Guidelines on how to fly the Canadian flag

There are no rules or laws but “dos” and “don’ts” regarding the maple leaf

As Canada Day and the country’s 150th anniversary approaches, flag sales are likely to grow as more and more people want to put up a pole.

There are, however, “rules” about flying the Canadian flag some of which are so nuanced few Canadians could know them all. They aren’t laws, more like ethical guidelines from Heritage Canada.

“The National Flag of Canada should be displayed only in a manner befitting this important national symbol; it should not be subjected to indignity or displayed in a position inferior to any other flag or ensign,” according to Heritage Canada.

There is nothing illegal about flying a damaged flag or even burning a flag for that matter, but Heritage Canada has a strict list of “shoulds” when it comes to the maple leaf.

A few points many may have not considered: the National Flag of Canada should not be used as table cloth or a seat cover; while it is not technically incorrect to use the flag to cover a statue, monument or plaque for an unveiling ceremony, it should be discouraged; nothing should be pinned to or sewn on the flag; and the flag should not be signed or marked in any way.

At Chilliwack city hall, the Canadian flag flies on the middle pole of three, in its correct position above the British Columbia flag, which is to the left and the City of Chilliwack flag to the right.

This follows protocol, which says three flags on the same base should have the National Flag at the centre, the second-ranking flag to the left and the other to the right.

The Holland Shopping Centre on Young, similarly has three flags flying, the National Flag and two flags of the Netherlands. Heritage Canada says when the National Flag is flown with that of other sovereign nations they should be at the same height, but Canada’s should be in the “position of honour,” which is the middle. The Holland Shopping Centre got it right.

Interestingly, in terms of precedence, if the Flag of Canada is flown with that of all the province and territories, B.C.’s flag should be in the seventh position based on the order of entering Confederation.

Another common practice around Canada’s 150th will be plastic flags affixed to cars and trucks. But don’t put it on the left.

“The flag must be on a pole firmly fixed to the chassis on the front right,” Heritage Canada says about flags on motor vehicles.

So what about a damaged flag? Again, there is no law against it, but Heritage Canada says: “When a flag becomes tattered and is no longer in a suitable condition for use, it should be destroyed in a dignified way.”


@PeeJayAitch
paul.henderson@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

 

Just Posted

B.C. government invests $1.9 billion in community housing

14,000 mixed-income affordable units to be built with local housing providers, advocates

Complaint filed against B.C. naturopath who treated boy with rabid dog saliva

BC Naturopathic Association questions Dr. Anke Zimmermann’s conduct on recent treatments

Girls soccer team kicks off at Sooke school

Squad hits pitch for first time eight years

Manak calls Const. Ian Jordan fallen hero

Late Victoria cop mourned at funeral by officers from numerous local, out-of-town jurisdictions

North Saanich added to list of places that want tax exemption

District seeks meeting with Province about alternatives

Shania Twain visits Canadian Armed Forces base in B.C.

Canadian country icon thanks members of CFB Esquimalt for their service

Why a 14-year-old will lead the charge at annual marijuana protest on the Hill

Marijuana enthusiasts have long been circling April 20 on their calendars as annual day of cannabis

Spring Home Show this weekend in Colwood

West Shore Parks and Recreation will be transformed to showcase everything home related

B.C. communities await marine spill compensation years after incidents

The government maintains a Ship Source Oil Pollution Fund to compensate Canadians

RCMP say too early to know what happened in Broncos crash

RCMP Assistant Commissioner Curtis Zablocki said collission very complex

Conservative MP wants feds to close loophole for illegal border crossers

Immigration advocates call on government to suspend Canada-U.S. Safe Third Country Agreement

Alberta university criticized for honouring David Suzuki

University of Alberta plans to bestow environmentalist with honourary degree

B.C. First Nations get clarity on fishing rights from top court

Nations call federal government to settle fishing rights ‘within the true meaning of reconciliation’

Judge to decide Friday if fatal B.C. school stabbing suspect is fit to stand trial

Gabriel Klein could have trial of Abbotsford case delayed because of mental health issues

Most Read