The City of Trail will remove an “unsanctioned” Ukrainian flag painted next to an existing painted Canadian flag on the Esplanade river wall near Groutage Avenue.
The city says that although it stands with Ukraine and appreciates the artist’s passion to show solidarity through their artwork, the flag is considered graffiti on city property and must be removed based on the unsightly premises bylaw. The city doesn’t know who painted it.
“We can see the painter took great care and precision to paint the flag,” mayor Lisa Pasin said in a news release. “Despite this, the city must adhere to the bylaw and proceed with its removal.”
The Canadian flag will stay put. Pasin says it was originally painted to alert boaters from the United States to a port of entry until a flood washed away the wharf in April 1997.
The city says there are other ways to show support for Ukraine and other causes that are “personally and emotionally” important to them.
Pasin noted that from February through the summer, the city illuminated the Victoria Street Bridge in blue and yellow on many evenings.
“We also saw many businesses and residents showing support by hosting fundraisers, installing Ukrainian flags, and creating posters and stickers.”
The city aims to enforce bylaws to promote community livability by maintaining the health, safety and general wellness of the community and its environment, Pasin said.
“We understand many citizens will not agree with the removal of this painted flag, but consistency for bylaw enforcement is key in order to maintain and regulate a balanced community.”