As many are aware, the Sunshine Flag was relaunched at the Timbers match on Sunday, June 30. Many may remember that the board discussed this display at great length last season, and that we asked the individuals who own the flag not to display it until the design could be altered. Although it made appearances a few times thereafter, the owners agreed to make some alterations to it during the off-season. Working with designers and the master tailor/creator, the flag was modified to include three trees (representing Team, Town, TA), a horizon line, and Mt Hood, and it was unveiled last match. Unfortunately, a lapse in communication meant this relaunch was a surprise to all of us.
The board has worked over the past two weeks to gain a full perspective of the situation. We reviewed the flag’s suggested redesign against the final modifications, talked to the flag’s caretaker, and considered input from our members.
In the end, the flag’s caretaker has decided to retire the display. His letter to the board is included below. We would like to thank him for his dedication to caring for the flag for many years, to being open to making modifications, and for his thoughtful consideration of what has been a very difficult issue for many.
We will also look into helping fund the design and creation of a new flag.
In the Timbers Army we have long held the tradition of raising a flag when goals are scored. Through the years there have been various iterations of this flag known as the sunshine flag, all held with the intention of celebrating our team together. It has always been meant as an expression of joy.
Last year a number of people began to express concerns that the current image of the sunshine flag was similar to a different flag which represented a destructive use in history. To address those concerns, alterations were made to the sunshine flag adding a horizon line that included Mount Hood, the Columbia River, and three Douglas Fir trees symbolizing team, town, TA. However, a number of people still voice concern that the sunshine flag continues to represent historically destructive forces.
The spirit of the sunshine flag is that of uniting in celebration and nothing else. To honor this spirit and to further address those with concerns, as the caretaker of the sunshine flag I've decided it will be taken out of service effective immediately.I hope to raise funds to create something new for the future so we can all continue to express joy in our team and celebrate together.
Sincerely, Paul Regan