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Why Altering the Canadian Flag to Reflect Pride is Wrong

Picture Credit: CBC Edmonton

Despite Canada turning 150 years old this July, the nation’s flag will still be under 100. Canada’s iconic red and white was selected to be the official flag of Canada in 1965, which launched massive debate at the time between keeping the “Red Ensign,” a flag containing the Union Jack and representing the country’s strong ties to Britain, or using the first ever officially designated Canadian flag to represent the growing individualism of the young country, which turned 100 two years later.

Prime-Minister Lester B. Pearson championed the new flag, designed by Canadian icon George Stanley. l’Unifolié (the one leaf) was officially flown for the first time on February 15, 1965, a day now celebrated as Canadian Flag Day. The flag is a symbol of national pride and unification to Canadians who due to distance and equalization payments often find themselves disconnected from events in Ottawa and other provinces.

On the day of a pride march in Edmonton, Alta, an elementary school replaced their Canadian Flag for a redesigned colourful one including the stripes of pride which is pictured above. The flag was intended to be flown for one week during the pride events, however, less than a day after it was initially raised, residents of the area discovered the variation had been cut down and replaced by the official colours.

The incident was reported as a hate crime to the Edmonton Police Service by local parents, as per CBC Edmonton. The local MLA, Bob Turner, tweeted his support for the student body and promised a new flag to the faculty member who owned the original.

Since the election of Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government in 2015, gay marriage has been legalized and celebrated coast to coast. The Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) hasn’t offered any opposition to the ruling, and should they be elected in 2019, it’s doubtful they would change anything.

Very few forces from coast to coast stand against gay rights.

Pride flags can be seen on the street all over Edmonton, and none of those have been vandalized in a similar manner. This “crime” was simply out of love and respect for the flag of Canada.

As a Canadian, I love my country. Even though our greatest accomplishments (Vimy Ridge, D-Day landings, Gordon Lightfoot, etc.) weren’t achieved under the current Maple Leaf, our achievements are uniquely Canadian. Our flag unites the farmers of Saskatchewan with the fishermen of Nova Scotia and the woodsmen of British Columbia. The Maple Leaf is recognized world wide as a symbol of Canadiana and the inherent kindness of it’s citizens.

My problem isn’t with flying the pride flag, my problem is with the destruction of the Canadian Flag.

The official rules for flying the National Flag of Canada states under the subsection ‘dignity of the flag’:

The National Flag of Canada should be displayed only in a manner appropriate for this important national symbol; it should not be subjected to dishonour or displayed in a position inferior to any other flag or ensign. The National Flag always takes priority over all other national flags when flown in Canada.

as well as:

The National Flag of Canada should not be signed or marked in any way. A border could be attached to its outside edge, which can be marked while leaving the Flag itself untouched.

and:

The National Flag of Canada should always be flown on its own mast; flag protocol states that it is improper to fly two or more flags on the same mast (for example, one beneath the other).

The blatant disrespect for the Canadian flag shown by the LGBT community should be made illegal to the standards of the flag code, and those responsible should be properly prosecuted. Altering it is disrespectful to the men and women who have fought under it’s colours to ensure Canadian’s are allowed to express themselves any way they’d like. Canadian patriotism is of the upmost importance to major swaths of the country, and desecrating the Canadian flag is not acceptable under any circumstances, especially when it’s being used to virtue signal to the Left.

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About Aidan J. Grether (7 Articles)
I'm Aidan, an 18 year old aspiring writer with a passion for literature and photography. Oh, and coffee. I'm currently studying a degree in journalism and advertising at Thompson Rivers University.

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