What’s the story on the flag? Well, I’m glad you asked.

Fleurdelisé at the Manse

Did you notice the blue-and-white flag at the Manse today (and today only)? Can you guess why it was there? No, it’s not because we’ve changed our minds about where we want to live…

So, Queensborough people, were you by any chance wondering what the deuce was up today with the new flag at the Manse? (Come on, I know you must have noticed.) The Ontario flag that Raymond and I normally fly over the front porch was, today, replaced with the Quebec flag, le fleurdelisé. Do you know why?

No, it’s not because we’ve suddenly got horribly homesick for the province that we called home for many years (in Raymond’s case, many, many years). We like Quebec very much, but we are extremely happy to be here in Ontario. No, it was because today, June 24, is Quebec’s Fête Nationale, its provincewide holiday, St. Jean Baptiste Day. It’s a day when everything comes to a halt in Quebec (i.e. almost all stores and businesses are closed, save for dépanneurs, convenience stores). It’s a nice time in Quebec, because exactly a week after la Saint-Jean comes July 1, another holiday (one that I, being an old fogey, prefer to call Dominion Day rather than the hard-to-say Canada Day) – and let me tell you, a lot of people take the time between the two holidays off. Not a lot gets done in Quebec between June 24 and July 1, and it’s a nice easy start to the summer. Mind you, what they don’t have in Quebec is a holiday weekend at the start of August – our Civic Holiday here in Ontario (which I have just learned, to my utter astonishment, is technically called Simcoe Day, though I have never once in my life heard anyone call it that) – and it’s kind of a drag not having a long weekend all the way from July 1 to Labour Day. But, you know, it’s a tradeoff. On the whole I prefer the Ontario setup.

Anyway. When Raymond and I discovered that there was a bracket for a flag on the Manse’s front porch – something that was not there in my childhood days in this house, long ago – we thought maybe we’d have some fun with flags. The usual drapeau is the Ontario one – because, as I said, we’re happy to be where we are:

The perfect Manse photo

In my new favourite photo of the Manse (note laundry on the clothesline on the left) you can see our usual flag, which is the Ontario one.

But we also have a supply of special-days-in-other-places flags. Today it was the fleurdelisé; on Dominion Day it will of course be the red Maple Leaf; and come the Fourth of July, well, you can expect, for one day only, the Stars and Stripes!

We also have a Scottish flag for St. Andrew’s Day, and I hope will have a French tricolore in time for Bastille Day, July 14 (which also happens to be the first birthday of Raymond’s grandson, Henry, so an extra cause for celebration). Still to come: the Union Jack for St. George’s Day, perhaps the Irish tricolour for St. Patrick’s Day, a Welsh flag for St. David’s Day – and so on and so on. I kind of like the idea of an element of surprise when people drive or walk by.

As in: “What the heck special day are those kooky Manse people marking now?”

19 thoughts on “What’s the story on the flag? Well, I’m glad you asked.

  1. Katherine, your house and garden looks amazing. The bottom photo (taken from the road) shows a wonderful view of a happy home, with the flowers, hanging plants and a lawn that looks very neat. Oh, and the hanging clothes on the line only add to the beauty. Really, this is very pretty and it would make any street look all the nicer. I noticed an orange watering can on the verandah. I’m wondering if you got that at Canadian Tire? I saw them there last week and I haven’t seen them in orange anywhere else.

    Now, I have to ask, and I’m sure you’ve already discussed this (but I can’t find a reference) … why did they build the house with a door that opens onto a sloping roof? Is that the original roof over the verandah, or was there a flat roof with a balcony at one time?

    Your house reminds me of another house in town, one on Prince Albert Street (I think it’s No. 42), just near Davidson, at the bottom of the P.A. hill.

    • Thank you for the compliments about the Manse and the gardens, Sash! It makes me feel so good to hear that. Raymond bought the orange watering can at the Home Hardware in Madoc a few weeks ago, and it has been well-used since. As for that door onto the porch roof: read about it here! (And the short answer is, I don’t really know why the builders put it there.) I will check out that house on Prince Albert Street in Madoc as soon as I can – interesting!

    • Likely, the original veranda had an upper balcony. My house, of similar vintage, had a small upper balcony – about 6′ x 6′ in size

  2. I’ll have you know, Katherine, that I saw two (!) Ontario flags draped in front houses in the High Park area of Toronto in the last several days. LOL. A conspiracy, no doubt, to debunk my earlier assertion…..

  3. Lovely idea to use your flag pole to celebrate special days. And the Canadian flag is almost 50 years old (can you believe it!) having been passed by the house and the senate in Dec 2014, and proclaimed by the queen to be official as of Feb 15, 2015. So there’s another date for you to mark!

  4. Katherine, speaking of flags, I can remember when many of the stores in Tweed had the Union Jack flying above the doors (1960s, 70s). Do you see that these days? It was usually throughout the summer. There were several stores that did this.

      • Oh, the times have changed. At one time during summer months, there were many Union Jacks above the doors to the Tweed stores, even after the Maple Leaf flag was introduced.

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