Case Study: Vancouver 2010 Olympics

Vancouver 2010 was a very big event for everyone at Flags Unlimited as we were proud to supply them with all the Country flags for the big event. We started close to 2 years before the Games in creating prototypes. It was a proud moment for everyone at Flags Unlimited watching the Opening Ceremonies that winter, to see the gigantic Canadian flag we made, being carried in and
raised to kick off the Games.


VANOC had the following requirements for flags:4’ x 6’ (1000), 5’ x 7.5’ (500), 6’ x 9’ (400), 8’ x 12’ (100) and 10’ x 15’ (4). Each Country would require a certain amount of both vertical and horizontal formats and different venues dictated various finishings (sleeves, grommets, etc.).Flags Unlimited supplied all of the above flags which included 97 countries in both vertical and horizontal formats. We were also responsible for the protocol flags of 10 organizations like IOC and the UN.Time lines for this project varied as approvals came in. Starting work a year and half in advance, means we had approvals ready to go, but not all 97 countries would qualify. In the end, almost all of them would require flags and as each Country qualified and confirmed they would be in Vancouver, we started production.


The biggest obstacle we faced on this project was location. We are in Barrie, Ontario while the flags needed to be in Vancouver, British Columbia. While Flags Unlimited is fully capable of making a flag in one or two days, shipping it accross the country made for some creative scheduling. In the end we achieved a 100% fill rate and everything was received on time.


We regularly produce country flags so we have artwork for every National flag on file. Our work for VANOC began by printing our in stock artwork to let them decide what was good as is, and what needed tweeking. With the first round out of the way, full size prototypes were made in vertical and horizontal layouts, and they were sent to each Country’s NOC for their approval on both design and colour.


DuraKnitIII® is a polyester fabric that Flags Unlimited uses for almost every outdoor flag we produce. It is a superior flag fabric designed for daily flying and able to withstand high winds. It holds colour and resists fraying. DuraKnitIII® was the fabric used for the 2010 Olympics. In certain circumstances, fire retardant was applied for flags at indoor venues.


For each prototype made, Flags Unlimited kept a sample in house so that when it was approved we had our own copy. The actual flags for the event wouldn’t be produced for another few months. The copy allowed us quality control and assurance that we shipped out flags that matched exactly to what was approved.The approval process required a massive amount of organization and quick response. Should changes be required to a prototype, they were expected to be revised, printed and shipped out again in only a couple of days.