Woman tears a strip off school board over tattered Maple Leaf flag
Wow, do people ever get worked up when an institutional building flies a threadbare Canadian flag.
One of the things readers regularly complain about is a tattered national flag, which is seen as disrespectful and negligent, especially when government or a public agency is responsible for it.
Emails are often charged with outrage, but never have I seen one as smoldering and succinct as Catherine Lake’s note on Monday to the Toronto District School Board, which was copied to The Star.
Lake questions the willful blindness of people who walk in and out of a building every day, on their way to or from work, and never notice the threadbare flag, or can’t be bothered to report it.
She began mentioning to a TDSB official an email she sent to him a few months before, about “Frankland Public School flying our nation’s flag upside down and in disrepair.”
Lake went on to say she was writing this time about a flag at Wilkinson Public School, on Donlands Ave., which had “a large tear through the middle of it.”
He letter is so beautiful and well-crafted that it would be a disservice to not liberally quote from it.
“Over the past few weeks I have twice entered the school to report this. I spoke to the principal over a week ago and he assured me the custodian would replace the flag. I had a conversation with him about how appalling it is to see a torn flag and the message we’re sending to our children when we let our nation’s ensign fly in such terrible disrepair.
“I understand that it is the custodian staff’s responsibility to ensure the flag is not in disrepair.
”What I don’t understand is how TDSB staff can enter the schools every day and not notice the indignity and disrespect on the flagpole.
“I don’t understand how a complaint cannot trigger an immediate correction of the situation.
“I can not understand how the TDSB does not promote nor enforce:
-a daily visual review of the state of our flag.
-an immediate replacement or removal of the flag when it is torn.
“Theses are very simple steps and should be a mandatory check of duties.
“It is inexcusable that the Toronto District School Board allow torn flags to be flown. It is a further affront to neighbours of the school when a complaint does not inspire the appropriate action.”
She goes on to say she wants it dealt with immediately, and that “I would like assurances that this matter be brought forward for formal rectification throughout the TDSB.
“One would think that the schools would be more mindful to not show such visible disdain and disrespect. Really - - we can’t even count on you to fly our flag properly?”
I went to the school on Tuesday and was not surprised to see a new flag fluttering in front of it.
After the lashing from Lake, it would have been more surprising if it hadn’t been replaced.