James Alcock Explains the History of the Red Ensign — the Flag of the Real Canada
REXDALE, ON. December 19, 2013. Transportation and Vexillologist (flag expert) James Alcock outlined the rich history and development of the Red Ensign, which is the flag of the real Canada and which has never legally been rescinded, at the monthly meeting of the Alternative Forum here tonight.
Introducing Mr. Alcock, Forum chairman Paul Fromm, said: “The year 1965 marked a revolution, a near coup d’état in Canada. That was the year Lester Pearson changed our immigration policy and turned our backs on our traditional immigration sources — Britain and Europe — and flung the door open to the Third World. That same year, he established the rigged Royal Commission of Hate Propaganda, which brought us Canada’s “hate law” in 1971, which would make criticism of the changes in immigration legally risky. And, 1965 was the year Lester Pearson changed our flag. The old Red Ensign was a strong symbol of our Christian roots and the European founding/settler people who built this country. The new flag looked like the logo for some insurance company. Even the symbolism was cockeyed. The two bars represented the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans but they are red not blue. If you are about to replace a free European country with an anti-free speech Third World invasion you must replace the flag that reminds people of our real roots,” Mr. Fromm said.
“Young people are not told of the Re Ensign,” Mr. Alcock explained. “They are told Canada had no flag until 1965.”
In 1867, he explained. “the Fathers of Confederation wanted a flag to represent our ships at sea.. As part of the British Empire, we flew the Union Jack. The British Admiralty looked after flag issues. In 1868, we adopted the British Red Ensign with a crest which contained the crests of the four founding provinces of Canada — Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. This flag was approved for all merchant ships in Canada.”
Then, he said, “in 1892, the Admiralty granted approval for the use of this flag on land.”
Ironically, the normal rules are that the ensign with a blue background is to be flown on land and the ensign with the red background is to be flown at sea. However, much of Canada had been opened up by the Hudson’s Bay Company which used a red Ensign with the initials “HBC” on the fly.
To recognize this peculiar tradition, Mr. Alcock explained, Canada was allowed to use the Red Ensign on land and the Blue Ensign.
As time went on, it was decided that all British colonies were to use blue ensigns but territories, protectorates and Dominions like Canada could use the Red (background) ensign on land, he explained.
“By 1905,” Mr. Alcock continued,” Canada had nine provinces and their crests would not easily fit into a single crest of the fly. Therefore, a new design was needed.” In recognition of Canada’s valiant contributions in the First World War, in 1921, King George V awarded Canada with its own coat of arms which included the crests of England, Ireland, Scotland and pre-revolutionary France, with three Maple Leafs, representing the eastern, western and northern regions of Canada, all joined together on a single stem and coming together as a nation.
“In 1924, the Dominion Parliament approved the Red Ensign to be Canada’s flag abroad. After World War II, under the leadership of Prime Minister Mackenzie King, the Red Ensign became the flag of Canada. Viscount Alexander the Governor General delivered a Royal Proclamation that the Red Ensign was the national flag of Canada.”
In the 1950s, Quebec nationalists put pressure on the governing Liberals to change the flag and abandon the Union Jack within the Red Ensign. The green Maple Leaves representing growth and hope were replaced with red leaves, beautiful in their Autumn splendour but dying. Incongruously, the female bust on the Irish harp was removed and replaced with a knob.
“During the Suez crisis in 1956, Egyptians charged that Canadians could not be neutral in a conflict that pitted Britain and France against Egypt, as the Canadian flag contained the Union Jack. Then External Affairs Minister Lester Pearson vowed he would get rid of the Red Ensign,” Mr. Alcock revealed. When he became Prime Minister in 1963, he proceeded to do just that.
“A lawyer has advised that the Royal Proclamation making the Red Ensign Canada’s flag has never been rescinded,” Mr. Alcock insisted. “Thus, it remains a valid flag of Canada.”
Mr. Alcock decorated the meeting room with wall flags of the various incarnations of the red Ensign. The Alternative Forum’s final meeting of the year concluded with some Christmas chocolates and a hearty politically incorrect “MERRY CHRISTMAS.”