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Parksville, British Columbia (Canada)

Nanaimo Regional District

Last modified: 2011-09-24 by rob raeside
Keywords: parksville | british columbia |
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former flag of Parksville, BC image located by Valentin Poposki, 1 January 2011
former flag of Parksville, BC image located by Valentin Poposki, 1 January 2011

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Description of the flag

Very interesting situation in the City of Parksville, British Columbia. The city in the period 2009-2010 adopted two flags, both in use. One is a heraldic flag, three vertical stripes blue-white-blue with the city shield in the center of the white field. The flag was granted on April 15, 2010.

"Parksville's coat of arms was the original concept of Robert Watt, Rideau Herald Emeritus, assisted by the heralds of the Canadian Heraldic Authority. In August 2009, the City applied to receive a coat of arms which was granted from the Canadian Heraldic Authority at Rideau Hall, Ottawa on April 15, 2010.

A brief description of the elements or symbolism in the coat of arms is outlined here:


The shield is based on the emblem used by the City since 1977. The wavy band symbolizes the Englishman River and the salmon the natural riches and fishery of the area. The salmon's coronet represents Canada. The sun recalls the area's temperate climate, while the wavy bars indicate the City's seaside location.

(above the shield)
The mural coronet denotes a municipality. In this instance, the addition of the three towers honours the Canadian Open Sand Sculpting Competition, a major event in the local calendar. The sand dollars evoke the City's spectacular beaches. The representation of Mount Arrowsmith celebrates this local landmark as well as the resources and recreational opportunities afforded by the mountains at Parksville's back.

Compartment and Supporters
The bald eagle is a notable local species. Its collar of red roses, the English national flower, is an allusion to the Englishman River, and the garb of wheat on its medallion honours the community's farming heritage. The beaver, the national animal of Canada, represents industry and determination. Its medallion bearing a Brant goose celebrates Parksville's status as the "Brant Capital of Western Canada."

"Terra Benevola" translates to "The Welcoming Land". The motto evokes Parksville's many natural blessings, as well as the friendliness of its citizens.

The flag is modeled closely on the flag of Canada with the shield of arms in place of maple leaf.

The rose identifies the Englishman River, which forms the City's southern boundary, while the fleurs-de-lis denote the City's northern boundary at French Creek. The sand dollar links the badge to the arms. In 1993, when the sand dollar was proposed for the City of Parksville coat of arms, it was, at that time, to be the first ever use of this "unique sea creature in international heraldry."

The second flag is based on the new logo, adopted in 2009:

"In 2009, the City adopted a new logo identity. The wordmark with the sand dollar is a strong representation of the character of the City -- a modern, progressive community that embraces its natural beauty. The colour palette was chosen to reflect Parksville's intimate connection to the beach, water and open blue skies. The sand dollar is symbolic of the community's most dominant feature, the beach. The blue colour was applied as a metaphor for the blue skies, clear rivers and the infinite ocean that surround us. Both the City's logo and flag feature elements contained in the City's coat of arms."

From the City website:

Valentin Poposki, 1 January 2011

Previous flag

former flag of Parksville, BC image located by Phil Nelson, 16 September 2009

Parksville has  put its logo on a white flag. Its old flag was light blue with the arms. The arms were from the College of Arms before the current fashion of every tiny town getting supporters and compartments etc.
Dean McGee, 26 August 2009

The logo is being phased out, according to (the patient among you may click through to read the full council notes in a very large PDF, the logo info is pp. 27-33) the city is adopting a new "logo identity and branding", with the note that flags (and other materials) with the "P" logo will be replaced with the "City identity" when they need to be reordered. The current logo is on the bottom of pg. 27 of the PDF, but I am unable to copy/paste.

The consultant's report includes the following:
"Coat of Arms - Almost all municipalities use a branding logo for outreach and identity. Should Council adopt the use of a crest, it is recommended that the crest be the official seal of the City of Parksville. This would represent the heritage of Parksville and would symbolize the incorporation of Parksville as a city. This crest would be used only for official purposes."

I have quoted the full passage because of the irony that the "branding" consultant not only makes the common error of confusing "crest" with "arms", but also Parksville was granted arms by the College of Arms, and those arms still appeared on Parksville's flag in 2001. Surely someone in City hall has been on staff for more than 8 years!?
Dean McGee, 16 September 2009

When I visited Parksville in August 2009, this previous logo flag was in use, but there was info on their website about their new logo. Note that the heraldic flag was granted this year, but nothing says it was ever flown.
Dean McGee, 2 January 2011