Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Canadian Flag

For as many warm and fuzzy memories this sports fan has of the Canadian flag in international competition, after getting into a debate with a Toronto Maple Leafs fan yesterday about the latest Sportsnet Leaf games marketing campaign, I am having second thoughts. Lester B. Pearson was the Prime Minister at the time our flag was designed and unveiled; Lester was a Liberal from Toronto who decided on a red flag (Liberal colours) with a maple leaf (logo of Toronto's #1 team) in the middle. So what if Diefenbaker had been Prime Minister when our country decided we needed our own flag, and it was Tory blue with a Saskatchewan Roughriders logo? How do you think the left would have responded? What if it were Pierre Trudeau and a Montreal Canadiens "C" in the middle?

I'm not saying that we should change our flag because we are accustomed to it now, I just wish I had a hot tub time machine and that 1965 had a blogosphere, because it isn't right making the flag the logo of one city's top sports franchise. I get that we have a lot of maple trees, delicious maple syrup, I'm just saying that we had a Toronto Liberal who chose a red maple leaf. Now the Leafs are running promos for the hockey games that is interchanging the Canadian flag with a Toronto Maple Leafs flag and declaring themselves Canada's team. It is as though MLSE is trying to brainwash young sports fans in other cities into associating their logo with the patriotism of our national success.

We'll keep the flag the way it is, but I wanted to complain...


  1. I was an adult at the time. I felt then that one of the stripes ought to have been blue. Not so much for Conservatives, but all our bunting at events was the red white and blue of the Union Jack. Those were and are our traditional colours.

  2. I was a tweenie at the time and many of us in the west thought the Union Jack was great and did not want a new flag. This was the first blatant anti-British move made by the Liberals. Dief the Chief, a fervent monarchist, hated it and was buried with both flags. When the design came out, we thought it was juvenile and ugly (Canada graduated from the colonies to kindergarten). Red maple trees are also scarce in the mountains and prairies. The design was derived from the Kingston Royal MC.

    After so many years, I am attached to it, but still think it could have had a more elegant design using the ensign. I agree, it should have had some blue (hat tip to both the fleur de lis AND our British heritage). Apparently, people like the Mexican flag, but ours is fairly popular.

  3. Back when coke was a soft-drink, a joint was a hard place to hang out, we flew the red ensign and to be gay meant you were happy. Yep, I'd like to have one of the hot tub time machines, I think things were simpler in 1965.


  4. Actually we already had our own flag which was the Red Ensign. It truly represented our history, with the Union Jack in the upper left hand corner and the ensign representing the three founding peoples, British, French and Native peoples. I still cannot muster up any attachment for this pathetic piece of Liberal rag, whose only purpose was to deny our history. It was the beginning of the Liberal mythical Canada whose values are socialised health care, "peace" keeping, official bilingualism and multiculturalism and anti-American.

  5. Canada had a flag, it was called the Red Ensign. It was turfed without the consent of the population into the history bins to placate Quebecers. Thus the distortions, denials, and destruction of Canada's history and traditions began. Flags representing a nation are usually only changed after a revolution when it is necessary to distort and deny the reality of history, in order to manipulate the future.

  6. I agree 100% with Sean M. We already had a flag that our troops died for in two world wars. The one we got now is just a symbol of the stinking Liberal party.

  7. I was a vague concept at the time and I love our flag and our country and everyone who made it great for me. I don't care where it came from. It came from the past. The Union Jack clones are boring. The yankee flag is guady. The Europe flags are more boring than the colonies. I like the Union Jack and the Portuguese flag, but none of them even comes close to our distinctive and striking colours. I wouldn't change it for anything.

  8. Alex, as you say you only know what is now presented as our flag, and you are entitled to like it. However the creation of a national flag is normally an organic process based on the traditions and history of the country. Sadly the present Canadian flag cannot claim anything of the kind. A maple leaf is not in the least Canadian, since the maple tree is indigenous to many countries including Asian ones. But then you also probably think that prior to the Charter we had no protected rights in Canada.

  9. I always liked the Red Ensign. I was an adult when the Great Flag Debate took up way too much time on Parliament Hill,and as most Westerners were, was disappointed with the final choice.

    It should have had Red,White,and Blue,and a Maple Leaf on it somewhere.

    The Toronto Maple Leafs,whose management has always thought they were "Canada's Team", was roundly hated in our house,and most others in my hometown.

    btw, it was during the Flag debate that Leaf/Red Wing legend Red Kelly made his first speech in the House of Commons.


  10. I have enjoyed this debate. All the above were said back when. The flag man Lester Pearson turned me into a moderate Conservative with his statement that the Liberal's were "socialists who went at it more slowly". Thus the red flag in my opinion.

  11. Pearson certainly had socialist leanings. The type of socialism prevalent in those days, was much more insidious and non progressive than it seems to be today.

    If Quebec ever succeeds in its ultimate threat we have a ready made National Anthem in "The Maple Leaf Forever". Both this tune and "Oh Canada" had words that needed to be changed to be acceptable within the great divide of peoples extant then.

    At school in those days we sang "God save The King/Queen" then afterward our song "The Maple Leaf Forever". Oh Canada was only an occasional tune but the french words didn't resonate with us.

    We of course need to be aware of sensitivities on both sides of our great country. My country includes Quebec. If they decide differently they will be left with a few miles on each side of the St. Lawrence that they began with.

  12. Oh Alain. Why cast me as ignorant. You can't be sure I'm ignorant but I'm sure you are ignorant of me. -Yet you assert to know my mind? Its all beside the point but you needlessly weaken your credibility.

    Anyway. Look. Israel was created by the UN. Anyone here want to get rid of Israel? Didn't think so. The symbol of Christianity was created by murderous and cruel pagans. Anyone want to ditch the cross? Didn't think so either.

    Loving your country is like loving a person. Cherish the good, and accept the bad. You will never find perfection, but you can admire the tortuous route to make the country what it is today. No one likes War, but would we undo the wars we fought? Its built our character as a nation. We are what we are and I love it unconditionally, flag and all.

    Oh and Go Leafs GO! ;)

  13. I haven't heard anyone state that a maple leaf is green,not red.A red maple leaf is a dying or dead,like the lieberals.