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Canada isn't a Sinking Ship Yet

"Why are you flying our flag like that? It's disgraceful!" says a man as he leaves the Rally for Canada event at Queen's Park in Toronto, to which the flag bearer responds "If you knew anything about politics, you'd know what it means!"

Heated confrontations with pro-coalition protesters were coupled with fighting amongst anti-coalition protesters - at least when rally attendees crossed paths with a fellow protestor flying an inverted Canada flag.

I haven't seen a Canadian flag displayed upside-down since the accident in 1992. It made me wonder what the official rules are.

If Canada were a ship at high seas and it struck an iceberg, was taking on water, with radio communications out, and no flares left to signal for help... then flying the flag upside-down would be appropriate - it's an internationally recognized symbol for distress at sea (don't ask what happens if it's a Japanese or Swiss boat).

Is flying the flag upside-down this the protestor's way of likening our Canada, currently in parliamentary crisis, to a sinking ship? If so, I think it's a little premature to be calling for outside help.

Officially in the US, their Flag Code explicitly states: "The flag should never be displayed with union down, except as a signal of dire distress in instances of extreme danger to life or property."

Here in Canada, our Rules for Flag Flying state rather specifically the correct ways to display our flag (none of which allow for the maple leaf to be inverted), but don't go as far as saying that flying it upside-down is illegal, or disrespectful. Nor does it states that it's acceptable when aboard a boat in distress.

Apparently this hasn't stopped others in Toronto from making waves by flying our National flag upside-down as a form of protest. Let's hope this doesn't gain steam and become widely accepted.


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