Why Canada gets my maples all syrupy

I poked some fun at Canada in my last blog, but really, I do love the Australians of the North, and as we all know, the best love comes from a very personal place down under.

I’ve only just heard that on February 15th this year, Canada celebrated the 50th anniversary of its beautiful flag. Congratulations, eh!

And what a way to celebrate – this enormous $5 flag stamp, in minisheet, made of actual fabric!

2015 Canada 50th Anniversary of the Canadian Flag minisheet2015 Canada 50th Anniversary of the Canadian Flag domestic stampWhat a beauty. I’m declaring it my Stamp of the Day. There’s also a more mundane domestic-rate stamp too, which is dreary… except for that flag.

Canada’s flag is so wonderful. Bright, bold, and totally unmistakeable, whether flying high in an Olympic stadium, or hastily stitched onto the side of an American backpacker’s luggage in a two-bit Jordanian hotel.

If my hasty Wikipedia-ing serves me correctly, Canada’s official national flag used to be the UK’s Union Jack. The Canadian Red Ensign (below) stepped in whenever the Canucks wanted to distinguish themselves as actual Canadians and not British people.

Red Ensign of CanadaIt’s hard for me to believe that Canadians found the necessary pride and national fortitude to cut their apron strings and get themselves their own flag 50 years ago.

The reason for my disbelief is that here in Australia we still have a flag based on the mother country, with the Union Jack taking the place of highest honour for itself, sneering down at our southern stars.

Those of us with our hearts in our homeland and our minds focused somewhere other than the past are trying to do what we can about this, but it’s been a very slow road. We face much well-intentioned but misguided resistance.

So today I salute you, Canada, and in your honour I shall sing your national anthem, Blame Canada, and I shall long for the day when the new Australian flag flutters proudly on a giant stamp made of real fabric, or perhaps something more Australian, like kangaroo scrotum or casual racism.

Until then, I’ll just have to continue picking my national flag from a police lineup.

Union Jack flag lineup

(It’s the third one. The second one is New Zealand’s, and their Prime Minister is trying to do something about it.)

By the way, Canada: just so you know, all the other Commonwealth nations are currently in Australia and New Zealand playing for cricket’s World Cup and we’re saying some pretty funny things about you behind your back. But carry on playing your adorable icey stickball, and we’ll see you at the Commonwealth Games where we’ll all have a laugh at the Americans. x

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