A Flag Fit for Cascadia

cascadiaflagTwenty years have passed since Alexander Baretich designed a flag to represent Cascadia. He’s seen it grow from an epiphany had while pining for his homeland overseas, to a ubiquitous meme adopted by activists, a Native tribe, soccer teams, brewers, and residents of the Pacific Northwest.

Baretich is part of a four-person cooperative crowd sourcing money on Indiegogo (campaign page) to bring manufacture the flags to the bioregion of Cascadia.

“It’s time to move away from the Chinese-made flags,” Baretich said. “Once this campaign is finished, and we get this money for the cooperative, we’ll get flags out there that are high-quality at a lower price.”

In 2011, he approved finding the cheapest manufacturing price so the meme would spread— understanding that the flag would eventually be manufactured locally. The crowd sourcing campaign is close to its goal, Baretich said. There was a lot of support at the beginning, but donations have dropped off recently. Baretich said they sought support from about eleven companies who used the image. Two responded, and only one agreed to help. He said he was surprised that the companies profiting from the image weren’t supporting the flag cooperative.

The infrastructure and materials aren’t available to have every element of the flag made locally, but Baretich said plans are in place to have the flags sewn and printed here. Sales of the flag will help support a living wage for the cooperative members, he said. Eventually he wants to use hemp for the flag, but most hemp comes from China and the best is very expensive.

After the flag was designed in 1995, he discovered in 2005 through an Internet search that it had gained maturity as a meme. His child Doug had reached adolescence, and was into sports and beer— a joking reference to its use by the Portland Timbers and Hopworks Urban Brewery. Many flags were given away at the Occupy Portland camp— spreading the image among local activists. Baretich describes his reaction to the flag’s maturity as a meme:

Here’s the video from 2010 of a huge Doug Fir being raised over the Timbers Army.

The need for a symbol of paradigm shift came to Baretich while he was in high school, after a series of losing battles against deforestation and development in the suburbs of Portland. He goes into more detail on the flag’s origin in an article on his website, Free Cascadia. He wrote:

It was at that point I started to search for some means to shift the consciousness of people from anthropocentric (human centered) to one that was biocentric (life centered). I knew whatever that was, that catalysis, it had to be emotion driven and needed to have that “aha” moment or epiphany at the human conscious level. I also knew it was not something one necessarily went out and found, but was something that would reveal itself when it was time. So that began a subconscious search for what I would call a transformative icon.

He had his epiphany in 1995, when he was teaching in Europe. While describing his Cascadian homeland to a companion, the idea for the flag suddenly came to him. The colors of the flag, known as the “Doug Fir,” represent the landscape and sky, and the tree represents resilience and defiance against humanity’s destruction of nature, he said.

Baretich said he’s not surprised or concerned that the flag has expanded beyond its original meaning. When he was first distributing the flags, people told him it represented independence and secession to them, but now most people say that it means permaculture and an awakening of bio-regionalism.

In conversation and on social media, Baretich is quick to defend the idea that the flag represents Cascadia as a bioregion— not a new nation. Secession would just remake the sins of the United States, he believes. Change needs to happen from the ground up, and he has written a list of ten things that must happen before he would support independence for Cascadia.

After publication, Baretich followed up with this quote that many supporting bioregionalism say: “Its not secession, but ecological succession… and not independence, but interdependence that we seek as awakened bioregionalists seeking return to the Living Mother Earth.”

Baretich encourages the public to support the flag cooperative campaign, and help bring its manufacture a back to Cascadia. The Indegogo campaign ends July 14, and they have reached 90 percent of their goal. Indegogo keeps nine percent of the funds if the goal isn’t reached, and four percent if it is.

THIS WEEKEND!

FRIDAY

Hope you enjoyed your celebrations of the national legalization of same-sex marriage, legalized recreational cannabis in Oregon, and the planetary alignment. If you celebrated them all concurrently, and found a way to mix in a recognition of July 4th, even better.

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I must say I’m most excited by the Waterfront Blues Festival. I’ll be on the river Friday, but New Orleans’ Galactic with Macy Gray is always funky and fun. If the video from earlier this year holds true, the band has three sister singers up front.

