Patriotism in peril as complaint could see Canadian flags pulled from quiet London street

Canadian flags line Thornton Avenue in Old North on May 15, 2017. Travis Dolynny/AM980 London

A London man who’s painting his street patriotic is dealing with pushback from the city, thanks to a single complaint.

Ted Skinner who lives on Thornton Avenue in Old North, began putting up Canadian flags to celebrate the country’s 150th.

READ MORE: London seeks $183K from city reserves for Canada 150 celebrations

After the first six went up, he got a card from the city asking him to speak with a bylaw officer.

“I said I felt like I’d been called to the principal’s office — she thought that was quite cute,” he explained.

“She said she’d been on the street — she loved it, ‘Looks good,’ — but she had to go to her manager and tell him that they’re multiplying. There were more the next day [that] she went back.”
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Skinner told AM980 that the only thing he was told was that the city received a complaint and had to follow it up. There was nothing to indicate he was breaking any bylaws. He added that when he put the first flag on a utility pole, he contacted London Hydro beforehand.

READ MORE: A look at how Canada Day was celebrated across the country

The future of the flags remains uncertain, however, as Skinner says he hasn’t heard anything back from the city in a week.

“If they have to come down, I’ll make up some excuse. I’ll take them down, but I’m going to be sick for a couple of months and see what happens,” Skinner laughed.

In the meantime, other blocks on Thornton have organized collections to pay for more flags with a total of 15 in place as of Monday, and 30 expected to be erected by Tuesday.

“A quiet little street such as Thornton Avenue — it is four blocks long. That’s why I didn’t think it would be a big deal to do it on that street.”

AM980 reached out to the city’s bylaw office for comment but had yet to hear back as of 2:30 Monday afternoon.

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Skinner’s full interview can be heard below.

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