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Pride flag flying over war memorial leads to some controversy in Dorval

Click to play video: 'Pride flag over war memorial prompts mixed reaction in Dorval'
Pride flag over war memorial prompts mixed reaction in Dorval
A Pride flag beside a war memorial in Dorval, Que. has prompted mixed reactions from the community. Global's Brayden Jagger Haines reports – Sep 6, 2022

The flying of a Pride flag over a war memorial in Dorval’s Pine Beach Park is stirring controversy among residents.

Flapping high next to the national and provincial flags, some residents say the rainbow banner has no place above the monument honouring wartime heroes.

In an online social media posting promoting the sign of solidarity, there are comments such as, “the flag does not belong. Only federal, provincial and city flags should be permitted.”

Some even said the act is a sign of disrespect towards the fallen soldier.

Peter Lay, who walks Pine Beach Park daily, says the colourful rainbow flag can be placed anywhere throughout the city but just not over the soldiers’ tribute.

“It’s just at the wrong place. I have nothing against the flag it’s just at the wrong place. It should just be the maple leaf and the Quebec flag,” Lay said.

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“This is to honour and remember the heroes of Dorval and it has nothing to do with Pride rights.”

Read more: Pesky woodpecker leaves future of iconic flagpole in Quebec up in the air

In response, the city says it has received little to no comment or complaint from residents regarding the Pride flag, according to Dorval Mayor Marc Doret.

The city raised two Pride flags in support of Pride month celebrations in early June.

One was raised outside the community centre and one in Pine Beach Park.

The majority of residents Global News spoke to in the park passing by said they had no objections to the symbol.

“It’s an interesting point they make. I can see where they can have maybe some valid reasons not to want it but it doesn’t bother me,” resident James Misata said.

“I like to think Dorval is a very open city in terms of that and in terms of everything, it’s a great place to live.”

Read more: Survivors’ Flag raised on Parliament Hill to honour those harmed by residential schools

According to the national protocol of displaying flags, the city has committed no fault, following procedure.

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When displaying three flags, the national flag of Canada is supposed to be at the centre, in the position of honour.

To an observer facing the flags, the second-ranking flag in order of precedence is placed to the left, and the third-ranking flag is placed to the right.

“A common combination of flags is one that displays the National Flag of Canada with a provincial or territorial flag, and a municipal flag or an organization’s flag,” the protocol reads.

Read more: Drag queen storytime event at Montreal library ‘about respect,’ not controversy

This is not the first time controversy has been raised over acceptance of the LGBTQ2 community in Dorval.

In June a drag queen storytime event for children put on by the city received backlash over its content.

Doret said the two incidents are similar and the city’s stance remains the same: “Intolerance is unacceptable.”

With summer over, the flags will be taken down.

Already the one outside the community centre has since been changed to the yellow and blue flag of Ukraine in a sign of support for the war-torn country.

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Doret says the Pride flag in the park will be taken down later this week and replaced with a City of Dorval banner.

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