What's in a Name?

By Ada Ketchie

What did you think of when you first heard our name? The flicker of the film reel or the camera shutter? Considering what we do, that is quite appropriate. Maybe the mesmerizing view of the Northern Lights? Or the guiding shimmer of the North Star? Also good. 

What we love about our name is that so many layers of imagery and meaning are contained within it. But if you took a close enough look at our logo you would find Northern Flicker actually refers to a bird.  

We chose it for our name not least because we both share a strong personal connection to the bird (stories on that later), nor simply because it is a reminder of the beauty of our northwestern home (C’mon, “Put a bird on it!”). Named for it’s ability to catch your eye with a brilliant flash of its orange underwing color, the Northern Flicker seems highly symbolic for what we are setting out to do. 

How can we help show off the brilliance and beauty of what your organization or initiative has “hidden under it’s wing”? Our goal is to find and feature what it is about you that catches people’s eye, that uplifts, inspires, and makes a difference. The people and organizations we are seeking to connect with all have important stories to tell. We want to reveal the beauty of those stories, to convey what makes your work unique and special and oh so vital for our world.  By using our skills and talents for the betterment of people and causes we care about, our intention is to help all of our work to take flight and flicker brightly. 

And then if you really want to get knee deep into the symbolism, the Northern Flicker is a woodpecker, and woodpeckers represent many amazing things! Like grabbing attention and shaking up awareness. Or signaling opportunity, value, and progress. Woodpeckers mark determination, commitment, and coming up with creative solutions. They teach us about communication and taking action, and finding a rhythm. As native North American wisdom considers the woodpeckers drumming to indicate journeying and transcendentalism, many tribes consider the woodpecker as an other-worldly messenger, a prophet, and even the . protector of humankind. 

How cool is all that? 

Photo Credit: Darron Birgenheier licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0