag, describes its origin.

Our next meeting will be at the home of Ted Kaye on July 9th.   He took the Portland Flag Association flag with him—the customary task of the next host.

Douglas-fir Flags

Illustration by Wendy Smith

The magnificent Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) is, after the coast redwood, North America’s second-tallest tree, reaching heights of 300 feet or more. Found throughout the wetter parts of Cascadia, it was declared the State Tree of Oregon in 1939 and has appeared on Oregon’s passenger car license plates since 1988.

oregonpinetree2larger

In designing a flag for Cascadia, Alexander Baretich chose the Douglas-fir as its emblem, based both on its prevalence in the bioregion and his lifelong familiarity with it, as dominated the southwest Portland neighborhood where he grew up.

The Cascadian Flag, Alexander Baretich, designer.
The Cascadian Flag, Alexander Baretich, designer.

The Douglas-fir has also captivated the imagination of Clifton Stone, who recently wrote to us to share some designs he has made to represent the state of Oregon:

I came up with a flag that is a close-up of a Douglas Fir sprig–six needles on a twig. I got the idea because I sometimes play around with macro-photography, the Doug Fir is obviously a major symbol for the state, and I totally love the look of close-ups of conifer sprigs and other small, graphically-patterned natural phenomena. Viewed closely enough, they can look like hidden natural flags.

unnamed

closeup

His first design featured green needles symmetrically branching out from a central horizontal bar.  He calls the design “the Doug Sprig”.

The Doug Sprig flag, designed by Clifton Stone.
The Doug Sprig flag (version 1), designed by Clifton Stone.

Looking more closely at Douglas-fir sprigs, he noticed that the needles actually branch off alternately from the stem.  This led to a second, preferred version.  (In heraldic terms, the reversing of colors between the upper and lower green-and-white stripes is called counterchanged.)

The Doug Sprig flag (version 2), designed by Clifton Stone.

Two other Douglas-fir inspired proposed flags for Oregon can be found among the 10 finalists in The Oregonian’s 2008 Oregon Flag Contest.

Proposed flag for Oregon by Lorraine Bushek (2008).
Proposed flag for Oregon by Lorraine Bushek, finalist in The Oregonian’s Oregon Flag Contest of 2008.
Proposed flag for Oregon by Karen L. Azinger, finalist in The Oregonian's Oregon Flag Contest of 2008.
Proposed flag for Oregon by Karen L. Azinger, finalist in The Oregonian’s Oregon Flag Contest of 2008.

Arboreal Flags

A popular flag in Portland is the “Doug Flag” of Cascadia, a favorite of the Timbers Army and secessionist Pacific Northwesterners.

The flag of the bioregion of Cascadia, designed by Alexander Baretich, 1994-1995. Also known as the Doug Flag, it depicts a Douglas Fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii). Source: Wikipedia.
The flag of the bioregion of Cascadia, designed by Alexander Baretich, 1994-1995. Also known as the Doug Flag, it depicts a Douglas Fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii).
Source: Wikipedia.

Let’s look at some of its neighbors – tree flags of the world.

Lebanon Cedar

The Lebanese national flag, hand-drawn and signed by deputies of the Lebanese parliament. Source: www.clevelandpeople.com/groups/lebanese/lebanese.htm
The Lebanese national flag, hand-drawn and signed by deputies of the Lebanese parliament, 11 November 1943.  The tree is a Lebanon Cedar(Cedrus libani). Source: www.clevelandpeople.com/groups/lebanese/lebanese.htm

Norfolk Island Pine

The flag of the Australian territory of Norfolk Island, adopted in 1980. The tree is, appropriately enough, a Norfolk Island Pine (Araucaria heterophylla), endemic to the island.
The flag of the Australian territory of Norfolk Island, adopted in 1980. The tree is a Norfolk Island Pine (Araucaria heterophylla), endemic to the island. (Source: Wikipedia)

Fir

Town flag of Borjomi, Georgia. Source: Wikipedia.
Town flag of Borjomi, Georgia, adopted 2009.  The trees are firs. Source: Wikipedia and FOTW.

