A giant Ukrainian flag sporting yellow and blue is now soaring over Greater Victoria, spreading solidarity for the war-stricken country.
“It’s the biggest one on Vancouver Island that we know of,” said The Flag Shop Victoria owner Paul Servos. “Yeah, definitely.”
The flag, found above Adams Storage in View Royal and measuring 200 sq. ft, or 20 feet by 10 feet, took five hours and multiple people to fabricate, according to Servos.
“It’s too much textile for one person to make it, so you need a second person to move all the weight of the textile around,” he said.
Malahat-bound, Servos says commuters will spot the flag when looking left past Helmcken Road. He’s crediting Jim Adams, owner of Adams Storage, for bringing the idea forward.
“He’s been an innovator,” said Servos.
“He’s been putting up different kinds of flags over the years. Last year he put a big First Nations one up, and now a big Ukraine one.”
But Servos finds support for Ukraine is pouring in from all over. It’s something he calls “pretty magical.”
“People come into the store and chat and share their stories with each other,” he said. “We’ve actually had not just one, but three or four different people call and offer to help make flags.”
Last month, locals were moving in herds to purchase Ukrainian flags. So much so, inventory was flying off the shelves at Servos’ downtown store, as hundreds of names sat on a waitlist.
“As soon as [Vladimir] Putin crossed the border, we sold out within a few minutes. So now what we’re doing is making them as fast as we can,” Servos told Victoria Buzz at the time.
“This is pretty dramatic for us. Normally, we see something coming and we stock up a bit, but we never imagined this desire of people to show their support.”
Today, Servos says his staff have moved past the extensive backlog and are back to full inventory.
“We’ve got lots of product in now,” he added. “Our product has arrived, so we can serve walk-ins. It’s hit and miss, so we may not have one of these or that—but we have lots of options.”