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 Tea Party: Tea cup race training in full gear

Mayor challenges Oak Bay fire, police deputies in June 3

Victoria heroes rappel 15 storeys for the Make-A-Wish Foundation

Over $60,000 raised at city’s first Rope for Hope event

Malahat closure snarls traffic

Traffic moving slowly on detour options, surrounding areas

Victoria man claims he was racially profiled at local health food store

Loss prevention officer employed by third party company refused customer entry to store

Two people injured in crash on Malahat

Crews have stopped the fuel truck leak but Trans-Canada Highway remains closed

Two people injured in crash on Malahat

Crews have stopped the fuel truck leak but Trans-Canada Highway remains closed

B.C. pipeline goes ahead despite scrapped Pacific Northwest LNG

NEB approves amendment for $1.4-billion natural gas North Montney Mainline Project

Update: Wildfire northwest of Kamloops jumps from 60 to 800 hectares

Ground crews and aircraft are responding to an estimated 50 hectare wildfire approximately 55 kilometers northwest of Kamloops, near the Deadman Vidette Road.

Looming tax changes could bring pay hike for Saanich councillors

Will Saanich council raise remuneration rates? That is one of the looming… Continue reading

Feds limit chinook fishery to help killer whale recovery

Chinook is main food source for only 76 southern residents killer whales left

B.C. mom who died just before daughter’s wedding wanted family to be happy: twin

Ann Wittenberg was pulled into the ocean while on a surf board in Tofino last weekend

Courtenay-Alberni MP calls for lifeguards at popular surf spot near Tofino

The Pacific Rim National Park Reserve is defending its decision to cancel the surf guard program.

Harvey Weinstein to surrender in sex misconduct probe: officials

Would be first criminal charge against Weinstein since scores of women came forward

Special Olympic bowlers strike gold

Athletes from Saanich and Esquimalt reach podium at Special Olympics Canada Bowling Championships

Most Read