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Vancouver Island man keeps flower flag alive with message for Ukraine

Greater Victoria resident Sahasi Erven looks to give garden new life
Sahasi Erven’s Ukraine flower flag is pictured at Beacon Hill Park on Friday (July 22). Erven’s garden won’t reach its 100,000-flower goal, but that hasn’t stopped him from spreading his message of love and peace, both locally and abroad. (Evert Lindquist/News Staff)

Despite less turnout than anticipated for Sahasi Erven’s Ukraine flower flag at Beacon Hill Park, the Victoria carpenter’s drive to spread love and peace in the world continues to bloom.

The 300-square-metre flag, which Erven and 20-something others have been assembling near Mile 0 since July 15, has amassed roughly 7,000 purple and yellow flowers – tens of thousands short of Erven’s 100,000-flower objective. The city recently granted the garden another week at the park, giving Erven until Friday (July 29) to enjoy his work.

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“I just want to give the flag some credibility,” he said, adding he learned of a much larger Ukraine flower flag elsewhere in the world that would’ve proved tough to exceed in size anyway.

“The point is not to break a record. It’s about spreading love and peace and oneness.”

As Erven put it, the masses haven’t showed up to contribute, but he appreciates those who have. There now also exists a possibility to move all or part of the flag to the Butchart Gardens or another location in Langford.

The original plan was to allow Victorians to disperse the flag as of Sunday (July 24) by taking flowers home to their own gardens and for their own Ukraine flags. But Erven, who tends to the flag every day from around 10 a.m. to dusk, reckoned relocating a portion of the display means many of the flowers don’t die from neglect.

“I think the chances of people even taking half of it are kind of remote.”

Not at all upset with the underwhelming turnout for the flag, Erven recognized that not everyone has the same vision as him and that the important thing now is there’re plenty of flowers at Beacon Hill Park for the taking.

“We’re just saying (to) just offer your love and peace. The flag is finished.”

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While the flag’s future remains unclear, Erven has also found another way to spread he positive message of love, peace and oneness.

A singer-songwriter who’s penned more than 100 tunes, he’s reached out to the 1+1 national TV channel in Ukraine with photos of his flag and an original song he’d like to give eastern Europeans. He calls it “Mother Call in Your Children” and, though he’s never performed his music publicly, Erven shared it over the phone with Black Press Media.

“If we are to prosper, it’ll be together,” he sang.


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