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Barrow / Utqiagvik, Alaska (U.S.)

North Slope Borough

Last modified: 2022-06-04 by rick wyatt
Keywords: barrow | alaska |
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The city of Barrow (renamed Utqiagvik, 4,581 inhabitants in 2008, 55.2, located on the northern coast of Alaska, is the northernmost city of the USA.

Whaling flags

The native Inupiat people have maintained traditional whaling, which is authorized with strictly defined quotas aimed at preserving the resource. A TV-report (Arte, 2009) on whaling in Barrow shows two flags of interest.

[Flag of Quvan Crew whalers, Alaska] image by Ivan Sache, 15 August 2010

The flag used by the Quvan Crew whalers to "label" their catch until they can retrieve it is dark blue with two white Latin crosses on top and the  white writing "QUVAN / CREW", on bottom. The flag is shown on a photo published on the "Native Village" website, together with other photos of Quvan Crew in operation.

[Flag of whalers, Alaska] image by Ivan Sache, 15 August 2010

The second flag shown in the TV-report is hoisted over the hut where all the members of the community are invited to share the whale lunch. The flag is made of three "concentric" blue, white and red rectangles. It seems to be a rectangular version of the "W" flag of the International Code of Signals, most probably here for "Whale".
Ivan Sache, 15 August 2010

[Flag of whalers, Alaska] image by James Dignan, 28 February 2012

On the David Attenborough documentary series "The Frozen Planet". In the seventh and last episode, there's a scene of a traditional festival at Barrow, in northern Alaska. In the background of the scene is a flag, which appears to be salmon orange with a white disc divided into three segments in the centre (it's possible, of course, that it was originally red and white and has faded).
James Dignan, 28 February 2012

Sound a bit like a whaling flag. Looks somewhat like this one, though, which I don't know either:
Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 28 February 2012