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Duncan's new official flag to be unfurled this spring

Duncan has a new flag.

And like it or not, it will be unveiled March 4 during the city’s centennial celebrations.

The new flag has now been ordered from the printer’s after exhaustive design deliberations by the city’s centennial committee, led by Councillor Sharon Jackson.

Six designs were submitted to the committee then massaged through community group input.

However, the final design is not going to be publicly shown to citizens for comment.

Why?

“Because it’s a wonderful surprise,” Jackson said.

Core businessman Michael Shaw was dubious.

“It’s a surprise we may or may not want,” he said.

Still, Jackson was confident about her committee process that created the new banner to replace Duncan’s current flag designed by staff.

“Stuff designed by 5,000 people is always crap,” she said.

Indeed, some design proposals were lacklustre, she said.

“From our request for proposals, we got some designs from kids — including Roosevelt elk pooping the woods.

“We also got some sketches, and got other (professional) designs that were not appropriate for a flag.”

Duncan’s renowned heraldry expert, Sir Conrad Swan — designer of Duncan’s coat of arms, and the Canadian flag — wasn’t involved, she explained.

Ultimately, Jackson decided to design the flag herself.

“From a germ of an idea, and research, I designed it for free, with help from the committee.”

Twenty variations later, her team formulated a flag “that represents everything I love about Duncan, and the Cowichan Valley.

“The public will have a golden opportunity to see it when the lieutenant-governor unveils our flag on March 4,” Jackson said of Steven Point’s invitation.

In the spring of 2010 Jackson said the favoured proposal featured strong, dark colours, a Salish salmon and waves, but that concept was put aside.

City council approved the committee’s flag design, and the process used, Mayor Phil Kent said.

About 10 full-size flags, plus 3,000 smaller versions, are being printed for $4,000.

Councillor Paul Fletcher didn’t like the process followed, at any price.

“I’m not happy with a flag that’ll last us 100 years, and probably deserved public input.

“Most people I know never even heard of the call for designs.

“I don’t need the secrecy of the unveiling,” he said.

“There are some really great designers out there. For the centennial committee to appoint themselves the designers, I don’t like that.”

City birthday plans are at www.duncancentennial.ca.

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