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

Oak Bay High washes cars for kids

Annual Tour de Rock fundraising car wash hits the lot Saturday at Oak Bay High

Get ready for the 39th annual Goodlife Fitness Victoria Marathon

Up to 9,000 particpants are anticipated for this year’s three-day race weekend

Impaired driver crashes into Victoria police vehicle, injures officer

Cook Street collision occured in the early morning hours of Tuesday

Artists engage as Oak Bay Arts and Culture Fortnight continues

Saturday features walking, bus tours of painted pianos

Victoria police say explicit calls continue to target women

Over 50 reports of unwanted, sexually explicit calls have come in

Reader photos: Greater Victoria’s hazy skies

Lingering smoke from wildfires contributed to the province issuing a smoky skies bulletin

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Aug. 14

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

RCMP to search for body after man drowns in B.C.’s Buntzen Lake

Officers and fire crews responded but the man from the Lower Mainland is believed to have drowned.

Police chiefs call for stricter controls on pill presses to fight opioids

Canada’s police chiefs are urging Ottawa to beef up its fight against the opioid scourge by closely vetting people who import pill presses

‘It’s like a party in your mouth’

B.C. creator’s Milkshake Burger makes its debut at the PNE

Vehicle catches fire near Vancouver Island provincial park

Fire shut down Highway 4 in both directions

Most Read