Langley will get the chance to prove it's the most patriotic town in Canada this July 1.
On Canada Day, local resident Linda Bellamy is trying to break world records both nationally and internationally by creating the largest ever living flag at the McLeod Athletic Park.
All she needs are 25,000 willing volunteers.
Bellamy has spent the last several months gathering funds, buying 25,000 squares of red and white poster board, and finding support for the project.
She raised $7,500 in funding from Langley Township and Heritage Canada. That wasn't enough to buy the poster board at retail costs - it would have run a whopping $13,000.
Instead, she tracked down the wholesaler for the paper.
She considered using red and white T-shirts, as other living flags have done, but that would have broken the bank, too.
"That would have cost me $90,000," she said.
The paper is on the way, all 3,400 pounds of it, to be unloaded at the stadium.
Now the countdown is on, and Bellamy is just hoping to attract enough people to shatter a 2007 record for a living flag, set in Hong Kong.
She's getting a lot of feedback from residents of the community planning to come out to be a part of a world record.
"People are getting caught up with it," she said. "It's a patriotic thing to do."
By mid-week, Bellamy had an ally in the weather forecasters. They were predicting a few damp days, but sunshine for Sunday.
Regardless, the attempt will go ahead. "This is going to take place rain or shine," Bellamy said.
The flag's creation will begin at about 11 a.m. when the first 250 volunteers arrive. These "shepherds" will be in charge of helping the next 99 people in their area find the right location.
As more volunteers pour through between noon and 1 p.m., they'll be issued their red and white squares and directed to various sectors of the field.
The centre field line will be used as a marker for the stem of the maple leaf at the centre of the Canadian flag, and other markings on the field will mark the boundaries of red and white bars.
The volunteers will primarily be drawn from the people attending the adjacent two-day Canada Day celebration, one of the largest in the province. It attracts more than 50,000 people most years, providing a good base for the flag project, Bellamy hopes.
If everything goes according to plan, the 2012 effort will be ready by 2: 12 p.m. when everyone will hold up their squares and sing Happy Birthday to their country, Bellamy said.
If successful, the Langley living flag will beat not only the existing world records, but also some unrelated living flag attempts in Winnipeg and Victoria.
Bellamy found out by chance that both cities have been competing to create flags of about 5,000 to 6,000 people.
"I didn't know that they were doing that," Bellamy said.
If the competitive spirit moves people, Bellamy hopes it will help draw them to her project.
For more information, see the Langley Living Flag event page on Facebook. Volunteers who wish to take part must simply show up at or before 1 p.m. and be willing and able to stand for up to an hour on the field.
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