Hey EMC,I am just making this Thread to celebrate Canada Day, and the flag. Here is some info, and facts about it. Are the Conservatives playing politics with the Canadian flag?OTTAWA — The Harper government may not be completely ignoring the 50th anniversary of the Canadian flag, but the relatively modest plans to mark the day have some claiming the flag is getting the shaft.Technically, plans in the works; one page of Heritage Canada’s website invites citizens to celebrate the flag … by doing their own thing.“Canadians are invited to join together and celebrate our flag by organizing their own public events or by showing their pride on social media,” Heritage Canada’s website suggests.Another page on the site offers activity ideas for the proactive patriots among us. Suggestions include: drawing a mural at school, organizing and inviting a veteran to a singing of the national anthem or flag raising ceremony, and hosting a bake sale with a National Flag of Canada theme. Is the beaming red and white flag — the one Canadians wave proudly when the country’s athletes win gold, sew to backpacks when touring foreign countries and draw on their cheeks every July 1 — being brushed off?The Liberals think so.“It’s unfortunate because Canadians are proud of their flag,” Liberal heritage critic Stephane Dion said in an interview.It was Feb. 15, 1965 when the maple leaf flag was raised for the first time on Parliament Hill, the successful end to a project Liberal prime minister Lester Pearson spearheaded. Today, the same familiar design tops each of the three main buildings on the Hill. It hangs from buildings and balconies each Canada Day and is lowered to half-mast when the nation mourns the deaths of those who helped shape the country. WATCH ABOVE: The Canadian flag is marking a big milestone – its 50th birthday. Here are some facts about the flag that you may not know.As of Feb. 11, the calendar of events on Heritage Canada’s main page listed Sir John A. Macdonald Day (celebrated every Jan. 11) and Winterlude (an annual Ottawa-area winter celebration running Jan. 30 to Feb 16). The flag’s anniversary does receive billing elsewhere on the site, but clicking a 50th anniversary link only gets a visitor to a page inviting them to do their own thing or to share a photo of the flag on social media.A spokeswoman for Heritage Minister Shelly Glover wrote that government representatives would attend some events suggested online (flag-raising ceremonies in communities), are “partnering” with organizations like Royal Canadian Legions to promote the anniversary and that there will be a flag–raising and some birthday cake at Winterlude on Sunday.Additionally, the Museum of History will have an exhibit on the creation of the flag, and the Canadian Mint and Canada Post are introducing commemorative coins and stamps, the spokeswoman wrote.Though she offered these events, the spokeswoman didn’t comment directly on the comparatively small scope of the celebrations.“It’s the bare minimum,” Dion said of the Conservatives’ plans for the anniversary. “Why not a national celebration on the Hill? It’s very strange the government is not doing that.”GALLERY: The Red Ensign, the proclamation for the new flag, and some rejected ideasBy contrast, the day last month when Canada’s first prime minister, Conservative John A. MacDonald, would have turned 200 years old attracted the prime minister to Kingston, Ont., as well as former prime ministers Kim Campbell and John Turner, government House leader Peter Van Loan and Transport Minister Lisa Raitt, among other distinguished guests.A celebration for the War of 1812, meanwhile, warranted its own government website, 1812.gc.ca, and five years’ worth of news releases.“The Liberals think the flag should have been celebrated at least as much as the War of 1812,” Dion said. “We are very proud of what Sir John A. did for the country. To celebrate him is very important. But it’s also important to celebrate the flag.”The price tags for the celebrations are also revealing; Ottawa earmarked $50,000 for celebrations for the flag’s birthday, compared to almost $4 million for the celebration of Sir John A.’s birth, and $5.2 million for advertising related to the bicentennial of the War of 1812.Rick Dykstra, parliamentary secretary to the heritage minister, explained the discrepancy by saying the government doesn’t need to spend any significant sum to promote a flag already so well-known around the world.“I think a lot less people knew and know about what happened during the War of 1812,” Dykstra said. “Ensuring that there is an awareness and educational aspect to the celebration of 1812 certainly is a lot different than people’s understanding, Canadians’ knowledge and belief and love of the Canadian flag. If money were necessary to celebrate the flag we’d spend it.”Asked why he believes the Conservatives are doing only the “bare minimum,” Dion said he didn’t want to “speculate about something that should be so far above partisanship.”Although a Liberal prime minister was in power when the national flag was born, the flag has come to symbolize the country — not a party or dogma or class of people, Dion said.“It’s clearly Canadian. It’s beautiful, it’s a celebration of our immense nature,” he said.By the time Pearson even launched his hunt for a flag, Parliament had been bouncing the idea around for a half century.It began with a committee struck in 1925 that never finished its job.Twenty years later, another committee was tasked with researching potential Canadian flags and received upwards of 2,500 submissions. Again, this committee never settled on anything, and Parliament was never called to vote on a favoured design.