We fly the Canadian flag from my home usually from May to November. I like to do that to remind me of what a great country we live in and to cheer on the birthdays in my family, most of which occur in these Spring & Summer months.
But yesterday, my wife, as she came from outside, asked me to remove and take down the flag. Her reason: We do not want to be seen as ‘conservative extremists’, ‘anti-vaxxers etc,’ part of the ‘fringe Freedom ideas’ crowds with pockets of odd radicalized groups that are emerging in Canada, USA and other parts of the world.
We are not like that, she said.
See a truck with a flag? You can be sure its owner thinks like them. Go and take a drive in the surrounding country side and you can tell who is a supporter by the flags and slogans on their property. These views are not only developed politically but also by religious extremists.
But I said: we are not them! yah, she countered, but people may think differently when they see we are flying the Canadian flag. We should not give them an idea that we agree and are part of their ‘movement’ or even their militant (political and far out religious, anti-cultural) ideological perspectives.
So yes I took it down. I agree with my wife. Our beautiful flag has been captured!
And we all know why……It was mostly the memory of the ‘Freedom Convoy’ demonstrations events last winter, taking over and occupying downtown Ottawa by the Parliament buildings, blocking access to streets and resident dwellings, threatening (shouting) everyday security and annoying the residents with the continual running of their tractor motors and blaring their horns day and night together with people running around draped in Canadian flags with signs carrying outrageous slogans having their around the clock ‘Freedom parties’ in the streets. Rebellion!
Well, it certainly emptied out respect for the flag and what it stands for. A democracy and rule of law. A fairness dominion from coast to coast.
Flying the Canadian flag now conjures up, not patriotism or celebration or fairness, peace and equity but a new kind of feeling, a stirring in the mind and sentiment never before experienced while viewing the flag: there are thoughts of disruptions, anger, strife, brashness, arrogance, extremeness, lawlessness, meanness, disobedience, mischief, standoffishness, disloyalty and should I say it:….Fascist ideas and hooliganism tendencies. We watched it all on live TV. Border blockings, ignoring peace orders and shouting crude (almost terrorist) demands. Confronting police, local authorities, attacking our politicians and others charged to make our communities places of well-being for all citizens, while shouting and cursing them and even attacking some. Threatening by email and other means. Even those who report these actions in newspapers and other media are being harassed and threatened.
Yes, that is why now, it all feels so different.
Pride in the Canadian flag has gone out the window. A symbol of peace and stability with kindness and hospitality has become a weapon for war. (maybe I’ve gone too far?)
I can’t help it, but it is a sad day for us all.
Can we regain our goodness again? Be open about our differences but remain civil and respectful? Can we again be the country of choice for the depressed, the refugee and persecuted in the world?
Think about it!
JS September 3, 2022
Quote: “The thing worse than rebellion is the thing that causes rebellion.” —Frederick Douglass