Sunday, September 25, 2005

There goes the republic...

I'm surprised I'm not hearing more of a flap in the Newfoundland blogosphere or elsewhere about Premier Danny Williams comments in the Saturday Telegram about having no problem with the idea of changing Newfoundand's flag to the Pink, White and Green.

I'd link to the article, but The Telegram does something weird that makes it difficult to link to specific articles. Anyway, here is an exerpt from the story written by John Gushue:

"Premier Danny Williams said he personally supports hoisting the Pink, White and Green as the official flag of Newfoundland and Labrador, although he cautions a change in government policy is another matter altogether.
“'From a personal perspective, I have that preference,'” Williams said Friday, responding to a new petition that calls for the Pink, White and Green to become the province’s flag.

“'I have a personal leaning, but I would have to (gauge) the will of the people. It would be premature to say how we would do that.'”

For the record, the petition can be found here. It's worth noting that the local weekly, The Independent, appears to be at least supporting the petition, if not more. Which makes me kind of wary for reasons I find difficult to properly articulate, but there you go.

I don't know. I understand the history behind the flag and that Newfoundlanders feel more affinity towards it than what we currently have. Hell, Christopher Pratt, who helped design the current flag, doesn't even sound that enthuastic about it, calling it more of a bureaucratic process than an artistic one.

And I appreciate the site isn't encouraging Newfoundland independence, which is so unutterably foolish that it makes my blood boil any time I hear someone advocating it. But I'm not certain this is the right idea.

The flag is a rebel ideal. I think it's more useful as a protest symbol than as a provincial one. Anytime we feel that we're being unjustly treated by Canada, we have that flag to rally behind. And I think that's a good idea. We need that.

If you make the pink, white and green the provincial flag, it loses a lot of its oomph. You're not going to going to see it flying from so many households. All those t-shirts with the flag on it are suddenly going to end up at the back of a closet or donated to Diabetes Clothesline. It won't be quite so cool. It will have lost a lot of its symbolic protest power.

The current flag is a perfect symbol of our relationship with Canada. It's a bit ungainly and we respect it, although there is occasionally a lot of unsatisfaction with it. But it works and it'll do. So why not leave it alone and let the pink, white and green alone. They both serve their purposes. Messing with them won't really help or accomplish much in the long run.


Liam O'Brien said...

Ah Craig. I think the flag would make a find provincial flag. If nothing else we should recognize it in statue as a ceremonial flag and fly it beside the Pratt flag.

As for our position in relation to Canada, I think it's still a debate between missionary and doggie style. Either way we know what the operative verb is. ;-)

NL-ExPatriate said...

I couldn't agree more. Check out my blog I went one step further for the rebel aspect LOL.

It really does go together well.