I am sipping coffee in my living room and just a few feet away sits the chilly outdoors. We have been in a deep freeze for the last few days after spending two weeks battling an on-again off-again ice storm and it has not been particularly fun. I love winter but not when the windchill is -37. Now I am looking at my waving Canadian flag that is attached to the deck. It's shredded. I am sad to see my flag in such a state. It wasn't like that just a few short months ago.
Once a flag gets to this state, it's time to let it go.
I am also thinking of the man who co-created the Canadian flag, John Matheson, along with Lord Stanley (of Stanley Cup fame) in 1965. Matheson created the Order of Canada, honouring exceptional Canadians and he was a Justice in the Ontario Court of Justice. What a guy! In Kingston, we named an entry point to the airforce base after him, the Matheson gate. Unfortunately, he passed away last week at the age of 96. He was a Canadian icon, just as much as Tommy Douglas, who created our health care system and was (arguably but verified by a tv show that polled Canadians) the greatest Canadian who ever lived. Matheson, unlike the flag he created, is irreplaceable.
The question is, where to get a new flag, because I can and should honour the man who created it as well as the country it represents. I know that the flag that flies on top of Parliament Hill is changed out every day. That flag flies for one day. Then they raise a new flag. The old flags are put into a rotation and given out to the public. You can go on the list and they will tell you when you get your flag. It's usually about a 20 year waiting list.
I can't wait 20 years but I'm on the list anyway.
Instead, I will get a new flag this spring and fly it anew. At least until the next ice storm.