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Kelowna, British Columbia (Canada)

Last modified: 2018-07-03 by rob raeside
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[Kelowna] 3:5 image by Eugene Ipavec
Source: Canadian City Flags, Raven 18


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Kelowna

Kelowna is a city of approximately 100,000 located in the Central Okanagan Valley of British Columbia, Canada. It is approximately 80 miles north of the British Columbia/Washington State (USA) border, spreading across both sides of Lake Okanagan, a long (30 miles or so), deep freshwater lake. Kelowna is about 250 miles east of Vancouver, B.C. The area is known for its mild climate and fresh fruit production. It is a tourist destination area and retirement centre.
Brian James Erickson, 7 April 2004


Current Flag

Text and image(s) from Canadian City Flags, Raven 18 (2011), courtesy of the North American Vexillological Association, which retains copyright. Image(s) by permission of Eugene Ipavec.

Design

The flag of the City of Kelowna is a Canadian pale design of blue-white-blue with the city’s coat of arms in the centre, nearly the full height of the flag. The simple shield has a horizontal top and simply-curved sides forming a pointed “U” shape. It has a green field with three upright isosceles triangles in white rising above four wavy stripes of blue over white. Above the triangles are two apples in golden yellow. Above the shield is a knight’s helmet in blue with black and white details, flanked by heraldic mantling in green and white. Over the helmet is a crosscut saw in blue with brown handles. Above all is an apple tree with green leaves, brown trunk, and white apples. To the left stands a grizzly bear in brown; to the right stands a seahorse in green with fins in white. Below the shield is an elaborate horizontal scroll in white inscribed FRUITFUL IN UNITY in serif letters in black on a blue rectangle with rounded ends.
Alison Wilkes, Canadian City Flags, Raven 18, 2011

Symbolism

The blue wavy stripes symbolize Kelowna’s location on the eastern shore of Okanagan Lake. The white triangles represent the region’s mountains—the Cascades to the west and the Columbia Mountains and the Canadian Rockies to the east. The apples and apple tree symbolize the region’s fruit industry, as Kelowna lies in an exceptionally fertile valley where orchards and vineyards have flourished. The crosscut saw represents the timber industry. The grizzly bear represents Kelowna’s namesake—Kelowna means “grizzly bear” (Ursus arctos horribilis) in the Interior Salish language. The seahorse is the closest heraldic approximation to Kelowna’s mythical lake creature, Ogopogo. It lived in the waters near Peachland, 20 km south of Kelowna, according to the Syilx, the native inhabitants, who called this monster “N’ha-a-itk”. In 1924, a song about the monster called it “Ogopogo”. It has been described as having a snake-like body about 20 m long, with two or more humps often seen going in and out of the water. Over the years, the legend has been given credibility by hundreds of sightings. As with the Loch Ness monster in Scotland, photographs have always been inconclusive, but it remains a popular tourist mascot. The city’s motto, “Fruitful in Unity”, alludes to Kelowna’s steady progress, largely attributable to its early fruit industry success and the community-mindedness and cooperation of its citizens.
Alison Wilkes, Canadian City Flags, Raven 18, 2011

Selection

Unknown. The arms were granted by the English King of Arms on 23 August 1954, adopted by the city council on 3 January 1955, and registered at the Canadian Heraldic Authority on 3 April 2001.
Alison Wilkes, Canadian City Flags, Raven 18, 2011

Designer

Unknown.
Alison Wilkes, Canadian City Flags, Raven 18, 2011

Blazon of Coat of Arms

Arms
Vert issuant from barry wavy in base Azure and Argent three piles Argent, in chief two apples Or;

Crest
In front of an apple tree fructed a cross-cut saw proper;

Supporters
Dexter a grizzly bear, sinister a sea-horse, both proper;

Motto
FRUITFUL IN UNITY

Source: Canadian Heraldic Authority

Other Details

I have not been able to determine whether or not the city flag has been officially adopted by act of the City Council, but it has, at least, been in use by the City of Kelowna for more than 20 years.

The City of Kelowna will not allow the use and/or reproduction of the Coat of Arms (or flag) for commercial purposes. Non-commercial use is permitted in the discretion of city management or where City Council has provided endorsement or approval.
Brian James Erickson,
7 April 2004