The Royal Canadian Legion in the Western Zone of the USA including Mexico
Red Ensign Received
December 9, 2021Posted by on
You may be interested in a story.
My wife Donna and I were on a small three week long group tour of Sicily with about 10 other people in early October of this year. One of the places we all visited was the Army War Museum in Catania. Among the many display cases in the museum was one showing artifacts and uniforms of the Canadian forces that came ashore at their sector of the beach in 1943 with a current Canadian flag prominently visible in the case.
It seemed anachronistic to me that a flag that was adopted by Canada in 1965 would be displayed with other artifacts that were contemporary to 1943 when the Red Ensign was the flag that the troops marched under. I contacted the museum authorities and asked if they would display a Red Ensign if I could provide them with one. After a few email exchanges with the museum I received an email from a Canadian who was responsible for the display and explained to me why the current Canadian flag was in the display case then said he would also display a Red Ensign if I could find a used one for him. He wanted a used one so it would look appropriate with the other used items in the display.
He explained that the reason for the present Canadian flag is because people today do not recognize the unique Canadian contribution to the war effort since we are usually swept up with the Americans or the British and the Red Ensign looks rather British. The current flag is distinctly recognized as Canadian and clearly distinguishes the Canadians from any other country.
When my wife and I returned from our vacation I sent emails requesting a donation of a used Red Ensign out to each of the Branches in the US Western Zone, the Ontario Command headquarters and to The Legion Magazine. Within a few weeks I had received a flag in the mail that was sent from Dominion Command in Ottawa. Somehow my email to the Ontario Command was forwarded to someone at Dominion Command who took down the Red Ensign that was flying and mailed it off to me.
I have now mailed this flag to the responsible Canadian who will be leaving for Catania in February 2022. He promised he would install this flag in the display case along with the current Canadian flag.
If you should ever visit the Catania museum please look for the Canadian display and smile knowingly about the used Red Ensign in there.