The People Who Wouldn’t Mind if the Pacific Northwest Were Its Own Country

In 1994, a Portlander named Alexander Baretich designed the “Doug Flag,” the unofficial flag of Cascadia. Featuring a Douglas fir and blue, white, and green stripes (for the regional landscape’s colors), the flag quickly became the dominant symbol of the nascent Cascadian identity, making its way into cheeky microbreweries’ beer labels, Portland Timbers MLS matches, and an increasing number of local gay pride, Occupy Wall Street, and environmental protests.

Since then, the Cascadian movement has birthed a vast, decentralized network of groups who meet up in cities all over British Columbia, Washington, and Oregon. For some, it’s chiefly an environmental cause. For others, it’s a chance to decolonialize a region of the US whose culture is already distinctly un-American. For a few, it’s a shot at Ecotopia-style secession. But in the end, what it really boils down to is a new identity, one that is uniquely Pacific Northwestern. Cascadians are quickly recognizing that despite the vast array of cultures and attitudes that make up the region, many people here share the same set of values: an affinity for nature, a distinct open-mindedness, and a desire for societal and technological progress.

FK – They have every right to buy a piece of land and live as they please. When they try to force it on others it’s another thing. But then there’s plenty of ‘force’ to go around isn’t there? One wonders how they think or ‘feel’ about the Bill of Rights.