The Town of Milton recently revised its proclamation and flag raising policy earlier this year, specifically no longer issuing proclamations for national independence days, republic days or raising the flags of other nations.
Ward 2 Local Councillor John Challinor II moved approval of the report and Ward 2 Regional Councillor Rick Malboeuf seconded that approval, as both had expressed their great concern over recent related events at Town Hall and had provided valuable input to Town staff as to how to create a best practices policy. The new policy was supported by a strong majority of Milton Council.
The new policy is consistent with federal and provincial flag protocol policies as well as those currently deployed by the country’s more thoughtful municipalities.
The Government of Canada has only ever flown a foreign flag on the Peace Tower on one occasion in the country’s 154-year history, that being the Dutch flag, which was flown on January 19, 1943, on the occasion of the birth of Princess Margriet in a Ottawa hospital. Canada hosted the Dutch Royal Family in exile from Holland during World War II.
Mr. Challinor and Mr. Malboeuf successfully argued that, just as is the practice on Parliament Hill and Queen’s Park, the Canadian flag, the Ontario flag and the Town flag should be the only flags that fly from local municipal buildings, except on those occasions where the Town recognizes legitimate public awareness campaigns, charitable fundraising campaigns and arts and cultural celebrations of organizations that operate within the community.
Both councillors contend, based on feedback they received from many local taxpayers, that flying the flags of other countries can be controversial because of human rights issues in those countries. And, over the last 154 years, most Canadians left their countries of birth for Canada to establish a better life and don’t necessarily want to be reminded about where they immigrated from by municipal proclamations and flag raisings that recognize those countries. CR