No Labrador flag at the borders

Stephen Roberts
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The Combined Councils of Labrador's resolution to fly the Labrador flag at Labrador borders was rejected by provincial government this past week.

Back in February, the Combined Councils passed a resolution to request the Labrador flag be flown at the province's borders in Labrador West and Southern Labrador.

However, Labrador Affairs Minister Nick McGrath has sent a letter to the Combined Councils denying this request.

Presently, there are three flags flown at each of the five provincially owned landmarks at the borders of the province. They are: the Canadian flag, the Newfoundland and Labrador flag, and the Union Jack.

While the Labrador flag is unofficial, for many Labrador residents it's a cultural symbol that represents the Big Land's unique culture, heritage, and land.

Some have questioned why the Union Jack remains raised while the Labrador flag isn't. This includes Cartwright-L'Anse-au-Clair MHA Lisa Dempster.

"People feel that the Queen is well represented in our Canadian flag, so why are we flying the Union Jack?" she asks.

However, McGrath found such a notion "upsetting" and "appalling".

"It's not a flag that represents the Queen," he says. "It's a flag that represents the Commonwealth. And, to me, I have the utmost of respect for the Union Jack because that's a flag that many of our ancestors fought and died under to give us the freedom we have today."

"And I would suggest that somebody else make a phone call to the Legion and tell a veteran that the Union Jack, a flag that many of their comrades lost their lives for to give us the freedom we enjoy that today, that we're going to replace that with another flag."

The possibility has been raised by Dempster and others to possibly raise four flags. However, McGrath notes that there is one official provincial flag. As a Labrador resident, he says he has a strong affinity for the Labrador flag, but the government cannot raise every culturally significant flag at each of these sites.

"I respect the culture that is behind it but it is not a provincially recognized flag. We have one flag that represents the province of Newfoundland and Labrador and you don't start putting up flags in different places to represent different parts of the province."

Organizations: Union Jack, Union Jack.While

Geographic location: Newfoundland and Labrador

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Recent comments

  • fogNL
    July 21, 2014 - 14:39

    Its the right decision, its an unofficial flag, so there's no reason for it to fly at official locations, plain and simple.