To the editor:
Once a week some of the old timers (I call them the boys) meet for breakfast at a local restaurant. We aren’t the only boys meeting for breakfast; you’ve probably seen them at various restaurants all over the city.
Now we don’t just eat breakfast, we also solve the many problems our city, province, country and world are having. The one drawback to all this problem solving is after breakfast is over and we depart and go our separate way, half of us can’t remember the problems we discussed and the other half can’t remember the solutions we came up with.
This week one of the boys told us about a problem he was having flying his Canadian flag. He lives in a gated community and it seems that some of his neighbours don’t like him flying a Canadian flag and the Strata Corporation sent him a letter telling him to cease and desist. Well, this didn’t sit too well with the boys as most of us think it’s our patriotic duty to fly a Canadian flag and where did the strata get off telling him he couldn’t fly it. This led to a lengthy discussion on flag flying and the oft-used comment “There aught to be a law.” Well it turns out that there is a law.
Legislation was proposed in 2011 and James Moore, then the heritage minister, told a news conference there had been cases where people were prevented from flying their Canadian flags. The bill aimed to “ensure that Canadians have clear certainty that if they wish to show pride in their country to display the Canadian flag that they are free to do so without any intimidation by condo boards or other neighbours that might find it obtrusive,” Moore said at the time. The legislation encourages Canadians to “proudly display the national flag of Canada in accordance with flag protocol.”
On the 28th of June, 2012 The National Flag Act of Canada was assented to and the law now states that:
1. All Canadians are encouraged to proudly display the National Flag of Canada in accordance with flag protocol; and
2. Every person who is in control of an apartment building, a condominium building or building in divided co-ownership or another multiple-residence building or a gated community is encouraged to allow the National Flag of Canada to be displayed in accordance with flag protocol.
The best line in the legislation was in the summary and I think it clearly states how the boys felt: “Whereas the Canadian flag represents pride in our great nation and support for those who have sacrificed their lives for it; and whereas it is in the national and public interest to encourage the displaying of the National Flag.”
I guess the message from the boys is now pretty clear: Fly your flags with pride folks, the law is on our side.
Vair Clendenning, Kelowna