PhotoHunter: “Flags”

With Canada Day approaching (July 1 – unless it falls on a Sunday at which point “Canada Day” is the 2nd…. except that all the celebrations are on the Sunday which is July 1st and “called” Canada Day, which means that you get to celebrate Canada Day on “Canada Day” and get the day of on Monday which is Canada Day….. unless you are someone who works in retail or a service job… Then you get to WORK  and wait on everyone else who is celebrating on “Canada Day”  — don’t ask….)… I thought I would share just a few of the flags you might see.

If you are wondering at the lack of crowds, that is because there are thousands of people up on Parliament Hill watching the Noon celebrations. Once they end, there are thousands of people out on the streets, painted with flags, wearing flags, waving flags…. Unfortunately, my camera battery died just at the crucial time.

I will be taking more photos, this year. You can check back and see them. Meanwhile, these are from the last few years.

The flag atop the Peace Tower, Parliament Buildings, Ottawa.

The flag atop the Peace Tower, Parliament Buildings, Ottawa.


The RCMP escort for the Governor General

The RCMP escort for the Governor General and Prime Minister

The RCMP escort

The RCMP escort

Flags aloft

Flags aloft

Flags held high....

Flags held high....

Flags held low....

Flags held low....

...and Flags held somewhere in between....

...and Flags held somewhere in between.... (those are my grand-nephews and niece)

But the place that leaving a flag means the most….

... on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, at the National War Memorial...

... on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, at the National War Memorial...

By the end of the day, there are thousands.

On November 11th, people leave their lapel poppies atop the tomb. By the end of the day, one can hardly see the tomb at all.

The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier was designed to be approached and touched, not kept away from Canadians. Unfortunately, it’s approachability had led to problems. Some people don’t even know what it is and stand or sit on it. Last year, scandal erupted when drunken louts were photographed and filmed urinating on the National War Memorial. Now, guards stand nearby during events such as this.

Funny true story about the Canadian flag. I was out in Oregon visiting my brother and sister. One day, my brother took me to the University of Oregon where he worked. We went through the library because he heard they were setting up a display on Canada he thought I might like to see.

Basically, it was two library display cases with some pamphlets and books on Canada. Throughout the display cases were a number of Canadian flags, each and every one of which was upside down (the leaf top pointing down). When I pointed this out, my brother laughed and I said that if it was an American flag, he’d be pretty upset. He agreed and we went off to find the librarian to point out this “travesty”… When I pointed out the error, he said… Oh! I didn’t know those were FLAGS! I thought they were just decorations….”

I guess a little research for the display might have gone a long way to helping apprise him of the fact that this was our flag.

My mother’s lawyer, John Matheson, later a Member of Parliament under Lester B. Pearson, was one of those responsible for choosing Canada’s new flag, back in 1965.

I remember Mr. Matheson very well, though I only net him when I was 5 when he hamdled my adoption by my strp-Dad. I remember him because he had been wounded during the war and let me feel the soft spot where he had no skull… true story!


  1. zeusiswatching said,

    July 4, 2009 at 8:25 am

    When my family drove to Windsor (a visit) we stopped to eat at a really nice Chinese restaurant and then stopped into a little store of some sort where I (at the age of 11 (I think) purchased a little hand held Canadian flag.

    It was a long drive back to Minneapolis (one of those get in the car and Dad drives forever family vacations), but I had change, a dollar bill, and a flag from another country. I was so elated.

  2. jmb said,

    June 28, 2009 at 9:45 pm

    Great post Mudhooks. I remember the great flag debate, which went on for 9 very long months. Imagine.

    Happy weekend to you.

  3. kaye said,

    June 27, 2009 at 9:46 pm

    that’s alot of canadian pride 🙂 my photo hunt is here Thanks

  4. srp said,

    June 27, 2009 at 8:32 pm

    How different from the current flag was the older one? I seem to remember that the maple leaf was always prominent. Great story to go with stunning pictures. My flags are here.

  5. Tara R. said,

    June 27, 2009 at 7:54 pm

    That first photo is stunning, so beautiful.

    I am also stunned that a librarian didn’t know that the flags were upside down and even more that he didn’t even know they were flags. Amazing.

  6. June 27, 2009 at 7:13 pm

    Lots of flag photos! Nice photos too. My post is up, come on by.

  7. Mai said,

    June 27, 2009 at 7:10 pm

    Cool entry..thanks for I know more not only about your flag but your country as well.

  8. JC said,

    June 27, 2009 at 6:39 pm

    What an interesting post! now I must go see what your flag looked like before…

  9. Carver said,

    June 27, 2009 at 5:38 pm

    This was a great post. Not only do you have some wonderful shots for the theme but I enjoyed the narrative so much.

  10. June 27, 2009 at 2:44 pm

    It looks like a good celebration! I do like the Canadian flag. I shudder to think what the other choices were though!

  11. YTSL said,

    June 27, 2009 at 2:28 pm

    Learnt a lot from this post! E.g., I didn’t realize that the flag I think of as the Canadian flag has only just been that since 1965. (In my defence, the flag *is* older than me… ;b)

  12. Gemma said,

    June 27, 2009 at 2:00 pm

    Certainly a grand parade of celebration! Lovely collection of photos!

  13. magiceye said,

    June 27, 2009 at 10:40 am

    wow that sure is a great number of flags! all lovely captures!

  14. azahar said,

    June 27, 2009 at 9:57 am

    I vaguely remember the choosing of the new flag. I’ve always liked that flag. Very cheerful.

    • mudhooks said,

      June 27, 2009 at 10:01 am

      I remember poring over all the designs. They printed them in the paper and Canadians were invited to send in their own designs. So many of them were absolutely horrifying… and mystifying…

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