Being proud of one’s country isn’t anything like the vice of nationalism which relishes in feelings of superiority that spawned so much bloodshed and wars. Defined as follows, Patriotism is devoted love, support, and defense of one’s country; national loyalty. As we prepare to celebrate Canada Day, let’s take a moment to cherish what we love about our country. For example:

  • We have stable government both locally and nationally
  • We welcome those wishing to create a better life for themselves & their families
  • We respect human rights
  • We come to the aid of those in need in other countries

Keeping these ideas in mind, we shouldn’t ever feel ashamed to show this honest pride in our great nation. Nothing makes me more disappointed when I see the reaction of people at a sporting event when our national anthem is performed. There shouldn’t be chatting or laughing or generally bored looks. Raise your voice loud and proud to sign our anthem. And gentlemen, kindly remove your headgear. Ladies, that includes ball caps, too.

Are you aware of flag etiquette? Have you ever heard of this? Do you know the dignity that is accorded our flag? Here are some pointers from the Government of Canada’s own website on this topic.

  • The national flag should be flown from its own mast.
  • The national flag should not be used as a seat cover/table cloth. Nor should it be draped on a platform or dais on stage.
  • It’s discouraged from using the flag to cover a memorial or statue prior to an unveiling.
  • Nothing should be pinned or sewn to the flag.
  • Our national flag shouldn’t be signed or marked in any way…for example, signatures.
  • When the flag is raised or lowered, or when it is carried past in a parade, everyone should face the flag, hats removed, and all should remain silent. Those in uniform should salute.

Even using disposable plates or backpacks or napkins with the flag splashed across the middle seems disrespectful to me. I would include clothing + underwear in this category, too. The Maple Leaf on its own would be sufficient instead of the entire flag.

To continue in the spirit of patriotism, Julie Blais Comeau wrote an excellent piece about Canadian Flag Etiquette.

Teach your children the importance of showing the utmost respect for their country that provides so many opportunities of healthy growth and development for families and economies.

I wish all of my readers a wonderful Canada Day celebration!!!

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