flag anniversary

I like the Canadian flag. I grew up under the Union Jack/Canadian Ensign but I was quite pleased to get a flag of our own. The debate about it was going on at  the time my father was dying. He asked me to write a letter to his M.P. in Ottawa expressing his feelings about the new flag.  He dictated; I was his amanuensis.  He said that he had served under the old flag during two wars and he felt a loyalty to it that he couldn't fake for a new flag.  That was his basic argument. It didn't wash, as you know.  Parliament passed the adoption of a new flag design and it was up and flying before Canada's hundredth birthday in 1967.

We were living in Winnipeg then and we celebrated that birthday by taking the kids to  Expo '67 in Montreal.  We noticed the new flag flying as we drove across the country.  It was especially visible, in great numbers, in the home riding of our Prime Minister, Lester B. Pearson.  We stopped on the way east to attend the theatres in Stratford and Niagara-on-the-Lake, and we saw with some surprise, that the Union Jack was still flying in great numbers in N-O-L.  We asked the owner of our B'n'Bs about this old, now out-dated allegiance. 

"I'll tell you the reason," he said. "There's the enemy, over there." And he pointed across the Niagara River to the fort on the other side, the American side, with a Stars and Stripes flying above it.   In Niagara-on-the-Lake they were still fighting the War of 1812.

So it's our flag's fiftieth anniversary and there are two generations who have never known anything else. All it took was time.