Bellingham flag flying high

text and photo by TOMMY CALDERON

The sound of the waves, rustling of evergreens and stars in the sky buzz through local artist and musician Brad Lockhart’s mind as he designs what he is calling the Bellingham Flag, which has captured the hearts of many Bellingham residents recently.

Designed in a scheme of blue, greens, stars and waves, he created something he believes to symbolically represent the city of Bellingham, Washington. Using stars to represent the Lummi and Nooksack native tribes, blue to represent the bay with embroidered white waves, and two tones of green that represent Whatcom, Sehome, Bellingham and Fairhaven. It even represents Whatcom Falls when hung vertically.

Lockhart originally designed the flag for a contest for the Downtown Bellingham Partnership and won but from there it didn’t head very far, he said. He decided to pursue the venture even further and try to make this flag into something more, he said.

He has received great support throughout the community and online through social media. “The reception was mind blowing,” Lockhart said. He set up a Kickstarter fundraiser to pay for costs of printing the flags, which took off immediately. “(It was) fully funded in six hours and ended up quadrupling our goal by the end.” He added, “The success of the Kickstarter helped set the precedent that the people of Bellingham really want this and are ready to have a flag.”

Flags are hanging around town in the windows of local businesses, and also seen via bumper stickers and even patches on jackets, he said. “It’s been great to see how excited people are over the flag and to get the support on top of that.”

Though the flag has yet to be officially endorsed by the city, it remains a possibility. Lockhart is waiting to speak with City Council in a meeting to be determined in the near future. The meeting will ultimately decide if it will not only become official but also a part of Bellingham’s history, he said. “I still don’t have a date for a City Council presentation or hearing. They have reached out to me about presenting but nothing has been set up yet. In the meantime dozens of local businesses have supported the flag, many of them building flag poles and other prominent displays.” He added, “The Port of Bellingham have been on board since day one. Which is huge because they are a government agency that control… the marina, the ferry terminal, etc. A flag is already being displayed at the Bellingham Airport which is huge. One of the Port Commissioners hand painted a huge flag on this work truck.”

Brad has also connected with a local organization that works with kids. “I am also doing a collaboration with the Boys and Girls Club of Bellingham in mid-August. Basically doing an art/history workshop where we teach the kids about Bellingham history through all the flags symbols and then work with them to paint their own versions of the flag. Should be super fun!”

“Achieving what we have is more than he could have hoped or asked for,” stated Lockhart.

The Kickstarter campaign ended July 13, making $7,672.

For more information about the Bellingham flag, or how to purchase one, follow the project on Facebook at Bellingham Flag or see lariatcreative.com/Bellingham-Flag-Design.

Published in the August 2016 issue of What’s Up! Magazine