The new Adirondack flag flies at Lake George, held by designer Rebecca Rapple (left) and her mother, Mariann Rapple.
TICONDEROGA – A Ticonderoga resident has designed something the Adirondack Park has long needed – its own flag.
Rebecca Rapple, who divides her time between Ticonderoga and Portland, Oregon, created the yellow-green-and-brown Adirondack flag and markets it online.
“The idea for it came a long time ago,” Rapple said in an interview with The Sun. “I grew up in North River and went to college at Yale in Connecticut. For the first time I had to define my identity away from the Adirondacks. There was no good way to visually express my Adirondack identity.”
She said there was no one symbol of the Adirondacks.
“I was looking for an iconic, unifying image,” she said. “I figured it was time for me to make one. I went ahead and did it.”
People started asking her where they could get the flags, so she started making them.
“It has been such a joy getting to connect with so many people over our love of the Adirondacks,” she said.
The flag shows an outline of the park’s Blue Line boundary, with a pine tree in the middle.
“The yellow and brown are taken from the road signs in the park; the green is the color you’re likely to see on the horizon,” she said. “The tree is the Eastern Pine, the most common tree in the park.”
It took Rapple six months to a year to design the flag, during which she became a vexillologist – someone who studies flags.
“I learned what works and doesn’t work,” she said. “It (the flag) should be simple enough that a group of first-graders could draw it and people would be able to recognize it. It has to be simple enough for people to remember.”
Over the course of time, the final flag design emerged.
“I took some artistic rendering with it because I wanted it to be beautiful, to make it more even and aesthetic,” Rapple said. “The first solid design materialized in July of this past year. I did a little bit more tweaking. The first flag came out in November.”
Now it’s on water bottles with bamboo lids, stickers, T-shirts, and full-size flags that can be flown at one’s home.
“There are at least 25 flags flying within the park borders, and 50 outside of it, in nine different states,” she said. “I want it to remain a small, tight-knit image that people can share.”
The stickers are made in Fulton County, she said, and about half her sales are to people inside the park.
“It’s been delightful to see. On my web site you can click on ‘map’ and see where people are flying their flags.”
A portion of the sales are contributed to worthy causes in the Adirondacks.
“The other side is I’ve partnered with the Adirondack Foundation to do a program where 10 percent of everything we bring in is donated back to causes: elder-hood, early childhood education, and environmental stewardships,” Rapple said.
“The Adirondack Park is a place where people can live and grow.”
The Adirondack Flag website: adirondackflag.com