Saturday, April 29, 2006

Poll Shows Harper Stepped Wrong on Flag/Funerals

From the Ipsos-Reid Poll, as reported here in the Nat. Post:

More (53%) Disagree Than Agree (45%) With Decision To Not Fly Flag At Half-Mast Every Time A Soldier Is Killed

Majority (66%) Feel Media Ban From Return Of Killed Soldiers Is Really A Government Muzzle and Should Be Left Up To Families To Decide

This pretty much shows what everyone who wasn't the blindest variety of Tory partisan suspected. I don't have a lot to add.

However, one pro-Harper argument I hear re. the flag flying issue is that, if we lowered the flag for every soldier that died in the time immediately following their death, and the fighting over in Afghanistan really flared up, we might have to half-mast the thing permanently.

Put aside the issue of whether we should remain in Afghanistan under such circumstances, and concentrate on the symbolism. What exactly would be wrong with flying the flag permanently at half-mast during times of war? Some have argued that such an act is somehow defeatist, but it seems to me that they just misinterpret the gesture. Among other things, the half-mast flag is a symbol of national mourning and, if the nation is in the midst of a particularly grievous War, where soldiers are dying every day, then almost by definition it is a nation in a constant state of mourning. I don't see anything bizarre about using the flag on the PT to express that fact. I even see the poetics of it as being rather compelling.


Anonymous said...

but every veteran, EVERY one, says Harper made the right move.

I really think it is the Vets call, despite what any poll, push, pull or otherwise says.

They walk the walk, they get to talk the talk.

Anonymous said...

"What exactly would be wrong with flying the flag permanently at half-mast during times of war? "

Because you moron, when you lower your flag, its called SURRENDER.

bigcitylib said...

Well, anonymous, I know a number of vets that felt Harper made the wrong decision, including Tory Deputy Premier of Nova Scotia Ron Russell.

Actually, anonymous, flying a white flag means surrender. You seem to have a less than firm grasp of flag symbolism.

Weird, eh, two posters with exactly the same name? Are you guys twin brothers? Do you share a single brain?

bgilliard said...

We are a mature nation, save for some annonymous commenters. Flying the flag on the Peace Tower at half mast during times of war shows that we can tough out a war that has to be fought, even if we don't like it.

The days of dehumanizing the enemy and ultrapatriotic propaganda are (or should be) behind us, and worries about what the "enemy" thinks of our sticktoitiveness should be too.

bigcitylib said...

Entoza,that's my point.