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Letter: Red Ensign not a hate symbol

The Red Ensign was our flag during some of the most heroic times in our history

Red Ensign not a hate symbol

Many people may not know that Ahmed Hussen, Canada’s minister of Diversity and Inclusion, has approved a booklet to be distributed in Canadian schools that condemns the Red Ensign, our nation’s former flag. The booklet doesn’t stop there. It describes the ensign as an inappropriate hate promoting symbol.

So let’s discuss this. The Red Ensign was our flag during some of the most heroic times in our history. My father served under it during the Second World War and my grandfather during the First World War. Millions of others did as well, and many soldiers died under it defending our freedoms. The flag symbolized our situation at that time as a member of the British Commonwealth. Those are historic facts not up for dispute.

A contextual collapse seems to be happening in Canada. History requires that all relevant facts be considered, and that the context and conditions of the time be taken into account. Clearly, Minister Hussen disagrees, and is intent on reconstructing our history to serve his purposes, part of a dangerous trend being promoted across Canada. As someone who taught Canadian history in the public school system for decades, I can tell you that this is real, not imaginary.

This same booklet urges kids in our classrooms to confront their fellow classmates or teachers if they mention “problem politicians” or speak excessively about freedom, also stating that the Conservative Party of Canada has been infiltrated by racists and white supremacists. Apparently Leslyn Lewis is proof of this!

The Red Ensign is important. It should not be denigrated or erased. What’s next? Burning it in public? Forbidding it from being flown on Remembrance Day or at Branches of the Canadian Legion? That might seem fanciful but, given today’s political climate, it could easily happen. Be proud of our historic flag. It’s part of our story and it should be honoured.

Perry Foster