Publication:

The Amherst News - 2020-03-25

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Funeral for a flag

OPINION

Frank Likely Frank Likely lives in Springhill and writes a weekly column for the Amherst News.

Recently, residents of a Prairie community gathered for a funeral. There were political and church leaders present. The Royal Canadian Legion provided a colour party, and local cadets were on parade. There was a eulogy of sorts, some prayer, and the remains were laid to rest as Taps was played. This funeral was not for some esteemed citizen of the community, but for the collection of worn flags which were no longer suitable to be flown. I have flag poles at both the front and back of my house from which I fly various flags for many seasons. But mostly I fly either the Canadian or the Nova Scotia flags. As a result, I have several old scraps which used to be flags stored in the house. Whether it is flown from a public building or a private residence, the protocols remain the same for the proper disposal of a worn flag. I know I could burn these frayed flags in my fireplace, but somehow that seems somewhat less than dignified to me. Adding a flag to the fire I'm using to heat my house just doesn't seem enough for me. Thus, I have several frayed ones on hand. I was quite interested to read about the ceremony held in this Prairie community. It was a simple, yet dignified, way for to dispose of worn flags. It was also a wonderful teaching opportunity for the community. Residents, young and old, came together to honour a symbol which brings us together as citizens. I would love to see this moving tribute brought to our part of the country. The community on the Prairies holds its ceremony on Flag Day in February, but perhaps Natal Day or Canada Day might be appropriate occasions locally. I guess you could say with this column, I'm running the idea up the flagpole to see if it flies.

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