Today there will be a vote in the House of Commons on whether the Canadian flag atop the Peace Tower should be lowered to half-mast when a Canadian soldier dies in combat.

After it came to power the Harper government ordered the custom of lowering the flag to stop. Now all three opposition parties want the practice resumed.

The Globe and Mail smells a rat here. The paper believes lowering the flag to half-mast every time a Canadian soldier dies smacks of anti-war sentiment dressed up as a way to honour the fallen. Others say the Harper government does not want to highlight the deaths of Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan. Further, for deeply symbolic gestures to remain deeply symbolic, they cannot be repeated so often they lose any real meaning.

As it stands now the Peace Tower flag is lowered to mark the deaths of federal officials such as member of parliament and lieutenant-governors.

Wouldn’t a soldier who has made the supreme sacrifice in battle deserve the same honour?

What do you think?



  1. 1

    I’d like to see what real veterans think, but my opinion is that those who made the ultimate sacrifice did so to ensure that we may keep our flags flying high and proud. We honour the fallen on Remembrance Day, that is appropriate and has all the ceremony and solemnity that such sacrifice deserves.

    That anti-war parties are attempting to wrap themselves in flags for the fallen is a craven act and they should be ashamed of their behaviour.

  2. 2

    dailybayonet –

    I believe the Canadian Legion agrees with the Harper government that the flag should not be lowered each time a soldier dies in combat. But other soldier groups disagree.

    Many thanks for your comment.

  3. 3
    Chimera Says:

    I’m a real veteran, and I think this whole fuss is stupid.

    Remembrance Day is the official day for mourning and honoring the military dead. That’s the day for the entire country. But it’s a collective day. All are special, so no one is special.

    But for every fallen soldier, there is a real community of mourners who want and need to honor him right now. He was special to a relatively small group of friends and family who want him remembered. But does that mean the whole country should lower their flags?

    I don’t think so,

    Every community has a cenotaph. That’s where the flag should be lowered.

  4. 4
    `Jim Says:

    How about a happy medium? The Parliament buildings have 3 masts. How about using one of the side masts. By the way, what is a real veteran?. Does it mean a member of the armed forces who has been decorated vis-a-vis a veteran who has not been decorated?

  5. 5
    Chimera Says:

    Jim, those side masts have another purpose. However, I did hear one fellow on the radio this morning say that maybe a flag pole can be erected on the grounds of the Parliament buildings but separate from them. A special flag could be designed, and, upon the death of a Canadian soldier in the theater, the flag could be raised.

    I thought that was rather imaginative.

    The design for the flag could be done as a contest of some kind, adjudicated by widows of fallen soldiers. The government could keep their sticky fingers off it until it comes time to raise it, and then all they have to do is set up the flag pole. How simple is that?

    And a real veteran is someone who has served time in the military. That is all.

  6. 6
    Jim Says:

    Chimera:- Thanks for the flag note. Also. if a real veteran served in the military, what did a veteran do?.

  7. 7
    Chimera Says:

    I dunno. It was dailybayonet who was making a distinction, and I don’t know what he was using as a yardstick.

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