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Petition launched to change Ontario flag to be more inclusive, distinct

"The best flags are distinct and inclusive. Ontario’s is neither," the petition read. Adrian Wyld/THE CANADIAN PRESS

A London, Ont., university professor has launched an online petition to change Ontario‘s flag.

“The best flags are distinct and inclusive. Ontario’s is neither,” the petition read. “This petition calls on the Ontario legislature to replace the provincial flag with a more distinct and inclusive flag, chosen by democratic means.”

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Mano Majumdar, a lecturer at Western University’s Ivey Business School, started the petition on Canada Day.

He told 980 CFPL’s Mike Stubbs on London Live that it’s time for Ontarians to move on from a flag that no longer accurately represents the province.

“We have a lot of words being spoke about reconciliation and inclusion,” he said. “If we’re not even able to take this one minor step towards making a symbolic commitment to actually having a different society, then we have no credibility when we talk about reconciliation and inclusion.”

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The current Ontario flag was adopted in 1965. It’s red with the flag of the Royal Union Flag in the canton and the Ontario shield of arms in the fly.

“The red ensign marked Canada as ‘yet another British possession’ and gave place of honour in its canton to the Union Jack,” the petition read. “It’s a complete mismatch for the diverse reality of (our) society now.”

The grand chief of the Association of Iroquois and Allied Indians, Joel Abram, says if the petition is part of decolonization, then it’s a “positive thing.”

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“In Indigenous culture, symbology is always very important,” he said. “It’s important because symbols can tell a story about what you stand for.”

“The (current Ontario flag) reflects the colonialist viewpoints that many people have had, but maybe that’s not so prevalent now so maybe it’s time to change it,” he continued.

The petition has garnered more than 300 signatures as of Monday afternoon.

Click to play video: 'Grand Bay-Westfield hoists flag of Wolastoq Nation' Grand Bay-Westfield hoists flag of Wolastoq Nation
Grand Bay-Westfield hoists flag of Wolastoq Nation – Jun 28, 2021

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