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Faux patriots

A little follow-up to yesterday’s post on the anniversary of the Canadian flag.  It seems ironic to me that some supporters of the Conservative Party – the same party who keeps trying to claim they have a monopoly on patriotism – would then turn around and diss the Canadian flag, because they feel its a “Liberal flag” due to its colours and due to the fact Prime Minister Pearson was a Liberal. Here’s a challenge to folks like this; why don’t you press your Conservative government to switch the colours or the whole flag,  and see how well that goes over with the general populace?

I should also note to guys like Backseat Blogger that  Prime Minister Pearson’s original flag he wanted – known as the Pearson Pennant, and which BBS has listed on his little mini-rant, ironically – did have blue in it,  but blue was not an official Canadian colour. Red and white were the official colours, and as historians can tell you, the maple leaf has come to represent Canada a long time. Therefore, its patently ridiculous to claim this is a “Liberal coloured flag” (I doubt the CCF member of Parliament who helped get this flag approved -Reid Scott- would have agreed to it if there was any thought the colours being used was to reflect a political party).

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5 comments to Faux patriots

  • True progressive conservatives like Diefenbaker opposed the new flag because they wanted any Canadian flag to be a reflection of our history and tradition as a British colony and member of the Commonwealth. Nothing that Pearson offered at the time would satisfy Diefenbaker’s criterion and therefore, he opposed. The Pearson Point, my personal favourite, Diefenbaker would never support because it was Pearson’s personal design.

    The red ensign is an atrocious flag that would, if adopted permanently, have kept the Canadian identity firmly British and would never have been a true reflection of our uniqueness within the Commonwealth and the international community. We needed a new flag and I’m glad that we have the one we do.

    Rick Archbold’s book “A Flag for Canada” is a great publication to have on a coffee table for any Canadian blogger and/or armchair politician. It has all the proposed flags and offers a lot of food for thought as well as a real inside-look as to how we came to fly the Maple Leaf.

  • Ted

    Here’s another tidbit of real fact to add to any discussion on this issue. The colours of red and white were already the national colours, adopted in 1921 under a Conservative government, and the red maple leaf on white background flag idea had been around for over a century.

    From the government website:

    “The names of Mr. John Matheson and Dr. George Stanley are well known in the story of the evolution of a new Canadian flag. Mr. Matheson, a Member of Parliament from Ontario, was perhaps one of the strongest supporters of a new flag and played a key advisory role. Dr. Stanley was Dean of Arts at the Royal Military College in Kingston, and brought to the attention of the committee the fact that the Commandant’s flag at the College — an emblem, i.e. a mailed fist, on a red and white ground — was impressive.

    Dr. Stanley’s design is based on a strong sense of Canadian history. The combination of red, white and red first appeared in the General Service Medal issued by Queen Victoria. Red and white were subsequently proclaimed Canada’s national colours by King George V in 1921. Three years earlier, Major General (later the Honourable) Sir Eugene Fiset had recommended that Canada’s emblem be the single red maple leaf on a white field – the device worn by all Canadian Olympic athletes since 1904.”

    Boy it makes my blood boil when people just make up history to support their skewered and wrong points of view today, especially when it is something so important to our country as our unique and beautiful flag.

  • Northern PoV

    “while the Progressive Conservatives opposed”

    yes those Tories just can’t resist the the thrill of always being on the wrong side of history.

    and the great tradition continues

  • Ted

    Forgot one other thing. In polls at the time, something like 80% favoured having our own flag, while the Progressive Conservatives opposed.

  • Ted

    This whine by conservatives bugs me a lot. Not only is it unpatriotic so it bothers the Canadian in me, it is flat out wrong so it bothers the historian in me.

    Next time you find one of these know-nothings, you may want to remind them of a few facts:

    – the particular red pigment and the two red stripes were inspired by the flag of the Royal Military College of Canada, so it is militaristic in its origins, not Liberal

    – Pearson favoured a blue striped flag with a red three branched maple leaf at its centre representing the two oceans (blue), and the three founding nations (English, French, Native), known as the Pearson Pennant

    – when it came to a vote between the flag we have now and the Pearson Pennant with blue, the Diefenbaker Progress Conservatives, the NDP, the Socred and the Liberals all voted unanimously for the current flag

    – the Liberals adjusted their colour after the flag was adopted, not the other way around

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