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Burns Lake, British Columbia (Canada)

Bulkley-Nechako Regional District

Last modified: 2020-05-13 by rob raeside
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[Burns Lake, BC] image located by Dave Fowler, 16 August 2018


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Description of the flag

A new flag has been designed for Burns Lake: https://www.bclocalnews.com/news/new-flag-design-chosen-for-burns-lake:

Council has chosen a new flag design to represent the Village of Burns Lake

The new flag features three trees, which represent the three pillars of community sustainability – environment, economy and people. “The three trees are all equal in size and shape, symbolizing balance, and their stylized arrow shape not only represents the area’s coniferous trees, but can be interpreted as being symbolic of growth in each of the three sustainability factors,” explains a village staff report. The blue is representative of the Lakes District’s lakes and sky, while the white is representative of winter snow. The shade of green is inspired by the “vibrancy and beauty of the northern lights.”

Council was recently given seven design options to choose from. Some of these options featured seven pointed stars, known as Commonwealth stars, representing the seven local area communities – six First Nations and the village.

According to the village, Burns Lake’s previous municipal flag was “outdated,” featuring a retired village logo and having no symbolic relevance to the local area. “Municipal flags are a source of community pride and should be symbolically representative of the community,” states the staff report.

Burns Lake council approved the village’s official logo last year. The new logo, which involved a consultation with the six local First Nations, was part of a municipal sign strategy adopted in May 2016.

The new flags will be flown at the village office, in council chambers, at Spirit Square, at the Burns Lake and District Chamber of Commerce, and at meetings of both the Union of B.C. Municipalities and North Central Local Government Association. A flag will also be flown in the centre of the village, at Pioneer Park, when a new flag pole is installed later this year.

located by Dave Fowler, 16 August 2018


Former flag

[Burns Lake, BC] image by Masao Okazaki, 25 April 2020

Burns Lake (2,726 inhabitants) is located in the geographic centre of British Columbia. It is British Columbia’s largest village. It actually qualifies for ‘town’ status under the Local Government Act. Burns Lake was incorporated as a municipality in 1923.

Quoting the municipal website:

The body of water from which the community derives its name was officially "discovered" by the Borland Expedition, whose members passed through the area while surveying a route for the Overland Telegraph. Legend has it that shortly before the Borland Expedition arrived, a tremendous forest fire swept through the area, blackening trees and generally turning the countryside into a sooty mess. The charred landscape prompted members of the expedition to dub the long, narrow body of water lying at the bottom of this unknown valley as "Burnt Lake" – a name that over the years became “Burns Lake”. Perhaps reports of the forest fire deterred settlers from coming to Burns Lake, because it wasn’t settled until 1911, when construction crews arrived to begin work on the Grand Trunk Pacific Railroad. Many of these men, upon seeing the area’s potential, elected to remain behind when railroad construction moved westward; others, lured by the promise of inexpensive land, arrived by train to begin a new life. Judging from early accounts, life in the Lakes District during those early years was (to say the least) a challenge. There were few permanent residents of the area, and even fewer homes. The train arrived three times a week, stopping only long enough to unload mail and what meager supplies the settlers could afford. The area’s train station was merely a wide spot on the rail grade, with no permanent structure.

Into this scene swaggered red-haired Trygarn Pelham Lyster Mulvany. Commonly known as "Barney", he arrived in the area with the contents of a construction camp he’d won in a poker game. He pitched two tents in a conspicuous location along the rail line not far from the lake; one became a cook tent, the other a 12-bed hotel. Twenty-four transients arrived for dinner the day he opened for business.

Canvas-walled tents gave way to sturdy log cabins as more settlers arrived in the area. In 1923, Barney’s old "tent town" was incorporated as the Village of Burns Lake, a small, but vibrant community of 150 people – most of them men.

On 10 May 2005, Burns Lake adopted a flag (quoting the same source):

The Village of Burns Lake now has a municipal flag. Council adopted the flag – a black-and-white version of the municipality’s logo set against a dark blue background – at its regular meeting May 10.
Mayor Bernice Magee

Source: Burns Lake website
Ivan Sache, 23 July 2006