Strolling with a skeptical biochemist
1. The last time was in 1960.
Wasn't my preferred choice, but the old girl grows on you. My preference was for the design that had blue bars at the sides, representing the Atlantic and Pacific, and the three joined maple leaves, signifying the First Nations, British, and French.Dave Bailey
Canada has changed its flag only once? Well, since 1801 anyway.
Actually, I believe that the current flag is the ONLY official flag that the country ever had although the most recent Red Ensign did have some official status after 1945.
i think it's a very - nice - flag. Which is what you'd expect of Canadians (except the hockey-players) I just think they could have a got a bit of blue in there to go with the read and white.
This flag got rid of the British Union Jack. Good Show! Now get rid of Elizabeth (your supposed queen "by grace of God") and her inbred spawn -- that's the next logical step.
It seems to be very difficult fior Americans to understand why so many countries have retained a monarchy even though it's obvious that these countries have a functioning democratic government that can actually get things done.
Are you suggesting a causal connection? Can you back that up with anything?
It's more the fact that some countries have managed to develop more-or-less democratic institutions despite still having monarchs. They are like pimples. Sometimes people with pimples can still be attractive despite them, but that isn't really a good endorsement of pimples.
Canada certainly has the prettiest flag amongst all the corrupt petrostates.
I'm ambivalent about the monarchy. It is a quaint anachronism, but harmless. It serves as a living history which gets out and parades around in front of you, instead of collecting dust in a museum. And I'm often amused by the reaction of Americans. many rant and rave about it, and proudly beat their chest when relating how they threw them out in 1776. yet when the Queen tours America they turn out in throngs and go nuts, as if they're genuinely missing something. And maybe they are. The decades long fascination with the Kennedy clan was evidence of that, they were perhaps the closest thing America has had, in recent years, to a royal family. The obsession with Hollywood couples is similar.If there is one thing I wish the monarchy would do, it is to assert what symbolism they still have. When the British Prime Minister makes his regular (weekly?) visit to the Queen, he bows. This is meant to remind him that the Monarch is a representative of her subjects, the common people, us, and he is supposed to feel humbled. I hope that the Queen looks down her nose at him as he rises. I don't mind seeing politicians put in their place.Dave Bailey
I'm also somewhat ambivalent about having a monarch but I'm absolutely convinced that the offices of head of state and chief executive need to be separate. That's why the American system is so bad. We could appoint a ceremonial head of state, as we do in Canada with the Governors General. You can't elect them because that defeats the entire purpose of separating the office from politics. This is not an issue that concerns the average American because they are so used to their system (the best in the world). They are even comfortable with electing judges and district attorneys, which seems very bizarre to me.
The idea of electing judges and DAs, and others, is probably okay if you have an educated and wise electorate. When you don't (as is often the case) you get those, like Sherriff Joe Arpaio for example, who pander to the lowest common denominator. An educated and wise electorate would have never installed a vindictive idiot like him.Another problem is the complexity of the overall voting process. When an American goes to the voting booth they are faced with a dizzying array of candidates from the President all the way down to the local dog catcher. How the hell is the average person supposed to make an informed decision? I'll bet that most just punch buttons based on party affiliation, or who they're heard of the most. Therefore those who advertise the most will get in, whether they're any good or not.Dave Bailey
Back to flags, the Canadian flag is a very effective one in a corporate-logo kind of way, and was a very good choice.The most beautiful flag, in my opinion, is the UK flag. The combination of three crosses resulted, perhaps accidentally, in a really stunning design.The most moving and important flag is the flag of the Republic of Ireland, with its message of a reconcilation between Orange and Green. All the other three-stripe flags are mostly arbitrary, but that one was an excellent choice.As for the U.S. flag, it is an artistic mess, like the national anthem, an English drinking song whose high notes have traumatized the throats of countless people.
The Union Jack is a bloody mess. Slapping one cross on top of another is nott very creative. The flag of Australia is more beautiful.
Fie on you, Joe. The American flag is very attractive, and not in a corporate logo kind of way. And it has some nice history and symbolism behind it too. The Union Jack looks fine too; it may not be creative, but it looks good and it too has some history and symbolism. Three-stripe flags are just boring, whether vertical or horizontal.Personally, I think Canada should have gone with a loon on the flag, like on the dollar coin.
Diogenes: The Union Jack is a bloody mess.What looks a bloody mess to you is an exquisitely fimbriated counterchange of saltires.
Well, I was wise enough to know not to expect that people would agree with my opinions, and also to expect that people would find their own flag to be better than average.The Irish flag is artistically boring, but its political message is important and will wear well in the long run.
I didn't actually know what the Irish flag meant until I visited Ireland last year and had it explained to me. It is indeed a powerful message and impressive that it was kept during all the years when peace between orange and green was just an utopian notion.
I like the Jamaican flag. The only on, so I have been told, that does not have red, white or blue in it.
I thought, "Actually, there are several flags without red, white, or blue." However, a quick check (mostly at the Timwit blog) reveals no others that lack those three colors. Looks like you're right.
Prof. Moran's comment about the US flag being changed often is incomplete. The flag has 1 star for every state so that it had to be changed every time a new state was added. The last such change was in 1961 when Alaska and Hawaii were added. Presumably, if Puerto Rico is become a state some time in the future, it will be modified again.
For a while there, we were adding a new stripe for every state too, but that didn't work out.