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Canadian Native flag sales soar at Vancouver shop (VIDEO)

The design was created by Kwakwaka’wakw artist Curtis Wilson, who passed away in 2019.

It's another busy day at the office for Susan Braverman.

The owner of Vancouver's The Flag Shop is trying to keep up with demand for one particular item.

Her store is manufacturing and supplying a very special sort of flag. 

The Canadian Native flag was created by Vancouver Island Kwakwaka’wakw artist Curtis Wilson. Braverman worked with the B.C. Indigenous designer on a motif to represent First Nations in the country to the public.

Wilson passed away tragically from a heart attack in 2019 at the age of 39. 

His revised depiction features swimming salmon and an orca inside a maple leaf. The design is called Gelgapola, which translates to "Standing together in support of each other."

A statement from Wilson on The Flag Shop's website explains his creation: "I created this design while sitting at my dinner table thinking about who I am and where I came from. The achievements, character, and work ethic of my family have enabled me to provide my creative thoughts and art to make the world a safer and better environment for my descendants and society as a whole."

Customer demand for the unique flag has skyrocketed.

"Our store in Vancouver, and we look after the mainland plus outside of Canada, we're getting about 75-100 [orders] a day," says Braverman.

In fact, sales of Canada's national flag, usually popular this time of year, have gone way down at the shop.

"Our Canada flag sales in June were lower than our slowest month before COVID."

Braverman describes the late artist's impact and legacy: "He was an amazing man; he had the biggest heart of anybody. This flag, it's not that we did this, but his flag got out there and suddenly he became a somebody."

Wilson's design is displayed on flags of various sizes and several other products, including buttons, bracelets, pins, and even temporary tattoos.

A portion of the flag sales goes to an educational fund for Wilson's two children.