Petition launched to have Ontario's British-inspired flag changed

spaminator

Hall of Fame Member
Oct 26, 2009
29,020
1,172
113
Petition launched to have Ontario's British-inspired flag changed
A London man wants a new flag for Ontario that better reflects the province’s diversity, and not its colonial past.

Author of the article:Norman De Bono
Publishing date:Jul 12, 2021 • 7 hours ago • 3 minute read
Mano Majumdar, of London, Ont. launched a petition on Canada Day to create a new flag for Ontario to reflect the province's diversity and not its colonial past.
Mano Majumdar, of London, Ont. launched a petition on Canada Day to create a new flag for Ontario to reflect the province's diversity and not its colonial past. PHOTO BY MIKE HENSEN /Postmedia Network
Article content
A London man wants a new flag for Ontario that better reflects the province’s diversity, and not its colonial past.

Advertisement
STORY CONTINUES BELOW

Article content
Mano Majumdar, who designs online courses at the Richard Ivey school of business at Western University, has created an online petition urging a new flag for the province.

Britney Spears hits back at haters after nude selfie questioned
Trackerdslogo
“When I first saw the Ontario flag, I thought it was surreal,” said Majumdar, who is from India. “I’m from a country that was a British colony and we had the red ensign. It was bizarre to see it flown in a modern, diverse country. It feels out of place with the conversation of reconciliation going on now.”

The Ontario flag is a version of the pre-1965 Canadian flag, called the Red Ensign, but with an Ontario crest. It features a Union Jack, representing the United Kingdom, and the flag of England sits atop a cluster of three maple leaves.

Majumdar sees the flag as a symbol of Ontario and Canada as a colony and says it is time for change.

Advertisement
STORY CONTINUES BELOW

Article content
“This flag does not represent the distinctiveness of Ontario or Canada. I think we need to have a conversation about decolonization,” he said.

Majumdar launched the petition July 1, Canada Day, and it has only a handful of signatures, but he hopes to spread the word. The petition has drawn some support from historians and flag experts, who believe such symbolic images may have to change to better reflect the community.

Even if it does not change, it’s a healthy debate to have, said Robert Harper, founder and executive director of the Flag Education Centre in Brockville, which shares information about the history of the Canadian flag.

“I think as a symbol of a nation, province or municipality, at different times there are good reasons to review our symbols,” Harper said. “The times are changing. We have a multitude of different ideals in Ontario now that were not present 70 years ago.”

Advertisement
STORY CONTINUES BELOW

Article content
Graham Broad, a history professor at Western University’s King’s University College specializing in Canadian history, dismissed any suggestion a flag change would be seen as “cancelling history.” It is more about evolution and reflecting change, he said.

When the debate occurred to have a Canadian flag in 1965, it was controversial and sparked calls of disrespecting Canada’s British heritage, Broad said.

“Flags are symbols of identity, but as communities change, and identities with them, our symbols inevitably will, too. The world belongs to the living,” he said.

“Flags are totems of identity and heritage, which serve emotional needs. History by contrast is the critical study of the past, and it will always be there for people to study.”

Advertisement
STORY CONTINUES BELOW

Article content
Majumdar, who has an engineering background, has taught business to engineering students at Ivey. He now designs and builds online courses at Ivey and also co-owns Sidetrack: A Wortley Café. Although he hopes to alter Ontario’s flag, many provinces need to have the same conversation, he said.

Many, with the exception of Quebec and the territories, have symbols related to Great Britain with either the Union Jack, flag of England or the lion symbol found on the coat of arms of England. The flag of Newfoundland and Labrador is little more than a version of the Union Jack.

“We are no longer an extension of Britain or France, of another kingdom. We’re a country with a distinct future,” Majumdar said.

The flags of Ontario and Manitoba are nearly same with Manitoba using an image of a bison replacing the Ontario maple leaf cluster.

As for what he would like to see as a new Ontario flag, Majumdar likes the idea of adopting the Canadian flag with a different image replacing the maple leaf, perhaps a trillium for Ontario.

“It is already so deeply ingrained as a symbol for Ontario,” he said.

“People in power have the power to change symbols that benefit colonization. If you grow up here, this is like the water in which fish swim. It’s hard to notice. But this is a very different country.”

TO SIGN THE PETITION TO CHANGE ONTARIO’S FLAG:
1626161625311.png
 
  • Sad
Reactions: Mowich

Jinentonix

Executive Branch Member
Sep 6, 2015
8,667
2,369
113
Olympus Mons
“When I first saw the Ontario flag, I thought it was surreal,” said Majumdar, who is from India. “I’m from a country that was a British colony and we had the red ensign. It was bizarre to see it flown in a modern, diverse country. It feels out of place with the conversation of reconciliation going on now.”

Fuuuuuuhhhh Q!
 

Jinentonix

Executive Branch Member
Sep 6, 2015
8,667
2,369
113
Olympus Mons
"“We are no longer an extension of Britain or France, of another kingdom. We’re a country with a distinct future,” Majumdar said."

Is this guy stupid or something? The Queen of England is the titular head of Canada. The GG is the Queen's representative in Canada. Canada still uses the Westminster Parliamentary system. No this petition has NOTHING to do with the shit he's spewing. It's about...drum roll please.... identity politics. Yay.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Mowich

IdRatherBeSkiing

Satelitte Radio Addict
May 28, 2007
13,063
797
113
Toronto, ON
"“We are no longer an extension of Britain or France, of another kingdom. We’re a country with a distinct future,” Majumdar said."

