Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Lack of consensus on options presented, sends potential Civic Flag models back to staff for revisions

Four options for a new civic flag were on display in the 
City Council Chamber on Monday evening.

It would appear that a hybrid of the available options above will be the final version for adoption when it comes to what Prince Rupert City Councillors may envision for a new civic flag.

As Mayor Herb Pond noted at one point of the rather lengthy discussion over the new concept for a civic flag on Monday evening, the discussion on the drapeau far outpaced that of just a few months ago when it came to putting in motion the city's budget plan.

"You know what, it didn't take us this long to do the 30 some odd million dollar budget, but thats OK, I anticipated this actually"

The flag debate came out of a report to Council (which we previewed here) from the City's Manager of Communication, Engagement and Social Development. The report from Veronika Stewart outlined how the current flag does not echo the rebranding program launched last year, with Council offered four options on the night to review.

Mayor Pond opened the discussion with somewhat of an around the table straw vote on the four options,  which in the end actually delivered more than the four options up for review from Ms. Stewart. 

Councillor Adey was the first to speak to the topic, noting of the community engagement that came from last years rebranding program and observing how that could be in the future with the flag review.

"I do want to say, I understand the need to replace the old flag it's based on the needs that presented themselves to us when we had to do the rebranding exercise and I remember fondly the community discourse that resulted from that process. And I wonder whether this is going to echo in similar ways.

Other than Councillor Cunningham, who expressed his personal fondness for the current city flag,  the council members provided for their views of the options available, while some suggested a hybrid version that combined elements of two or more of the flags on display.

Councillor Cunningham did make an inquiry outside of design asking towards the cost of development of the flag options, 

"I don't see anything wrong with the old one and my other question while were at it is how much is this going to cost?"

That provided for an overview of how the process has moved forward to this point from the City Manager.

"I'm pleased to say that the design fee for developing the option was staff cost so there was no money spent in that, with the exception in paying for these flag demonstrations. Going forward the cost oof purchasing the flags would be what we would pay for new flags, replacement flags, so there's no additional cost for that either. This is simply enacting Council's new brand. -- City Manager Rob Buchan

The City Manager also noted that the current inventory of old City of Prince Rupert flags stands at one: 

"We have one with a number of stains on it and that's it"

As the thirteen minute overview came to a wrap Council members continued to deliver some of their observations, with Councillor Skelton-Morven calling on his experience in graphic design for his review, as well as towards themes to incorporate an Indigenous approach to the flag.,

"I also see the pieces around some of the Indigenous calligraphy  and colouring that was taken into account when we hired Russel Mather as an artist, to bring in, so with those particular palettes being the white, the red and the black"

The City's Chief Financial Officer Corinne Bomben delivered an observation for the collective towards how many of the competing options might come together through a flag that incorporates many of the wishes expressed.

From that, three possible options were then sent back to staff, all of them based on a hybrid of the models reviewed, the majority view seemingly that the words Prince Rupert should be incorporated in the flag design.

City Manager Robert Buchan observed that staff would work with that guidance to come back with a model that might find its way to the finish line.

You can review the full discussion through the City's Video Archive starting at the 34  minute mark.

More notes related to Monday's Council session can be reviewed from our Council Timeline here.


  1. Noooooooo! Flags should not have words! Look at the maple leaf, the Stars and Stripes, the Swiss cross, the Jamaican X, the Union Jack, Ukrainaini yellow/blue, Filipino sunshine, etc etc etc etc etc

    They are all iconic and none have words on them!

    Let’s get this right folks.

  2. They should read the 5 rules of the North American Vexological Association. "Rule 4: No Lettering or Seals. Never use writing of any kind or an organization's seal".

  3. "Hey honey what's this town called?"
    "Well according to the flag we're in TREPUR ECNIRP."

    1. Trepur Ecnirp: where flagship rebrands break all the rules you even never knew existed

  4. I like Russel Mather's logo design but a logo is for letterheads and banners while a flag is something else even if it incorporates elements of the logo.