Maybe not this evening, but I’m looking forward to playing some cornhole at Landmark Saloon one of these warm summer evenings. Friday, there will be country music from Gary Bennett and The Coattail Riders4847 SE Division * 9 pm * free

SATURDAY

I think I’m going to avoid the waterfront for the busy days, but the Oaks Park July 4th event looks cool and very American-y. 7805 SE Oaks Park Way * noon – midnight, fireworks at dusk * $5 gate fee, rides aren’t included

A unsolicited word of advice: nobody wants to see your fireworks photos / video. Unless they’re taken from a drone.

Sunday, go see Buddy Guy at the blues festival (8:10 pm – 9:15 pm). This song was my unofficial summer theme song a few years back…

THIS WEEKEND!

FRIDAY

Even if you aren’t interested in the show, check out this funky track from house producer Derrick Carter. It’s excellent inspiration for whatever you’re working on. w/ Mercedes, Rose City Underground. Branx, 320 SE 2nd Ave. * 9 pm * ??

The Blue Diamond is the closest thing Portland has to a real-deal juke joint, and the Bottleneck Blues Band bring it. Blue Diamond, 2016 NE Sandy Blvd. * 9 pm * free

SATURDAY

Saturday’s World Naked Bike Ride (or bike walk as is the truth) starts at Col Summers Park. The crowd gathers at 8 pm and leaves at 9. Even as a fairly experienced rider, sharing the streets with so many people (many that are drunk noobs) is challenging and more stressful than it should be. I’ll probably do it since it starts at my favorite park, but there are plenty of other smaller, more manageable Pedalpalooza rides worth checking out.

You had me at stop animation. The wacky rockabilly vibe is just gravy. The Slow Poisioner * The Lovecraft Bar, 421 SE Grand * 9 pm * ??

Garage pop’s a fair assessment for The Cool Whips. w/ Challenger ’70, Gin & Tillyana. Firkin Tavern, 1937 SE 11th * 7 pm * free

This Weekend!

FRIDAY

I haven’t made it to the Twilight Bar and Cafe in quite a while, but TheTenFiveSixty sounds beautiful. w/ Ellis Pink, Ike Fonseca. 1420 SE Powell * 9 pm * $5

There is voice, and there is vision. Most singers seem so focused on tone and pitch, their words are unintelligible. Keegan Heron sounds more like a storyteller, and he’s got my attention. Jade Lounge, 2342 SE Ankeny * 9 pm? * free?

SATURDAY

The Bridgetown Comedy Festival cranks up this weekend, moving from upper Hawthorne down to Lower Burnside. The festival has trimmed the number of comics from about 200 down to 130, with more of a focus on up-and-coming artists. Various venues * May 7 – 10 * $99 weekend pass

The Clinton Street Stomp features “acoustic performances from some of Portland’s hottest roots acts.” w/ The High Water Jazz Band (20s-40s hot jazz & blues), Zach Bryson (hillbilly yodeling and pre-war blues), The Moonshine (5-piece Cascadian string band), Trashcan Joe (new old-time jazz featuring homemade instruments), The Coupe Duet (early americana). Clinton Street Theater, 2522 SE Clinton * 7 pm – 10 pm * $10 * all ages

 

THIS WEEKEND!

You’ve only seen the tips of icebergs (or my head above the clouds) on this site so far… Soon we’ll have the full build of The Village put together. I’m still out there seeing shows, following the news, and stoked for the opportunity to offer a new voice. I scoured the Internet and the local weeklies, and here’s what looks interesting in Inner SE this weekend.

