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Flag flying in Canada

Last modified: 2004-10-30 by
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In Ontario (heck, in the R.O.C. [Rest Of Canada]), provincial and municipal installations usually have their administrative jurisdiction's flag, plus Canada's. However, in Quebec, the only places I've noticed that have the national flag of Canada, are federal institutions. All other institutions, provincial, municipal, schools, and the such, usually only arbor the Fleur-de-lis. The exception to the schools, is often Anglophone schools, which are mostly federalist. Indeed, since the matter which is taught in schools is decided is in the jurisdiction of the provincial government, the Quebec Ministry of Education teaches a pro-Quebec, anti-Anglophone/Canada program.

So, although this might seem an extremely controversial and political statement, I think that perhaps Quebec ships fly their provincial flags, since they may be owned by separatist-leaning people or corporations... Or France might be supporting Quebec separatism 'under the table'. Speaking of which, Société Larousse still hasn't answered me about the presence of the Quebecois flag in their flag plates.
Georges Kovari, 8 January 2001


The Prime Minister (or Premier, depending on whether you consider Quebec a country or a province) of Quebec recently resigned. The party in power in Quebec currently is the separatist party, Parti Quebecois. There appears to be only one heir-apparent, one M. Landry, a stronger separatist than the resigning premier, Lucien Bouchard. In his politicking, he made a comment about the Quebec flag flying as opposed to "le chiffon rouge" (translation: red rag) across Quebec. Instantly he was accused by the Ottawa government of insulting the Canadian flag, although next day he hastily backtracked, indicating that "un chiffon" was meant to refer to the red rag a matador waves before a bull. (There aren't a lot of matadors in Quebec, although I dare say there is a lot of bull - oops, was that a political statement?) However he insisted he would not be flying the Canadian flag anywhere it doesn't belong (or must).

It turns out that the Quebec actually turned down an $800,000 (or maybe it was $8M) grant from Ottawa to renovate Quebec City zoo, because Ottawa required the Canadian flag be flown beside the Quebec flag in order to receive the money.

Following this flag flap, which of course raised his profile across the country and his support with the separatists, CBC has had a couple of documentary segments about how Canadians fly flags. It appears we do so when paid to do so (except in Quebec). All the CFL (Canadian Football League) teams receive funding from Ottawa to stick a maple leaf on the back of the helmet
Rob Raeside, 1 February 2001


From the Montreal Gazette (February 16, 2001):

About 180 people gathered in Dorval last night to celebrate National Flag Day.

The event at the Sarto Desnoyers Community Centre was organized by the Equality Party and featured enough Canadian flags - big, small and even one made of cheesecake - to make the entire Parti Quebecois caucus see red.

Bernard Landry has complained about the 12 Maple Leafs he can see from the window of his Quebec City office. But if Equality Party leader Keith Henderson has his way, the deputy premier will have even more to complain about.

Henderson said last night he wants his party to give official backing to a private member's bill - introduced by Liberal backbencher Brenda Chamberlain of Guelph, Ont. - that would establish an oath of allegiance to the Canadian flag, as is done in the U.S.

They do it in the States, why can't we do it here," he said of the oath. "It will also have a practical purpose. There are a lot of francophones who don't want to swear an oath of allegiance to the queen; at least that way they can take an oath of allegiance to something."

Henderson also wants the federal Liberal government to adopt a law making it mandatory to fly the Canadian flag more prominently than others.

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