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Esquimalt rallies around its flag, eyes new pole and banners

Esquimalt is looking at flying its own flag and possibly even selling flags to residents who are interested in following suit.
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Esquimalt municipal hall.

Esquimalt is looking at flying its own flag and possibly even selling flags to residents who are interested in following suit.

“It’s an idea that was brought forward by one of our councillors, that people have indicated interest in our own township flag and wanting to fly that or [wanted to know] why aren’t we flying it at city hall,” Mayor Barb Desjardins said.

Over the course of several months, council has looked at various options for the municipality to fly its own flag — which would simply consist of the municipal crest — at the municipal hall. But the issue is not as cut and dried as one might expect, Desjardins said.

Currently, the municipality flies the Canadian flag at the municipal hall — something council didn’t want to change. After examining various protocols, councillors decided the best option would probably be to replace the existing single flagpole with a yard arm-type flagpole so that three flags — the Canadian flag, the flag of British Columbia and the township flag — could be flown concurrently.

All other municipal flagpoles will continue to fly the Canadian flag only.

“One of the things we pride ourselves about is our closeness to our naval partners here. So we thought this could be a way we could resolve the issue of flying all of the pertinent flags as well as showing our community-ingrained interest with the navy,” Desjardins said.

Councillors have asked for cost estimates for a replacement pole as well as the cost of producing flags and banners bearing the municipal crest, with the idea of selling them at cost. The items are to be considered during this year’s budget deliberations.

“We have to have a dollar value in front of us so we know if this is worthwhile at the end of the day,” Desjardins said.

“We’ll see what those numbers come back at, but I certainly feel that it would be nice to be able to fly a municipal flag. It creates dialogue. It certainly shows pride in your community and, let’s face it, we’re a proud community.”

Paul Servos, owner of the Flag Shop Victoria, said it’s not uncommon for municipalities to have their own flags.

“But most municipalities don’t have their flag available, generally, to the public. They generally are flown on municipal buildings,” Servos said.

In the capital region, Langford, Victoria, Central Saanich and Sidney have their own flags.

bcleverley@timescolonist.com

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