Is this guy stupid or something? The Queen of England is the titular head of Canada. The GG is the Queen's representative in Canada. Canada still uses the Westminster Parliamentary system. No this petition has NOTHING to do with the shit he's spewing. It's about...drum roll please.... identity politics. Yay.
Technically she is the Queen of Canada. She is also the Queen of England.
 
  • Sad
Reactions: taxslave

Jinentonix

Executive Branch Member
Sep 6, 2015
8,667
2,369
113
Olympus Mons
Technically she is the Queen of Canada. She is also the Queen of England.
Right, but she exercises no real control or authority in Canada. And even on the two occasions when Parliament did petition the Queen to intervene she diplomatically said it's Canada's issue, Canadians need to sort it out. Ya gotta respect that.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Mowich

IdRatherBeSkiing

Satelitte Radio Addict
May 28, 2007
13,063
797
113
Toronto, ON
Right, but she exercises no real control or authority in Canada. And even on the two occasions when Parliament did petition the Queen to intervene she diplomatically said it's Canada's issue, Canadians need to sort it out. Ya gotta respect that.
She is figurehead. But without her, with our current useless senate, the next person in line to assume role of dictator is TrueDope. So I am in favour of keeping her unless/until the rest or our structure can be fixed first.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Mowich

B00Mer

True North Strong & Free
Sep 6, 2008
39,106
3,723
113
Canada
CanadaForums.com
We did it with the national flag 56 years ago and that worked out. It's worth talking about anyway.

Besides, if Scotland leaves the UK then the Union Flag will change anyway and we'll have to update the Ontario flag to keep up.

🍁🇨🇦🤔
 

pgs

Hall of Fame Member
Nov 29, 2008
21,609
2,558
113
B.C.
We did it with the national flag 56 years ago and that worked out. It's worth talking about anyway.

Besides, if Scotland leaves the UK then the Union Flag will change anyway and we'll have to update the Ontario flag to keep up.

🍁🇨🇦🤔
Yes and installed the Liberal Party banner as our flag .
 

spaminator

Hall of Fame Member
Oct 26, 2009
29,020
1,172
113
Man calling for new Ontario flag says he has faced racist backlash
Mano Majumdar says he's been forced to take a lower profile over concern for his safety

Author of the article:Norman De Bono
Publishing date:Jul 14, 2021 • 16 hours ago • 3 minute read
Ontario flag
Ontario flag
Article content
A London man’s petition for a new Ontario flag has sparked a racist backlash, forcing him to take a lower profile amid safety concerns.

Advertisement
STORY CONTINUES BELOW

Article content
Mano Majumdar has seen his petition signed by more than 1,000 people in the days since it was first written about in The London Free Press – but it has come at a cost. Majumdar is from India and has received personal email messages at a business he co-owns attacking him and his ethnicity, he said.


The Free Press has also received several overtly racist comments in response to its coverage of the petition.

“It’s the usual stuff, just what you would expect: Telling me I should respect Ontario’s British history and go back to where I came from,” he said.

He has asked that personal information such as the name of a business he co-owns be removed from a previous LFP story and asked his photograph not be used in future coverage over concern for his safety.

Advertisement
STORY CONTINUES BELOW

Article content
“There have been hostile comments on the (online) petition. I want to avoid” further harassment, he said. “I’m concerned. The tone of the comments is quite hostile.”

The petition itself has an area for comments and there is overwhelming support for the idea of a new flag and a break from Ontario’s British past, but some were critical of the notion.

“I reject this idea. Instead of coming to a country you are not even born in and demanding change, why not . . . leave us alone? Canadians spent 150 years building this country. We don’t need it torn apart in a decade by strangers,” wrote Shaun Smith.

Added Marylou Diamond: “There’s nothing wrong with our flag. Stop trying to change our history, traditions and customs, just to appease the easily offended. JUST STOP IT!!!”

Advertisement
STORY CONTINUES BELOW

Article content
But petition signer Amy Kirubakaran called out those who directed racist comments toward Majumdar.

“I’m appalled at all the racism in this comments section. ‘Go back to where you came from’? Just because the starter of this petition has brown skin, you think he is not Canadian? I’m more than hopeful now that this flag is changed to something more representative of Ontario,” she said.

Shawn Watson agreed, writing: “After reading the comments left by the extinct, small-minded bigots…I want to really, really see it changed!”

The Monarchist League of Canada on Wednesday declined to comment on the matter, saying it does not “have a position on flags,” but only promotes loyalty to the monarchy in Canada.

Majumdar, who works at the Ivey school of business at Western University creating online curriculum for the school, created the petition over concerns the Ontario flag doesn’t reflect the province’s diversity and is instead a nod to a colonial past. The Ontario flag is a version of the pre-1965 Canadian flag, called the Red Ensign, but with an Ontario crest. It features a Union Jack, representing the United Kingdom, and the flag of England sits atop a cluster of three maple leaves.

Advertisement
STORY CONTINUES BELOW

Article content
“I have family and friends who are worried about me. I don’t have a reason to be afraid for my safety at the moment, but I am also very aware of the level of hostility and the polarization that exists now. It remains in the realm of the possible,” he said of fears over his safety.

He launched the petition on Canada Day, July 1, but it’s garnered more attention since first being covered in The Free Press. He has established an email address, Ontario.flag@gmail.com, for those wanting to comment or question him personally, he said.

“I have to admit, I am surprised so many people are so passionate about this flag,” Majumdar said.

The petition:


To comment:Ontario.flag@gmail.com
1626371289948.png