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Jun 30 2009 11:59 PM
The current Manitoba flag is a provincial version of the Canadian Red Ensign, where the provincial shield—featuring a plains bison—replaces the Canadian shield.
In early March 2009, members of the province's governing NDP announced a campaign to replace the existing flag because it is "outdated and a relic from the days of our former British colonial heritage." Sounds like an argument from the 1964 Flag Debate. Ironically, Manitoba didn’t bother to adopt a provincial flag until 1965, soon after the Maple Leaf became law. The choice of a red ensign was clearly in reaction to the absence of colonial symbols on the new national flag. (The only other province to adopt an ensign as its flag was Ontario. However, both Newfoundland and British Columbia incorporated stylized Union Jacks into their provincial flag designs.)

No word yet on whether Premier Gary Doer plans to strike a legislative committee to “study” the matter.


Jun 30 2009 11:59 PM
On Sunday, February 15, 2009, the City of Mississauga held a special ceremony marking the 44th anniversary of the adoption of the maple leaf flag. Presiding over the event was Mayor Hazel McCallion. Speakers included Rick Archbold, author of A Flag for Canada, and Alexander Gerrie, a veteran who recited his moving poem "Canada Proud,"  written in 1965 to celebrate the birth of the new flag. The Mississauga Festival Youth Choir sang the national anthem in French and English. A colour party consisting of an RCMP constable and two sea cadets from HMCS Haida reenacted the ceremonial raising of the first flag. The celebration concluded with the singing of "O Canada" and the cutting of the flag's 44th birthday cake by Mayor McCallion, who was flanked by local MPs and MPPs and the author of A Flag for Canada.
Mississauga Flag Day is an example of what a determined individual citizen can accomplish. The event was the brainchild of Mississauga resident Athina Tagidou, who grew alarmed at what she perceived as a lack of patriotism in area schools. In 2008 she persuaded Mississauga City Council to back the event. With an even more successful second year, Flag Day looks set to become an annual family event in Mississauga.


Jun 30 2009 11:59 PM
The Canadian Red Ensign, which in 1964 lost out to the red-and-white Maple Leaf is now an official symbol of Canada. Here's how it happened.
Early in 2007, the federal government began to finalize plans for the rededication of Canada's majestic Vimy Memorial in France. The rededication would take place on April 9, the 90th  anniversary of the famous WWI battle in which Canadian troops engineered the first real Allied victory of the war, but at great human cost. Many historians consider the Battle of Vimy Ridge the moment when Canadians truly began to think of their country as a nation in its own right.
With the Vimy rededication looming, Canadian veterans began to lobby the government to fly the ensign at Vimy. In the end, the government agreed to fly the old flag not only on April 9, but from then on. As a result, the Canadian Heraldic Authority entered the Canadian Red Ensign into the Public Register of Arms, Flags and Badges of Canada. Thus the flag that had lost out to the Maple Leaf in 1964 finally gained official status.
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