Mr. Mario Dumont: “Jour du Souvenir: relevez ce drapeau!” [“Remembrance Day, raise this flag!”]

In Banana Republics, country’s flags are meaningless… the expected resulting danger is to start seeing more flags of sectarian groups than the country’s own flag… As per Mr. Gibran Khalil Gibran who wrote about Lebanon: “Pity the nation divided into tribes… each calling itself a nation”

Thank you Mr. Mario Dumont for your beautiful article that Bambi is honoured to quickly translate into English and post (OK with acknowledgements to her faithful friend, Mr. Google Translate!).

First, here is Mr. Dumont’s article in French:, published today in the Journal de Montréal. Second, its translation below:

“I specify that I do not have a Canadian flag on my field. And if I had a mast, I would hoist the fleurdelysé [this is Québec’s beautiful flag] on it straight away. However, I have the utmost respect for what a flag means to a country.

I respect even more what the flag symbolizes for those who courageously served under this flag in the Armed Forces. Pride, duty, sense of country, the flag brings up several feelings.

On the eve of Remembrance Day 2021, Canada finds itself in a curious position. Canadian flags may not be half-masted on November 11 as a sign of respect for Canadians killed in action. Why ? For the simple reason that the flags have been at half mast since the end of May.

Residential schools

Since the horrific discovery of the remains of over 200 children on the grounds of an Aboriginal residential school in Kamloops, the Canadian government has maintained this symbol. The question arose on July 1, Canada Day. The Trudeau government kept the flags at half mast and made this holiday more modest.

This permanent half-masting is a dead end. Yes, the flags had to be lowered at the time to underline the collective sadness and indignation at the horrors of the past. But putting them at half mast permanently ends up going unnoticed and prevents other tragedies from being highlighted [even Canadian deer said so, as per the two earlier posts further below].

This is not to downplay the seriousness of the residential school mess. Children’s lives have been taken. We will remember a stain in Canadian history.

The millions of citizens of Canada want reconciliation, of course. They agree that their government will take steps to ensure reconciliation. But the citizens of Canada do not live in constant shame. Their country is more than this inhuman episode.

Remembrance Day

Six months later, we realize the problem. Once the government makes the half-mast permanent, how do you get out of it? Indigenous representatives now interpret a flag raising not as a return to normalcy, but as an insult.

The Remembrance Day case speaks volumes. Veterans are absolutely right to want to hoist the flags so that they can be lowered at half mast during ceremonies. One tragedy in our history cannot erase another. It would be unacceptable not to be able to make the annual symbolic gesture of half-masting the flag because the flag is permanently kept halfway up.

The Legion of Honor of Canada seeks compromise solutions to commemorate Remembrance Day with dignity. One of the options would be to hoist the flag momentarily and then lower it … permanently.

The history of Canada, like that of all countries, is made up of beautiful and less beautiful chapters. The flag raised means that the people are still standing, not that they are erasing their past.

Bambi’s earlier posts on this topic:

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