I have to admit, for some time, I have considered joining the “Red Ensign” blog roll.
In most respects, I agree fundamentally with what the Red Ensign folks agree with, and value the same things. I’d also love to be part of a group. It would be nice to have my name or blogname added to The Flea’s list of Red Ensign bloggers, and be considered part of an elite group that holds dear a philosophy of Canada that has seemed to have disappeared in recent years.
On the other hand, I’m leery of flags and symbols. Flags and symbols are wonderful ways for humans to express some sort of agreement with principles that a flag or symbol represents, but on the other hand, too many people seem to get all emotionally involved in the symbol itself, and expect that the rest of the group adhere to what OTHERS think the symbol means.
I’m just not really a symbol kind of guy, I guess. I grew up waving the “Red Hand” of Ulster around, while shouting, “Kick The Pope Up The Shankhill Road!” And yeah, I love to see St. George’s cross, with the Red Hand and crown about it, waving in the wind. It’s a beautiful flag.
On the other hand, I know that sometimes, patriotism goes too far. Flags and symbols themselves are nothing, really, when they require that a person flying them, or displaying them holds certain beliefs or philosophies of the entire group.
Yes, if I had my druthers, that old Red Ensign would be my flag. It would stand for tolerance. For individual liberty. For mutual respect. For the fights and the deaths in the 17th century, of those who stood up for religous freedom. For freedom of thought. In 1690, the world was not a great place to live in. But, at least King William and Queen Mary agreed that individuals should have more power as to what and who ruled over them than previous monarchs. The Great Protestant reformers were not so great in today’s standards, but give them credit.. if it weren’t for those men that stood up to the rule of Popery in those days, we’d probably all never have a chance for education, for free scientific thought, for advancement to what we are now.
Canada in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s was not exactly the most libertarian nation around. But men like Laurier, and those who would advance true and real libertarian ideas, were on the right track.
Somewhere along the way, around the time when we took on this ugly Maple Leaf flag for a nation, we ended up getting side tracked. Going backwards as far as individual rights and liberty go. Yet most Canadians seemed to find some way to pretend.. to be.. sort of … pompous in regard to our way of life. As America became more and more socialist, all of a sudden, Canadians thougth they should be even more socialist or something, in response. I guess it made those Canadians feel good at the time. I don’t know.
Anyhow, in lieu of a Red Ensign, which I’d love to fly on this site, but have lots of issues with, as far as my own problems with symbols and flags, I’d prefer to fly a different ensign. This ensign speaks more clearly about what I believe in than the Red Ensign does, as much as I love that old red rag.
This ensign was created by a group of people. And perhaps, as time goes on, the organization might change, as most organizations do. They’re message might change. But their original meaning can never change. It’s quite simple. Back Off Government. This is OUR LAND. Stay off. Get Lost. Screw Off. My money, my labour, my life, is my life. I should be free to do with it as I please, as I respect my neighbour, knowing they have the same philosophy.
Here is my ensign. Fly it if you will. And when you do, give thanks for the freedom lovers of Lanark County in Ontario. Their hearts speak more to my heart than any navy, army, airforce, or government could ever do. And at this point in time, I voluntary choose to fly their ensign.