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Ladysmith 'hodgepodge' flag due for redesign, says council

“If there’s a poster flag for redesigning, I think ours is it,” said one town councillor.
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Ladysmith’s flag is “kind of cool in a retro way,” says the town’s mayor. VIA TOWN OF LADYSMITH

Ladysmith council members say the town’s flag is a “hodgepodge of iconic iconography” displaying a “cacophony of things.”

Ouch.

But that may change. Ladysmith’s committee of the whole unanimously voted Tuesday to recommend council send a potential flag redesign project to its public art committee. No timeline was set.

Coun. Jeff Virtanen kicked off the idea of a new design, saying: “If there’s a poster flag for redesigning, I think ours is it.”

The idea of reworking the flag was raised previously but was dropped after the pandemic began.

“I know it’s not a pressing issue but I think it would be something fun for the town and I think we can do it for relatively cheap as well,” Virtanen said.

Ladysmith is home to about 9,000 people.

Mayor Aaron Stone said most residents he’s spoken to in recent years don’t even know what the flag looks like.

It includes red bars on each end, a white maple leaf, a black diagonal stripe with a reference to the 49th parallel, a dogwood flower, a sailboat and a couple of horseshoes.

Ladysmith used to pride itself on its dogwood trees but then many died because of blight, Stone said.

The flag “looks like somebody went into clip art set and just smacked it all on what was at one point a Canadian flag,” said Stone, who describes the design as “kind of cool in a retro way,” but says he would prefer a modern design.

“There are some really beautiful municipal flags out there that can tell a story in simple art that is reflective of the community, the heritage in the past, and the present and hopeful future.”

Committee chairperson Coun. Marsh Stevens called the proposal exciting, adding “symbols matter.”

cjwilson@timescolonist.com`