It’s not unusual for a Canadian school to be flying the flag of Canada. But it’s quite unusual to see the Canadian flag sharing flagpole space with another flag. And it is even more unusual when that other flag happens to be the Pride Flag – well, at least in frigid February, that is.
But that was the sight that greeted us in Peterborough, Ont., the other day when we parked near Peterborough Collegiate. A flagpole was brandishing both the flag of Canada as well as the Pride Flag, or more specifically, the Pride Progress Flag – although not the most recent Pride Progress Flag (alas, it’s hard keeping track of the continuously-updated emblems embraced by the spirit unicorn set...)
But here’s the thing: flag protocol demands that the Canadian flag does not share a flagpole with any other flag. And really, what’s the deal with a Pride Flag being on display in the middle of winter in the first place? It used to be the rainbow people celebrated Pride Day, then Pride Week, then Pride Month (that month being June.) But lately, Pride Month has morphed into Pride Season (we’re guessing the entire summertime.) These days, it would appear Pride Year is all the rage.
We reached out to Greg Kidd, a spokesman for the Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board for an explanation. Our questions were the following:
- Why is the school [Peterborough Collegiate] breaching Canadian flag protocol?
- Why is the "Pride Progress Flag" on display given that "Pride Season" ended months ago?
- We noticed this particular Pride Progress Flag is outdated, missing the so-called "purple flurple" symbol to represent the "intersex" community. Have "intersex" people raised concerns about the flag being outdated?
Mr. Kidd responded:
“We agree that the Canadian flag must be treated with respect and dignity at all times. It is important to note that the federal government, in its description of national flag etiquette, makes clear that the ‘rules applied by the federal government are in no way mandatory for individuals or organizations; they may serve as guidelines for all persons who wish to display the National Flag of Canada and other flags in Canada.’
As our schools are equipped with one flagpole per school, we ensure that the national flag always hold the position of honour by being flown at the top of the flagpole, and always having first position, if flown with other flags.
Schools and board facilities may display corporately endorsed flags, such as the Pride Flag, throughout the year.”
We appreciate the clarification, even though we are still wondering if Pride Season is now 365 days – at least in Peterborough.
As for that AWOL “purple flurple”, our heart breaks for those in the student body who identify as intersex… whatever that is.