What is the Doug Flag?

A:

"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.”

Alexander Baretich, designer of the Cascadia Flag

Designed in 1994 by Portland native Alexander Baretich, the Cascadia Doug Flag is a direct representation of the landscape of the Pacific Northwest. The green are for the forest, the white for the mountains and glaciers, and the blue for the skies, rivers and bodies of water and the Douglas fir because it stands as a symbol of resilience, whose growth range closely follows that of the bioregional borders of Cascadia.

The Cascadia Doug Flag is an open source symbol for our home and movement, and while it the most common symbol for the Cascadia movement, every person is encouraged to adapt and change to a way that is special for them.


Using the Doug Flag: An Open Source Symbol & Brand

The Cascadia Doug Flag is held in a Creative Commons License  CC BY-SA 2.5-2.0-1.0 and is available for re-use and designs. Please make sure to attribute the flag creator Alexander Baretich, and read his statement against use for any type of perceived hate speech. Please use, re-use, create and share!

CASCADIA FLAG VECTOR (PDF)
DOUG FLAG VECTOR IMAGE (AI) – Adobe Illustrator File 

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. 

You are free:

  • to share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work
  • to remix – to adapt the work

Under the following conditions:

  • attribution – You must attribute the work in the manner specified by the author or licensor (but not in any way that suggests that they endorse you or your use of the work).
  • share alike – If you alter, transform, or build upon this work, you may distribute the resulting work only under the same or similar license to this one.

The Doug flag is an open source, 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. 

We encourage every community, business, organization and individual to modify it for their own eco-region or cause, to help share the idea, around the common principles and values laid out in our Theory of Change. We are all the Cascadian, and together, we are the Cascadia movement. 


A Symbol Against Hate

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

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 .


The History of the Cascadia Doug Flag

This flag was conceived in 1995 when Alexander Baretich was sitting on a hill in Eastern Europe homesick for the conifer trees he grew up with.  Earlier digital imagines of the flag were not how he originally imagined it.  Most of those early digital versions displayed a full color tree.  

Eventually in 2004-2005, the full color conifer was replaced with the silhouette of a Douglas Fir which then matched the original idea of the flag.  The flag is also called the Cascadian  flag or just Doug for short.

The tri-colors of blue, white and green has been a continuous series of colors applied to the region known as Cascadia, the Oregon Territory, Ecotopia, Chinook Ilahee, Pacifica, the Pacific Northwest, the NorthEast Pacific and all the other names this region comes to be called. The blue represents the unpolluted sky, the Pacific Ocean and the rivers and lakes that flow in Cascadia. The white represents the clouds and snow. The green represents the forests and fields.

The conifer tree found in a variety of species throughout the bioregion stands in defiance of storm, fire and Man. The conifer tree as the Douglas Fir, the Redwood, the Cedar, the Spruce, the Pine and all other Evergreens can be found in many of the various political and social organizations throughout the bioregion.

One of the best descriptions and history of the Doug Flags come from Alexanders own writing: 

"In the academic year of 1994-1995, I ended up doing graduate work in Eastern Europe studying nationalism and ethnic minorities. Though I totally love the people, cultures and landscape of 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. The image stuck in my mind and spent a lot of time obsessively drawing the flag which really annoyed my soon to be wife. That period of time was crucial in regards to what was happening in Cascadia at that point. 

Prior to the design and its popularity, the idea of Cascadia, specifically the bioregion, was pretty much an abstract concept reserved for radical geographers, hip sociologists, devoted ecologists and “radical” environmentalists. There were bioregional congresses, but they were periodic camp and small workshops that were from an older generation from the 1960s and 1970s. The bioregional congress “movement” or gatherings was an echo of the alternative culture of a bygone generation. The bioregional congress gatherings were also limited to those that already knew about bioregionalism and often to those who could afford both the cost of camping in some distant place and the privilege to do so. What the flag has done is convey something far more tangible than an abstract concept of demarcation of space. The flag gave access to the idea of Cascadia that was not limited to scholarly research or having the privilege of money and time for a camping trip on the other side of the continent.

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. The meme conveys multiple layers to understanding Cascadia. As the memetic onion unpeels in the deep subconscious of the host some will stay or linger at one or another layer, but I have seen major shifts into the deeper layers by some who I thought would remain at the first several layers and I have seen some stay stuck at the first couple layers who I thought would delve deep into the core of the memetic onion. So the levels or peels. 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."

- Alexander Baretich, The Cascadia Flag as a Transformative Icon

 

 

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