Kelowna considers flying pro-life flag at city hall

In a controversial move — but not a unique one — the city of Kelowna, B.C., is considering flying a pro-life flag outside its city hall during Protect Human Life Week.

The week has been an annual event for the past five years, taking place during the last week of September, but the flag would be a new addition to the week, CBC reports.

Marlon Bartram, executive director of the Kelowna Right to Life Society, says that their original design was rejected when the city council determined that the 'From conception to natural death' slogan along the bottom of the flag violated the council's policy of not advocating a particular point of view. But Bartram says that the new flag has more of a general statement.

"I think 'pro-life' is a very — I mean, it maybe has some history to it, for sure, but if you break it down, it's just we're for human life," Bartram told CBC. "There's nothing controversial, there's nothing particularly political or religious about that statement."

Pro-life flags have previously been flown in two Ontario cities, Guelph and Whitby, during similar events.

While the Kelowna Right to Life Society seems confident that their new design will grace the flag pole at city hall, the council hasn't officially agreed to the latest design just yet. According to, the society's Aug. 15 press release announcing that the flag would be flown and had been approved by the city's director of communications, Tom Wilson, was not entirely accurate.

"They submitted one version of the flag and we rejected it and we had conversations about why it was rejected and then the news release came out with their new proposal which hadn't even been submitted to the city at that point," Wilson said in a story. "We just got the new version from them yesterday [Thursday]."

Bartram says he believes the flag will ultimately be approved, as the society was told they only needed to remove the offending statement in order to fly it.

In the meantime, a petition to prevent the flag from flying in any form has sprung up online.

The city has not announced when it will make its final decision.

(Image from