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Canadian flag in the context of "Freedom Convoy" and housing school

Canada Day usually arrives in red and white explosions, with citizens and newcomers waving the country's flag to celebrate.

However, months after the "Freedom Convoy" stagnated downtown Ottawa, the Canadian flag swirled from the truck and prominently appeared in protest crowds, with some Canadians flagging. Rethinking what they mean to them. And since the discovery of unmarked graves at residential schools that brought the devastating effects of the country's colonialism to the forefront, the question of whether it's worth collecting the Canadian flag has never been more complicated. I am.

Prior to Canada Day, Puneet Luthra, who lives in Toronto, said he had always raised the flag at home to celebrate his holidays, but this year it feels different to him.

"The sad part is that I sometimes wonder what people would think if I raised the flag," Rusla told the Canadian press. "People may think I'm the one who has the idea of ​​a fringe-like an anti-baker, etc."

Another Ontario-based MeganBallRigden is a Canadian colony. He told CP that he reserved the Canadian flag for the history of the era, and I don't think he would wave the flag "regardless of the convoy."

Forestpass, a historian and curator at the Library and Archives Canada, told in a telephone interview that the Canadian flag seen around Ottawa this week is less than usual.

"[On] Canada Day, especially in the capital of the country, has flags everywhere. It's just a small part of the urban furniture here," he said. "But it's certainly declining, and anecdotally, I've heard that the reason people don't fly them is [the convoy]."

Still, for more than 1,000 Canadians In a recent survey, 76% were proud to raise the Canadian flag, and 14%disagreed with the statement

Counsel Public Affairs Inc. In the same survey conducted by the participants, participants were asked how to celebrate Canada's Day in light of racial discrimination and colonial injustice in Canadian society.

Almost half (47%) of respondents said they should spend a day on both celebrations and reflections, 41% celebrated and the reflections left on another day. I said there is. Twelve percent of respondents said Canada Day should only reflect the country's shortcomings.

For those who choose not to raise the Canadian flag on this holiday, there are concerns that they may show an alliance with certain unsupported movements, such as the "Freedom Convoy" protest. ..

During the weeks when the convoy occupied Ottawa, supporters raised the full-sized Canadian flag on trucks and vehicles.

"In the United States, it's not uncommon to see people across the political spectrum, using flags to represent the notion of meaning of being American," Path explained. .. "Until very recently, it wasn't about the same."

According to Pass, some Freedom Convoy supporters used the Canadian flag during protests to make it more American. Some people were taking advantage of their patriotism.

"[That] intent was to relate their [protesters'] goals and objectives, their values, to Canada's patriotism," Path said. "In contrast to the adversaries and the position of the majority of us, they were not necessarily sympathetic to their position."

Flag History

American Flag Has existed for nearly 250 years and has a story of dramatic origin, but "it is said that it was sewn by Betsy Ross at the request of the general during the revolution. Pass said, the Canadian flag is relatively young.

The Canadian flag we know today was sometimes used by the Liberal Party in 1964 to replace the then-England Union Jack. Proposed as an alternative to the temporary flag Red Ensign.

When the maple leaf flag was designed, it was far from the cry of a national rally. , Pass said that many associated it purely with the Liberal Party.

"It's really the middle-right people who are enthusiastically hugging the flag of the maple leaves. It was the last 20 years, probably 30 years ago, "he said.

Other flags have been used in a political way along the Canadian fault line in the past, he explained. -The Nazi Party based in Quebec in the 1930s.

For example, Red Ensign is often accepted by white supremacist organizations in the 1960s, "because they represent Canada's position in the empire" and felt they should not be replaced. The organization felt that "part of the greatness of the empire came from racial purity."

But when it comes to the classic red and white flags, Pass said they were relatively young and rarely used as a controversial symbol.

"We are not used to seeing it used in such a partisan way," he said.

The idea behind the flag is that it stands for "all of us," Heather Nicole, director of the Canadian Research School at Trent University, told CTV in a video call. rice field.

"At the Olympics, people wear flags because they represent Canada or fly over parliament buildings and institutions, but when someone says they have adopted it. "I think it has a cool effect," she said, rather than another perspective that represents exactly this.

On this Canadian day, some of the anxiety some Canadians have around the flag is that of the Canadian flag waving with the Nazi symbol during a protest in Ottawa. She said it might come from an unpleasant sight.

Many people in the Freedom Convoy say that what displays the symbol of hatred is a small fringe part that they do not tolerate.

Residential School Dirt

Conversations about the Canadian flag and other symbols of patriotism have been going on for years, but seem to be increasing.

"It's not just the Freedom Convoy," Nicole said.

In 2021, Canada Day looked different in many cities. People wore orange shirts and traded in regular red and white to honor the lives of indigenous peoples after unmarked graves were found at three old housing schools. Since then, at least 1,800 unmarked graves have been identified or suspected. Hundreds of schools are still being searched.

For the overwhelming number of indigenous peoples, the Canadian flag has never been an identifiable symbol.

"The flag was adopted in 1965 and the last housing school was closed in 1996," Pass said. "That is, for more than 30 years, this was a flag that jumped over housing schools. It was a flag that was a symbol of colonialism for many indigenous peoples."

This flag is For several months in 2021, following the first announcement of a grave without a grave marker, it was previously used to make reconciliation gestures, such as lowering the flag to a half-mast. However, given Canada'spoor track record, which has taken a concrete step towards reconciliation, many indigenous people say that the Canadian flag does not convey a sense of belonging.

Last year there was a call to "cancel Canada Day," but this year some indigenous communities, such as the Six Nations of the Grand River, say they don't recognize it. In this week'sstatement, the community hopes that this week, "July 1st will not be a celebration day, but a day of solemn reflection and new commitment to facilitate the reconciliation process. I will. "

The statement asked Canadians to wear orange again to honor the children and survivors lost in the housing school system.

Flags in context

Canadians are worried that flags can be misunderstood and need to remember that context plays a big role. I have.

When Ottawa rang in February with a never-ending horn, Pass said, "Neighbors raised the Canadian flag outside the house to clarify the position of the household." I remembered that I put up a sign such as "Vaccine obligation saves lives." .. The

flag has a simple and simple design, which is useful for many edits and allows people to add identity and value to the flag. Mr. Pass pointed out that the Canadian flag has an LGBTQ2S + version. The same is true for indigenous peoples' redesigns. These versions allow people to further express themselves.

Given the colonial past and the flaws in Canada, the overall question of whether the flag itself is worth gathering behind is less certain, experts say.

Symbols change over time, just like society, and the problem remains to be asked.

"I think it could be truly contaminated or hijacked by one political faction only if everyone else allowed it," Path said.

He added that it was important to continue these conversations, and emotional Nicole echoed.

"I think the [flag] will be a symbol of unity again, but now I think it's a symbol of" there's a lot to do "," she said. "I'm not celebrating heritage. I'm not celebrating history. I'm just celebrating the opportunity and hope that doing so will allow us to do something better. "