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Are You Handling Your Canadian Flag Properly?

Many cottagers in Canada fly a Canadian flag at the end of their dock or along their shoreline. However, many Canadians are not aware that there are many rules and proper etiquette when it comes to handling and flying the flag. In preparation for Canada Day we have put together a list of tips for handling the Canadian Flag properly and respectfully.

Displaying the Flag

– It may be flown by night as well as by day.

– If hung horizontally, the upper part of the leaf (the points of the leaf) should be up and the stem down.

– If hung vertically, the flag should be placed so that the upper part of the leaf points to the left and the stem to the right from the point of view of the observer facing the Flag.

– The top left (first) quarter or canton should be placed in the position nearest the top of the flagpole or mast. When carried, the Flag should be respected.

Disposal of Flags

When a flag becomes tattered and is no longer in a suitable condition for use, it should be destroyed in a dignified way.

A flag is considered to be tattered or worn when the colour has faded, it has developed a hole, or the outermost seam (fly) of the flag has become frayed. When a flag is no longer in a suitable condition for use, it should be disposed of in a dignified manner.

Disposal of such flags may be handled in the following manner:

– Return flag(s) to participating retail stores who will dispose of them;

– Flags made of natural fibres (wool, cotton, linen) should be burned in a dignified manner; privately without ceremony or public attention being drawn to the destruction of the material;

– Flags made of synthetic materiel (nylon or polyester) should be respectfully torn into strips, with each element of the flag reduced to a single colour, so that the remaining pieces do not resemble a flag. The individual pieces should then be placed in a bag for disposal. The shreds of fabric should not be re-used or fashioned into anything.

Folding the National Flag

There is a specific process for the National Flag of Canada to be folded. The Canadian flag draped over a casket symbolizes a final tribute that celebrates a life that has passed. Being laid to rest with the Flag is an honour that is not solely reserved for the funerals of soldiers, veterans, and dignitaries but for all Canadians.

Source: Government of Canada - Rules for flying the National Flag of Canada

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