Oak

Flag of the Canadian province of Prince Edward Island, adopted 1964. The trees are oaks, the big one on the right representing England, the three saplings on the left the three counties comprising PEI. Source: Wikipedia and FOTW.
Flag of the Canadian province of Prince Edward Island, adopted 1964. The trees are oaks, the big one on the right representing England, the three saplings on the left the three counties comprising PEI. Source: Wikipedia and FOTW.
Town flag of Martvili, Georgia, adopted 2011. Source: FOTW and www.martvili-sakrebulo.ge.
Town flag of Martvili, Georgia, adopted 2011. The tree, an oak, refers to a large oak used for pagan celebrations that St. Andrew is said to have convinced the locals to cut down.  Source: FOTW and www.martvili-sakrebulo.ge.
Flag of the Nottinghamshire County Council, England. Source: British County Flags and Wikimedia Commons.
Flag of the Nottinghamshire County Council, England. Source: British County Flags and Wikimedia Commons.
City flag of Oakland, California, designed by George Laakso of San Leandro in 1952. Source: FOTW.
City flag of Oakland, California, designed by George Laakso of San Leandro in 1952. Source: FOTW and Wikimedia Commons.
Flag of Gernika-Lumo, Basque Country, Spain. Source: Wikimedia Commons.
Flag of Gernika-Lumo, Basque Country, Spain. The tree is an oak called the Gernikako Arbola, site and symbol of Basque self-government. Source: Wikimedia Commons and Wikipedia.

Magnolia

Flag of the Confederate state of Mississippi, captured by the 2nd Iowa Cavalry on 30 May 1862, now at the State Historical Society of Iowa. The tree is a Southern Magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora). Source: Historical Flags article
Flag of the Confederate state of Mississippi, captured by the 2nd Iowa Cavalry on 30 May 1862, now at the State Historical Society of Iowa. The tree is a Southern Magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora). Source: Historical Flags article “Mississippi’s Magnolia Flags” by Clay Moss.

Palmetto

Flag of South Carolina. The tree is a Carolina Palmetto (Sabal palmetto). Source: Wikipedia.
Flag of South Carolina. The tree is a Carolina Palmetto (Sabal palmetto), and refers to the palmetto logs used to construct the fort on Sullivan’s Island that survived British bombardment on 28 June 1776. Source: Wikipedia and home.freeuk.net/gazkhan/blank_state.htm

White Pine

Flag of New England, ca 1775 (as it appears in Jonathan Trumbell's painting of 1785,
Flag of New England, 1775 (modern rendition). The tree is a White Pine (Pinus strobus). See “The New England Flag” by David B. Martucci. Image source: Wikipedia.  This flag has been adopted unofficially by fans of the MLS New England Revolution team, and officially as the flag of Lincoln County, Maine (1977).
The Pine Tree Flag of the American Revolution, 1775. Same tree as on the contemporaneous New England Flag. Source: Wikipedia.
The Pine Tree Flag of the American Revolution, 1775. Same tree as on the contemporaneous New England Flag. Source: Wikipedia.
The Lone Pine Flag of Dartmouth University. (Flag is flying at half-staff in memory of Dartmouth alum and US Surgeon General C. Everett Koop.) Source: thenaturalistsnotebook.com/science-music-and-fun-at-dartmouth
The Lone Pine Flag of Dartmouth University, designed by John Scotford for Dartmouth’s 1969 bicentennial.  It depicts a particular White Pine that used to stand on campus.  (In this photo the flag is flying at half-staff in memory of Dartmouth alum and US Surgeon General C. Everett Koop.) Source: thenaturalistsnotebook.com/science-music-and-fun-at-dartmouth

Mythological

Flag of the Kings of Gondor (from Tolkein's mythos). Source: Wikimedia Commons.
Flag of the Kings of Gondor (from Tolkein’s mythos). The tree is the White Tree of Gondor. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

Unknown

Municipal flag of Pastvini, Czech Republic. Source: Wikimedia Commons and FOTW.
Municipal flag of Pastvini, Czech Republic. Source: Wikimedia Commons and FOTW.