The Cascadia Flag


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The Cascadia Doug Flag

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“The Cascadia flag conveys something more tangible than an abstract concept of demarcation of space. It is not a flag of blood nor of the glory of a nation, but a love of the bioregion; our ecological family, natural boundaries & the place in which we live & love.”

– Alexander Baretich

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Description

The Cascadia Doug flag is a symbol for our landscape and is a direct representation of the bioregion, and for our movement. Designed in 1994 by Portland native Alexander Baretich, the blue of the flag represents the moisture-rich sky above, and the Pacific Ocean, along with the Salish Sea, lakes, and inland waters. Our home is a place of continuous cascading waters flowing from the Pacific to the western slopes of the Rockies and Cascades where water cycles back to the Pacific. The white represents snow and clouds, and the green represents the evergreen forests and fields of the Pacific Northwest. The lone-standing Douglas Fir symbolizes endurance, defiance, and resilience. All these symbols come together to symbolize what being Cascadian is all about.

It is not ‘the Cascadia flag’ but rather, one of thousands. We hope that as an open source symbol, every community, ecoregion, watershed, business and cause will adopt and adapt the Doug Flag to their own purposes.

By using the Doug Flag, and the green white and blue, we show a shared regional identity, and that we share common beliefs, dreams and principles.

Cascadia is a movement that was born in the northwest throughout the 1980’s. It is a gateway movement, that was created by people who live here, are from here, and both inspires those born here to protect what we love, and allows those moving here to hook in with something real, authentic and fun.

Much like the Rainbow Flag, or the Occupy Fist, symbols can be an incredibly potent means for making a public and visible statement about the values and principles that we share and identify with. With so many brands now being manufactured for our consumption, with global climate crises, and a rise of intolerance, now, more than ever, it is important that as citizens of this world, we have also have our own community inspired and created symbols, that can support the issues and causes we need, around the shared values and principles laid out here, that are driven by a love of place and our neighbors – something authentic, rather than rooted in a profit basis.

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A Bioregional Symbol

One of the best ways to better understand the Cascadia Doug Flag is from the words of Alexander Baretich, the creator of the flag itself.

I tend to look at the meme (viral idea) of the Cascadian flag like it’s a multilayered sphere or onion entering or implanted in the mindscape of the host and then unfolding while releasing its contagion…. At first the normal reaction, the shallow surface level, is to be of nationalistic. The “oh we are a new country” concept which often ends up being “well if they are America then we are Cascadia.”

This is the flying of the flag as a form of simple regional identity, but then there is the deeper layers of consciousness that emerges as the simple concepts of nationalism peels away. The next level then is the awareness that Cascadia is not defined by the limited borders of Oregon, Washington and British Columbia, but has greater broader borders that include Idaho, northern California, and southeast Alaska as well as northeastern Nevada, northwestern Wyoming, northwestern Montana and even a little of northern Utah.

Then there is the realization that those borders are based on nation-state concepts and imperialism. This realization is that these lines on a map are dictated by the conquerors and oppressors who have destroyed so much diversity. This comes to an awakening that Cascadia the bioregion is based on watersheds or river drainage systems that flow all the way to the Rockies or continental divide.

Then a deeper layer of consciousness hits that the flow of water is crucial to a bioregion and that life is based on that water. After that comes the realization that Cascadia or any bioregion is not just a place, but a living complex of interactions and interconnectedness to many communities, human and nonhuman. That at that realization we are not a human in a vacuum separated from Nature, but are extensions of each other and dependent on the health and dynamic interactions with each other. It becomes a consciousness of living dynamic being and is no longer stuck in banal nationalism, but is an awakening to being part of a bioregion which is part of the biosphere which is the living Earth (Gaia).

The Cascadian flag captures that love of living communities in our bioregion. Unlike many flags, the Cascadian flag is neither a flag of blood nor a flag of the glory for a nation, but a love of the bioregion; our ecosystems and the dynamics interplay between tectonics, H20, atmosphere and life; the place in which we live and love.”

It is not ‘the Cascadia flag’ but rather, one of thousands. We hope that as an open source symbol, every community, ecoregion, watershed, business and cause will adopt and adapt the Doug Flag to their own purposes. By using the Doug Flag, and the green white and blue, we show a shared regional identity, and that we share common beliefs, dreams and principles.

Cascadia is a movement that was born in the northwest throughout the 1980’s. It is a gateway movement, that was created by people who live here, are from here, and both inspires those born here to protect what we love, and allows those moving here to hook in with something real, authentic and fun.

Much like the Rainbow Flag, or the Occupy Fist, symbols can be an incredibly potent means for making a public and visible statement about the values and principles that we share and identify with. With so many brands now being manufactured for our consumption, with global climate crises, and a rise of intolerance, now, more than ever, it is important that as citizens of this world, we have also have our own community inspired and created symbols, that can support the issues and causes we need, around the shared values and principles laid out here, that are driven by a love of place and our neighbors – something authentic, rather than rooted in a profit basis.

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An Open Symbol and Brand

The Cascadia Doug Flag is a symbol that represents our bioregion and movement. Symbols pervade our life at every level that we do, and it’s more important than ever that we also share some symbols into the world that are able to represent our values and principles. It is held in copyright by the flag creator Alexander Baretich, but he works tirelessly to make sure it remains a not for profit symbol for the Cascadia bioregion, and the Cascadia movement. It is a grassroots, and people powered brand for every person interested in protecting our bioregion, improving our livelihood, and helping make the world a better place.

The Cascadia Rainbow Flag is one of many inclusive and positive symbols that make up the Cascadia movement.

The Cascadia Doug flag is also a symbol against hate. The Cascadia movement works to partner with and create a safe space for frontline and traditionally marginalized communities and voices. We reject all forms of hate, prejudice, and believe in an inclusive movement, that shows the beauty of this region, it’s people and our incredible diversity.

We reject racism, hate, fear, sexism, white supremacy, or any type of discrimination based on sexual orientation, religion, personal beliefs or choices, and these stances are reflected at every level. We look forward to building a coalition movement that empowers every person and community, and provides space for indigenous, POC, and traditionally marginalized communities, and of course the millions of amazing Cascadians who live here, to advocate with their own voices, find solidarity and support, and break down boundaries which are harmful and negative.

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