The Cascadian Flag:
It Flows as it Flies!
Everyone knows that this is one region. Although Cascadia is cut up into six states and one province Oregon, Washington, Idaho, northwestern California, western Montana, three-quarters of British Columbia, and southeast Alaska--her integrity still shines through the arbitrary lines of the map. We need to recognize the uniqueness of this place and its people, and celebrate its natural and cultural character.
The Cascadian flag symbolizes the integrity and character of our region through its colors, shapes, and “flow.” Each dimension reveals several levels of meaning.
The green field is the land, the blue circle the ocean, and the white star and half-crescent moon are the sky. Green represents the forests and lush vegetation. Blue stripes represent the waters--rivers and lakes, bays and ocean. The white stripes stand for the cascades which pour down the Pacific slope like rivers from the sky. White also represents clouds, and the snow-capped peaks and glaciers of our region, as well as waves breaking on the shore.
The stripes roll up-and-down like mountains and waves. The seven stripes represent the six states and one province which currently compose the region. The blue-and-white stripes represent the three great mountain chains of our region: the Rockies, Cascades, and Coast Ranges.
The canton in the upper hoist includes a white crescent moon and star floating over the blue Pacific Ocean. The blue circle represents the rim of the Pacific Ocean, the center from which everything flows--winds, waters, even the land itself. The white star is Venus, which often accompanies the crescent moon in the west. As the evening star, Venus reminds us of our heritage as westward-trending people who migrated to the far edge of the world, finding our home here in “The Isles of the Blest.”
Cascadia is shaped like the top half of a quarter-crescent moon rising. Thus, the white curving triangle, which some also see as orca fin or sail, represents a map of Cascadia itself arcing from coast to crest.
The flag flows as it flies, and reads in two directions at the same time. From hoist to fly (left to right) the undulations of peaks and valleys represent the series of landscapes encountered in traveling from the Pacific Ocean on the west to the Rocky Mountains on the east. From bottom to top, the progression of stripes represent the movement north from California to Alaska. The green field seems to flow out from the blue ocean which shines down from the white sky. Thus, the flag describes a 3-dimensional model of our region.
The shared history and destiny of this country call for new symbols of our regional identity and unity. Today many people recognize Cascadia as our home, and the Cascadian flag symbolizes the integrity and character of our region.
David D. McCloskey, l995