Sunday, March 2, 2014

The Red Ensign

The old Canadian flag. Some prefer it to the maple leaf. To quote:
The adoption of the new flag was part of a larger project, undertaken by the Liberal Party, bureaucrats and public intellectuals, to remove historical symbols from public life and invent a new Canadian identity. There were various reasons why they did this. One was the rise of Quebec separatism.  

‘The British connection’ had always been central to English Canadian identity. The Loyalists and the Founding Fathers had rejected revolution in favour of British institutions. That was why we were a parliamentary democracy, why our history had been more orderly and why we were more moderate and polite—so we believed—than our neighbours to the south.

The Red Ensign, which bears the Union Jack in its corner and the shield from Canada’s coat of arms in the fly, reflected this identity. However, Liberals such as then-prime minister Lester Pearson believed that by discarding British symbols and creating a “distinctly Canadian” identity, they could appease the separatists. But here’s the problem: Canada’s history was bound up with the British Empire, so the new identity would have to bear no relation to the history of the country.

So what would fill in the void? Aha. Here we get to a second reason why the Liberals were vandalizing Canada's traditional culture: ideology. (Read more.)

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