Maple leaf memories come alive on Flag Day

Dave Mathieson
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Municipality of Cumberland County warden Keith Hunter (left) and Town of Amherst deputy mayor Dale Fawthrop cut a cake in celebration of Canada Flag Day yesterday at the municipal building in Upper Nappan.

UPPER NAPPAN – Canada adopted the Maple Leaf as its national flag Feb. 15, 1965, making it the 104th oldest national flag in the world. (Denmark has the oldest, first adopted in 1219.)

Cumberland County councilors John Kellewgrew and Gerald Read were on hand for Canada Flag Day celebrations yesterday at the E.D. Fullerton Municipal Building in Upper Nappan.

“I was working at Chapman Brothers here in Amherst when Canada adopted the maple leaf,” said Kellewgrew. “Changing the flag was a big deal.

“It was divided among party lines. The Conservatives wanted to stay under the Union Jack and the Liberals, under Lester Pearson, wanted to change it.”

Kellewgrew said he likes the Maple Leaf.

“When I see it I think we live in the best country in the world,” he said. “When people from other countries see our flag I think they think of a respectful and peaceful country, a country that’s concerned about other countries. Our contribution to Afghanistan and to NATO is living proof of that.

“I’m very proud to be a Canadian.”

Read agrees but wishes Canadians were more patriotic.

“When you go down to the States on July 4 everybody, it doesn’t matter who they are, rich and poor, have flags outside their home,” said Read. “They might go a little overboard but I wish we would celebrate our flag and be a little more patriotic.”

Read said he likes the flag because it represents Canada, and adds that it also highlights Eastern Canada with its maple trees and maple syrup.

“And when people in other countries see the Maple Leaf they think of a peaceful country,” said Read.

Since the Maple Leaf was first raised in 1965, 91 new flags have been raised throughout the world, with the most recent being adopted by Libya in 2011.



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