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Really Arugs...so that explains why the last two Canada Day polls show patriotism as being higher than it has been in a long time. We have something to bring us together already. It's called O Canada.

But what is the quality of that patriotism? The last two Canada Days also gave us numbers that showed Canadians have an abysmal knowledge of their own history and present civics. That leads me to believe that the patriotism expressed in polls is merely a blind and meaningless loyalty to paper-thin symbols like the flag and multiculturalism. As one journalist put it in the Ottawa Citizen: "The Canada of the government-funded paper flag-waving and painted faces – the 'new' Canada that is celebrated each year on what is now called 'Canada Day' – has nothing controversially Canadian about it. You could wave a different flag, and choose another face paint, and nothing would be lost."1 Perhaps a tad exaggerated, but it still has an air of truth about it.

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Shouldn't Canadians be pledging allegiance to the Crown?

I vaguely do recall pledging allegiance to the flag in the 50s.   Went something like:  I pledge allegiance to the flag and to the country for which it stands.   There was a bit more to it,

Ont in the 60's. I remember that also. Always like the song god save the queen.

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I don't know about that. Most respondents agreed that they lived in the best country in the world. I don't find that to be paper thin. It's true that too many people lack knowledge of our history and our institutions, but they don't lack a passion for this country. They don't lack a feeling of satisfaction. They don't seem to lack a sense of belonging. It's a different kind of patriotism than you or I may want, but I still think it's real, and I still think it's very positive.

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I don't know about that. Most respondents agreed that they lived in the best country in the world. I don't find that to be paper thin. It's true that too many people lack knowledge of our history and our institutions, but they don't lack a passion for this country. They don't lack a feeling of satisfaction. They don't seem to lack a sense of belonging. It's a different kind of patriotism than you or I may want, but I still think it's real, and I still think it's very positive.

Well, I certainly can't say that holding the country in a positive light is a bad thing. And I don't doubt the veracity of the respondents' answers to the pollsters. I merely wonder how thick is the patriotic veneer? I have my doubts that one can be really patriotic without knowing the country one professes to love. Sure, some think they know the country because they honestly believe it is nothing more than Charter rights and a passport; and they can't be blamed because, worse than not being told different, they've actually been encouraged by the Jack Layton types to accept that as fact. But that is a near worthless patriotism because it unknowingly lets the accreted national story - one of the key elements that binds a people - be bled of its richness and meaning until it's merely an insipid list of inoffensive slogans.

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I don't know about that. Most respondents agreed that they lived in the best country in the world. I don't find that to be paper thin. It's true that too many people lack knowledge of our history and our institutions, but they don't lack a passion for this country. They don't lack a feeling of satisfaction. They don't seem to lack a sense of belonging. It's a different kind of patriotism than you or I may want, but I still think it's real, and I still think it's very positive.

I can't think of anywhere I'd rather live, but i wouldn't be so arrogant to say it's the best country in the world...I'm sure there are other great places as well. Part of being Canadian is being modest and secure in the knowledge that we doing well in the world, and not feeling the need to be strutting around annoying everyone else like our neighbours to the south, no one likes a braggart.

Flags, touchy feely songs, in your face patriotism isn't part of my life I don't need silly childish ceremonies and pageantry to feel Canadian. My attachment is to the land itself is and a confidence this is the only place I want to be...just maybe not in this city.

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People who live here love this country. I'm talking about polls taken in the lead up to Canada that show that canadians love this country and they aren't modest about it anymore. It's been two years in a row that it was shown now.

Wow, you must think Harper is doing a hell of a job then! Good for you.

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What you're saying is you shouldn't show any loyalty or affection for a country unless you get something out of it. Swell attitude.

Why did you respond to my post twice, each time with a completely different attitude? Perhaps I wasn't clear: "the country" can mean the area of geography that falls within conceptual borders. As an inanimate object, that piece of land isn't sentient; it can't know you're giving it loyalty and it can't willingly offer you anything in return. Odd, though, that you took what I said to mean something selfish; in fact, I thought I was highlighting how it's better to have a reciprocal relationship between citizen and nation, individual and community, each giving something to the other in a happy balance. Is cooperation so bad?

