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Saskatchewan flag pioneers meet for first time after 50 years

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WATCH ABOVE: Two people who were instrumental in creating a symbol of Saskatchewan met for the first time since the provincial flag was adopted 50 years ago. – Jul 19, 2019

A meeting 50 years in the making took place in Regina Friday between two people who were instrumental in creating a symbol of Saskatchewan.

Anthony Drake designed the Saskatchewan Flag, but he never got to see it fly in person.

“It’s one of the great regrets of the story of the flag,” Drake said.

READ MORE: Saskatchewan’s flag designer honoured at the legislature

The United Kingdom resident moved to Canada in 1966 after seeing an advertisement saying the province was in need of teachers, which meant they would pay people’s way into the country and provide housing.

Drake was working as a teacher in Hodgeville, Sask., when he came across a post in the paper about a provincial flag design competition and decided to give it a go.

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Drake submitted 12 designs, and more than 4,000 were received by the province.

However, by the time Drake’s design was adopted on September 22, 1969 he’d moved back to the UK.

“We had already bought and paid for the tickets to return home so our family could meet our daughter,” Drake explained.

Percy Schmeiser, a former Liberal MLA, was part of the original Saskatchewan Flag Committee that selected the design.

Schmeiser, who is now in his late eighties, was at the inaugural flag-raising ceremony in 1969 and is the only surviving member of the committee.

READ MORE: Guildford’s huge Canadian flag getting replaced once again

“[Anthony’s design] brought the life of Saskatchewan to the people of the world,” Schmeiser said. “It gave us something to show to the rest of the people of Canada and our own province to make it proud of its heritage.”
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This year, for the flag’s 50th anniversary, the two men and their families were invited to Government House to meet for the first time.

“I never dreamt it would ever happen,” Drake said. “These gentlemen were the ones who chose my flag, so I can’t be anything but extremely grateful to them for it.”

The green section of the flag represents the northern forests, while the yellow is for the wheat fields.

Drake says any good flag should properly reflect the land it represents.

“This made my life completely different especially when it’s being remembered again nearly 50 years later,” Drake said.