ft G— iJ^k A Canadian Flag Published by NATIONAL COUNCIL NATIVE SONS OF CANADA L. E. GENDRON, National Secretary-Treasurer Transcona, Man. A CANADIAN FLAG In the year 1869 by order of Sir John A. Macdonald's government the Red Ensign with a Canadian badge in the fly, was flown as our official flag. This practice was continued for 35 years. In 1904 by order of the Minister of Public Works at that time, the Red Ensign was replaced by the Union Jack. In the year 1924, in order to distinguish offices and buildings such as those of the Canadian High Commissioner in London, and offices in foreign capitals as in Tokyo, Washington and Paris, the Red Ensign was authorized to be flown on such buildings. This same flag is authorized for use by Canada's merchant marine. At the same time the Union Jack was flown as our flag for use within Canada, though never authorized by Parliament. In any country (Canada excepted) the flag represents sovereignty of that country's government. In the United Kingdom, sovereignty resides in Parliament. The Union Jack then represents the authority of the British government. ... It is the proper flag to fly in any country under the rule of that government. This includes the United Kingdom and its dependencies. Canada is not a dependent but is a self- governing country. It is not proper therefore to fly as OUR flag one which indicates sover- eignty of another country. The Red Ensign is primarily a British flag flown by merchant vessels. It is used, however, as the flag of many British colonies. These colonial flags are all basically the Ensign. They differ only in that the badge in the fly represents a particular colony. The place of honor, the upper staff quarter, is given to the Union Jack, thus indicating that the British government exercises authority over the colony. Since that authority has, in the case of Canada, ceased to exist, it is not proper that we should fly a colonial flag. The place of honor on the Can- adian flag should be given to an emblem distinctive of the country for which the flag flies; that is, for Canada. We often hear the question, "What is wrong with the Union Jack? There is nothing wrong. It typifies the free- dom that has been won for the individual man under its protection. It has a sentimental value for those of British origin. It is a beautiful flag and cannot be mistaken for any other flag in the world. It represents the authority of the British government. We need a flag represent- ing the authority of OUR government. Though a flag really represents the govern- ment of the country for which it flies, it is looked upon also as representing the people of that country. The Union Jack in the place of honor on the Red Ensign is seen by people of foreign countries as indicating dominance of one particular race. The population of our country is of many racial origins. If we attempted to represent all or even a few of them, we should have, not a flag but rather something resembling a patchwork quilt. Order-in-Council P.C. 5888 of September 5th, 1945, states that: until such action is taken by Parliament, "His Excellency the Governor - General-in-Council, on the recommendation of the Prime Minister is pleased to order and doth hereby order that the Red Ensign with the shield of the Coat of Arms of Canada in the fly may be flown from buildings owned or occupied by the Federal Government within and without Canada." This of course was only a temporary measure pending the report of the "flag committee," and action thereon by Parliament. In November, 1945, a joint committee of the Senate and the House of Commons was appointed to choose and to recommend the adoption of a suitable design for a Canadian flag. On July 11th, 1946, this committee submitted the following recommendation: "that this Com- mittee recommend that the National Flag of Canada should be the Canadian Red Ensign with a Maple Leaf in autumn gold colors in a bordered background of white replacing the coat-of-arms in the fly " No action was taken by the government at the session then sitting nor was it introduced at the next session. Here the matter rests. We are still the only self-governing country in the world without a distinctive flag. One of the greatest needs in our country is to secure unity among all its people. Unity can be typified by something truly Canadian that will appeal to all. The Maple Leaf is admittedly the emblem of Canada. Let the Maple Leaf or some design with it as the most prominent feature, be in the place of honor on our new flag. To our people of every race and creed it will then be a symbol of unity. W.J.S.