Mystery Flags

Can you help identify a couple hard-to-identify flags?

The first appears in this photo of a group of women dressed in ethnic clothing from early in the 20th century.  They display a US flag and a tribar with what appears to be a mounted horseman, perhaps brandishing a sword.  If you have an idea what it is, please let Al Cavalari know:  Al Cavalari, The Flag Guys®,



The second is a flag photographed in August 2014 in Pacific City, Oregon, flying next to a US flag near the beach.  It is a green-yellow-green tribar with the silhouette of what appears to be a specific kind of motorboat on the central stripe.  The boat has a high bow and a structure, probably a pilothouse, amidships.  If you can identify this flag — or the boat — please let us know at


Oregon Flag Registry Update

from Vexilloid Tabloid #53

The Oregon Flag Registry is an ongoing project by the PFA to document the flags of all Oregon tribes, counties, cities, and other flag-using entities.  Current status:

Total Prospects Identified: 118
Total Entries Assigned: 32
Total Entries Completed:16

The Registry is online at  Contact Scott Mainwaring to join the team:  info [at]

Flag of the Chinook
Flag of the Chinook tribe

Ted Kaye recently completed the entry of the flag the Chinook tribe, based in Washington, with members in Oregon.  From his entry:

Adopted January, 2003, the flag places a stylized Chinook salmon in the style of Northwest Coast Indian art in black and red on a field of white.  Centered on its stomach are the contours of a   human face.

The flag’s salmon image is the tribe’s logo, designed by Tony Johnson.  An accomplished artist and canoe carver, he also led the Cultural Affairs Committee which adopted the flag.

The Flag of Gresham, Oregon

Flag gresham
Proportions 2:3
Adopted 24 July 1984
Design The flag is white and has the city seal in the center, with flowering lilac branches at each side.  The seal contains two concentric circles with an image of Mt. Hood in the center, reflected in a lake. Curved within the top part of the ring is the name “City of Gresham”. Curved in the lower part of the ring is the date “1905”, preceded and followed by three strawberries.  All decoration and printing on the flag is in lavender.
Symbolism Gresham was incorporated in 1905, and lies about 40 miles west-northwest of Mt. Hood, Oregon’s tallest peak.  Lilac is the official city flower.  Strawberry fields were once common in the area.
One of Gresham’s sister cities, Ebetsu, Japan, had given its flag to the city, and Mayor Margaret Weil wanted to return the favor by giving Ebetsu a Gresham flag when she next visited Japan.  Judy Wylie, a city employee, suggested the seal-and-lilacs design and worked with the secretary to the Finance Director, Jo Cunningham, who produced a sample sketch. (Ebitsu received its gift flag in 1984.)
Designer Judy Wylie conceived the design.  Jo Cunningham drew the artwork.
  • Researcher: Michael Orelove
  • Assistance from the City of Gresham: Teresa A. Hall, City Council Coordinator

Self-Contradictory Flags

We recently featured artist Josh Thorpe’s Ambivalent Flag, that signaled white, or black, or a bit of each, depending on how the wind was tossing it around.  Here are a couple of other examples of flags that contradict themselves, courtesy of Ted Kaye.

One was a novelty flag produced at one time by Jim Ferrigan, with the universal symbols for “no” and “yes” on each side.

double-standard-yes double-standard-no

He called it “The Double Standard”.

The second was reported in Issue 35 of the Vexilloid Tabloid under the heading Mystery Flag.

This flag itself is not a mystery, but its underlying concept leads the vexillologist to ask:  “A camouflage flag?  Isn’t the purpose of a flag to be seen?”

Ted Kaye observed this example at a major event on Flag Day at the Oregon Air National Guard Base.  It represents (when visible) the unit responsible for weather forecasting in support of ORANG flight operations.

Its personnel use real-time radar, satellite imagery, sensor readouts, and visual observations to observe and forecast local or deployed conditions.

A camouflage flag... what’s the point?  At least the word has “flag” in it! The guidon of the 123rd Weather Flight, Oregon Air National Guard.
A camouflage flag… what’s the point? At least the word has “flag” in it! The guidon of the 123rd Weather Flight, Oregon Air National Guard.

The Clatsop-Nehalem Flag

The Clatsop-Nehalem are an unrecognized confederation of Native Americans in Oregon with a truly striking flag.

Flag of the Confederated Tribes of Clatsop-Nehalem.  Adopted August 2003. Designed by Mark Scovell.
Flag of the Confederated Tribes of Clatsop-Nehalem. Adopted August 2003. Designed by Mark Scovell.

According to its designer, Mark Scovell (son of tribal chief Joe Scovell):

The circular design of the yellow touches all of the other colors because it represents the Creator whose presence relates to all of life.  The red represents blood which is life-sustaining, the blue represents food resources, and the black represents cooperative relationships.  The Clatsop-Nehalem flag is a symbol of the four things that our Tribe believes in:  first, we believe in community…we all need to work together to be a strong group and to survive; second, we believe in the power of the sun and that it is held in the sky by God to give us life; third, we believe in Blood that flows through us giving us life; fourth, we believe in the Sea as it is a provider of food and other things to help us survive.