Dear Fellow Canadian,

Before the recent passing of Canada’s last known surviving World War I Veterans, Percy Dwight Wilson and John Babcock, they signed letters noting that “The 3,598 Canadians who fought and died at Vimy will be there forever. And their flag should fly to provide a permanent visible reminder, forever.”

A beautiful replica of the Canadian Red Ensign, the original owned by the Imperial War Museum, was proudly flown at the re-dedication of the Canadian National Vimy Memorial on April 9, 2007. That ‘four province’ version of the flag is flown daily at the Welcome Centre at Vimy, and is on display inside the Centre with the British Union Jack and the Maple Leaf Flag.

Honour Over Two Million Veterans

But this classic and historic flag is not flown at the entrance to the Memorial itself. Instead, the Red Maple Leaf Flag and the French Tricolor welcome visitors to the site. While it might be debated whether such a display of ‘le tricolor’ is appropriate, the more important question is whether Wilson’s and Babcock’s letters to the Prime Minister are being respected and their wishes fulfilled.

It would take little extra effort and expense to fly the version of the Canadian Red Ensign that most accurately reflects the broad heritage of Canadians, the official version approved in April 1922 with Canada’s shield, bearing three green leaves.

It is based on the pattern of the Red Ensign of 1868 that recently sold at auction.
It is an updated version of the ‘four province flag’ that is presently flown at the Visitor Centre.
It is part of the graphic history of France, not just Canada.
It is the version under which the veterans of both World War II and the Korean War fought.
It is the version that served Canada well for 42 years.

There exist two flag post holes in an appropriate location at the Canadian National Vimy Memorial, one of which could easily be readied to receive the flag. Protocol dictates that it would need to be flown with its top edge below the level of the lower edge of the Maple Leaf flag, but there are no other restrictions.

At the same time, attention should also be directed to an appropriate display of this flag in other sites of Canadian national historic significance.

With only two months until 2011/11/11, this is a wonderful opportunity to stand up for our Canadian heritage and fly the Canadian Red Ensign forever at all three major sites:

The Canadian War Museum in Ottawa
The National War Memorial in Ottawa
The Canadian National Vimy Memorial in France

 

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