Comedian John Caparulo is at Helium Comedy Club this weekend. 1510 SE 9th * Fri: 7:30 pm, 10 pm, Sat: 7:30, 10 * $25 GA, $33 reserved

FRIDAY

I’ve never heard of him before today, but I like what Ethan Tucker’s putting out there. The following is a fun video of him with G Love and Michael Franti. Opening: Joy Pearson Jazz Band + Chris Carpenter Band. Alhambra Theater, 4811 SE Hawthorne * $8 adv, $10 door * 9 pm 

Don’t forget about bluegrass / old time at Laurelthirst Tavern. (Do you really need a link? It’s bluegrass— you probably either like it or you don’t.) James WallaceAustin Quattlebaum  2958 NE Glisan * 9:30 pm * $5

SATURDAY photo

Portland Soundcheck III, at the Aladdin Theater, is a mixed-genre “selection of musicians on the cusp and national successes” in Portland. This show features: Liz Vice (video below), Samsel & the Skirt, Nate Botsford, Brant Colella, Harper 3017 SE Milwaukie Ave. * 8 pm * $15 adv, $16 doors

Fireballs of Freedom rock ably. They’re playing with Crush Hazard + The 63 Fremonts. Club 21, 2035 NE Glisan * 9 pm * free

THIS WEEKEND!

FRIDAYMagic-Garden-Last-Call

First Friday folks! The FB page lists several events, including an art show at One Grand Gallery to commemorate Magic Garden’s closing, and an opening from Michelle Maule at Redux PDX. Also, the shops at 811 E. Burnside are throwing a holiday party. Check the FF FB page for a special discount.

First Friday also brings the Johnny Cash tribute band Counterfeit Cash to The Nest. 2715 SE Belmont * 8:30 pm * free?

A week ago at Conquistador, I ended up talking to the door guy at the bar after his shift and my date. He told me his surf-rock band was playing at The Verne (AKA Hanahan’s) for First Friday. I couldn’t find much online besides promo for their open mic and complaints about their bartender… Thus Portland promo. 2622 SE Belmont * ?? * ??

SATURDAY 

The Family Funktion, a rotating group of musicians who host charity shows, is paying tribute to NOLA funk band The Meters. Goodfoot, 2845 SE Stark * 10 pm * $7

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There’s a reggae-rock band from Eugene coming to town! How unique. There is quality musicianship and songwriting from One Dollar Check… (and the video filmed with help from the Eugene Film Society is interesting) So yeah, might be fun. Eastburn, 1800 E. Burnside * 9 pm? * free 

SUNDAY

Redefine Magazine and Holocene presents: “a night honoring the full moon in Gemini and feminine energy, as part of our recurring interdisciplinary art event series INTUITIVE NAVIGATION. Bands are paired with costume artists and video artists, and we’ll have other mystic treats in store, including a full moon ritual and an interactive altar by Sageitarians and vVv Stardust. In addition to some PDX synth-pop and disco talents, we’re elated to host LA based psych pop group PEAKING LIGHTS as our very special guest headliner.”  1001 SE Morrison * 8 pm * $10

If you haven’t seen it yet, “Guardians of the Galaxy” is playing at Laurelhurst Theater. It’s thriling and hilarious. There’s a dancing Groot figurine available, apparently. I’ve been hoping for one that’s solar powered like those little flowers… 2735 E. Burnside * daily: 4:15 pm, 7 pm, 9:30 pm * $4

Portland seeks input on Mt. Tabor reservoirs, and video from the project’s first meeting

After a dramatic meeting on the issue earlier this month, the deadline for comments on plans for the Mt. Tabor reservoirs post-disconnection is 10 am, 12/1. Take the survey here.

Friends of the Reservoir is asking the public to choose option #1: Fill the reservoirs and maintain them. The full description of options for the reservoirs is described here; a description and video of how our drinking water will be re-directed is here.

Earlier this month, reservoir activists stormed the first meeting, and it was broadened to discuss the entire issue— not just what should be done with the historic reservoirs after disconnection. Activists made impassioned claims of corruption, and city leaders promised to follow up on what was alleged.

It seems strange that the comments are due before the second meeting on 12/10, but after attending the first meeting 11/18, it seems like there’s been a lack of process throughout the entire ordeal. My post started a good conversation on Reddit/Portland, and the new information brought to the table probably deserves a post of its own. There’s an un-sourced but interesting look at claims of inside dealing, and here Scott Fernandez, scientist and water activist, addressed the issue of radon in Portland’s water.

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