Patriotism and the Flag

I once read, in reference to people acting “green” that it didn’t matter how they decided to act green, just so long as they did it. Until I read that sentence, I  really was derisive to people jumping on the green bandwagon and being duped by greenwashing. I felt smug in my True-Greenness and so when I would hear about some twinkie who was excited because her favourite clothing store now used biodegradable plastic bags and isn’t it “tres cool that they are being so earth friendly?” I would roll my eyes and laugh. But then I read that sentence in a book or online somewhere, and it changed the way I thought about it.

Really? Everything helps. It does, truly. So what if I think they could do better? I should just get on with doing better myself, right?

I was walking Mooki and Kale yesterday and was struck by the sheer number of Canadian flags flying on houses in my neighbourhood. If you were a retailer who chose to bring in flag poles and flags about a month ago? You are a smart cookie. I have never seen this much national pride, not on Canada Day, not during the Olympics in other cities in which Canada is participating, and certainly not in an everyday sort of way.

So at first, I scoffed, thinking to myself  “These people are just like the unwashed cool-to-be-green masses.”

But then, I had to admit that even I’m finding myself watching the Olympics coverage a lot, and while I am not 100% anti-Olympics, I’m certainly on the “meh” side of the Olympics fence. But man, this Olympics thing? Despite crappy snow, and ice-resurfacers that don’t work, and double decker buses that are struggling to get up the hills to Whistler… we are doing a pretty bang up job of hosting the scrutiny of the world, what with this flowers blooming, 15 degrees and sunny, helpful and friendly locals attitude.

I love being a Canadian, and have always been proud. I love our quirky politeness and our forthright redneckery, and I love the fact that really? Does anybody really hate us? I mean, is there any nation out there plotting to get us? Although not quite as sleek and well packaged as our neutral friends in Switzerland, Canada carries no target on its back.

And I truly love our flag – I love the simple yet all encompassing symbol on it. I love the no-fuss decision making process for the number of points on the Maple leaf on our flags symbolizes. It does not, contrary to popular belief, denote the 10 provinces and 1 point for all the territories. It was chosen because wind tunnel tests said 11 points was the least blurry. I love that the selection of a national flag sparked a huge debate because you just know that Canada is all about making a polite debate about everything.

“The flag is the symbol of the nation’s unity, for it, beyond any doubt, represents all the citizens of Canada without distinction of race, language, belief or opinion.” ~ Honourable Maurice Bourget, Speaker of the Senate, February 15, 1965, the day our flag was inaugurated.

So I say wave your flags don’t be afraid to keep that flagpole up even after the Olympics have gone away, because patriotism is contagious.

12 years ago

1 Comment

  1. Its emotional to actually be downtown and be part of the crazy but great madness that is everything patriotic… Love it!


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