OrilliaMatters welcomes letters to the editor at [email protected]. Please include your daytime phone number and address (for verification of authorship, not publication). The following letter to the editor is in response to our story Parents protest taking down Canada flag for temporary displays.
Perhaps school board trustees, and their staffs, should each personally read about national flag etiquette, rules for flying our national flag of Canada, and the position of honour of our national flag of Canada, before making decisions concerning displaying banners from various organizations.
The Canadian Heraldic Authority (CHA) is the official government service that creates and recognizes coats of arms, flags and badges. It works to the highest standards of the art form, and its practices are at an international level of excellence and acceptance.
Without being registered with the CHA, a design on cloth is only a banner, cannot be called a flag, and should never be considered as an alternative to our national flag of Canada.
Our national flag of Canada cannot be switched with any other flag, and surely not with any individual group’s banner.
Banners should not be allowed to be flown in the position of honour normally assigned to our national flag of Canada. This denigrates our national flag of Canada.
Once you have set a precedent by flying any banner, you can expect more organizations to request their banner also be flown, thereby improperly displacing our national flag of Canada more often, perhaps until it is just another piece of cloth to be put up for a ‘short’ period of time when there is nothing else to display.
Maybe the school board could look at other means of showing these group’s banners, such as in a central stairwell window, or hung vertically from a simply attached bar on the building.
There are also low-cost poles that could be mounted on the front of a building so their tops are lower than our national flag of Canada.
What about recovering the cost of these bars/poles by accepting a small donation from the groups wanting their banner displayed?
Our national flag of Canada is much too important to all Canadians to be switched out for some group’s self-promotional banner.
Children need to see that we always respect our great history by only flying our national flag of Canada in its exclusive position of honour.
Daniel A. Oliver