Bioregion of Cascadia

Flag 2000px-Flag_of_Cascadia.svg
Proportions 3:5
Adopted Designed in 1994-1995, the Cascadian flag has over time grown in popularity in the bioregion it represents.  Its promotion has been centered on the website FreeCascadia.org.  The Portland Timbers professional soccer club fan organization, the Timbers Army, has included it among the flags it flies during matches. In 2014 a Seattle-based non-profit called CascadiaNow! began promoting the flag.
Design The flag is a horizontal tricolor with equal stripes of blue, white, and green.  Centered and extending from the bottom edge to nearly the top of the flag is a black silhouette of a tall, narrow tree.
Symbolism Cascadia is a bioregion the core of which is the watershed of the Columbia River in the northwestern US and southwestern Canada.  It includes much of British Columbia, Washington, and Oregon, as well as portions of Alaska, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, Utah, and California.

“The blue represents the moisture rich sky above and Pacific Ocean along with the Salish Sea, lakes and other inland waters. Our home is of continuous cascading waters flowing from our sky and mountains back to the Pacific. For Cascadia is a land of falling water from the Pacific to the western slopes of the Rockies where water cycles as vapor and then rain and snow to run through creek and river back to the Pacific. The white is for the snow and clouds which are the catalyst of water changing from one state of matter to another. From liquid into vapor (mist and clouds) and from vapor into solid (ice and snow) and melting back to liquid or vapor. The green is the forests and fields which too carry life giving water through our biodiverse land. The lone standing Douglas fir symbolizes endurance, defiance and resilience against fire, flood, catastrophic change and even against anthropocentric Man.” (from The Cascadian Flag: A Transformative Icon by Alexander Baretich)

How
Selected
The flag has not been formally selected to represent an organization, nor was this the intent of its designer and principal promoter, Portland-based bioregional activist Alexander Baretich.  Baretich gives this account of the origins of the design:  “[While doing graduate work in] Eastern Europe, I was deeply homesick for the forests of Cascadia, specifically the Willamette Valley forests I grew up around. One day in spring as I sat on a hill with my companion, I explained to her what the landscape of my home looked like. I said those vast vineyards if at my house would be vast green forests; the distant mountains of the Matras would be the snowcapped Cascades with white clouds hovering above; and above that might be the blue sky. The three colors of blue, white and green came to mind and that the pine tree in front of us would be a Douglas fir.” (from The Cascadian Flag: A Transformative Icon by Alexander Baretich)
Designer Alexander Baretich
Early
Versions
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Tumchukilahee Mula Stik polaklie (“Cascadia fir tree shadow” in Chinook) flag.

Tumchukilahee stik sail (

Tumchukilahee stik sail (“Cascadia tree cloth-in-the-wind” in Chinook), abstract version by Aranyboci.

Notes As it depicts a Douglas fir, the flag has the nickname “the Doug flag”.

The use of the design is restricted according to a creative commons license: “When in publication it should be cited that the designer is Alexander Baretich and that it’s the flag of the bioregion of Cascadia or simply as the Cascadian flag.”  The use of the flag for hate (including when such use is “disguised as ‘White Pride’ or nationalism”) or exploitation (including use “contrary to the ideas of bioregionalism”) is prohibited.

Links
Acknowl-
edgments
  • Researcher: Scott Mainwaring
  • Flag imagery and historical background: Alexander Baretich

One Response to Bioregion of Cascadia

  1. Pingback: The Cascadian Nautical Flag | Portland Flag Association

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