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no one likes a braggart.

That doesn't seem to be true anymore. I can comfortably say that I would rather live nowhere else. For me, this is the best country in the world.

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I don't know about that. Most respondents agreed that they lived in the best country in the world. I don't find that to be paper thin.

And most of them know little to nothing about what life is like in other countries - not to mention what life is like in other parts of THIS country.

They say they live in the best country in the world because that is what the government keeps telling them.

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Objectively, they live in one of the best countries if not the best. I'm surprised that you would say otherwise Argus.

It's hard for me to say that living here is better, objectively speaking, than living in France or Spain or Sweden or Norway. Can you tell me in what ways it's better?

I did not say it was not among the best. That was not the phrasing of the question. If Canada is the best place in the world to live then - why? How is it better than those other countries above? How is it better than living in Australia or Austria?

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It's hard for me to say that living here is better, objectively speaking, than living in France or Spain or Sweden or Norway. Can you tell me in what ways it's better?

I did not say it was not among the best. That was not the phrasing of the question. If Canada is the best place in the world to live then - why? How is it better than those other countries above? How is it better than living in Australia or Austria?

It probably has the largest dumb rednecks/capita

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  • 7 months later...

Hi,

I would like to hear from anyone who can remember the pledge we used to make to the Canadian flag during "morning exercises" at school in the 60's and 70's. I distinctly remember after entering class, singing 'God Save the Queen', reciting a quick quote from the Bible, and then saluting the Flag and saying something like " I salute the flag, the emblem of my country, to which...." or something along those lines. Anyone else in the forum that remembers this and can tell me the pledge? I have checked the maple leaf web site and it states there is no recognized pledge. But we did this for years at school. I am from Alberta. Was this unique to our schools?

Hope someone can help. Regards

Hi,

I am from Alberta and during the 60's I also remember the "morning exercises" at school every morning. I recall singing "God Save the Queen", the "Lords Prayer" and saluting the flag and I remember exactly the same words that you do.... I just asked my husband if he remembers more. He said that it was not the Canadian flag that we were saluting, it was the Union Jack, and he remembers when he used to sing "God Save the King". I was researching the Union Jack and I could not find any further info on a salute either. I would really like to know what the words were because it is almost like no one wants to admit to there being a salute that we gave to our flag. Curious for a reply...

Edited by CanadaRose
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Perhaps I wasn't clear: "the country" can mean the area of geography that falls within conceptual borders. As an inanimate object, that piece of land isn't sentient; it can't know you're giving it loyalty and it can't willingly offer you anything in return.

And technically your right, the geography is an inamimate object, however i think when i describe Canada as a nation,a coutry i tend to think of it's people, it's history, the good the bad and the ugly, which brings life to it, making it a living breathing thing, with a sole and character which defines who we are

Flags, touchy feely songs, in your face patriotism isn't part of my life I don't need silly childish ceremonies and pageantry to feel Canadian. My attachment is to the land itself is and a confidence this is the only place I want to be...just maybe not in this city.

I feel totally different, more due to the fact that patriotism is a major part of my life, as a soldier it has to be, we thrive on ceremonies and pageantry, not to feel canadian but rather pay homage to a truely great nation, and all who had a part in building it into what it is today.

Our nations flag identifies who we are , not only on the battlefield but anywhere we vist,it sends a clear msg to others that we are from Canada, WE ARE CANADIAN. we wear it with pride on our shoulder,

Everything we do in the military is full of ceremony and pageantry from signing up and going to recruit school, to being escorted back to Canada with our nations flag draped over our coffin...Our national athem also holds the same speacial meaning to us everytime i hear it my chest swells with pride, i stand taller, knowing that i am a member of the best country in the damn world...I think it is in all of us, tell me every Canadian does not feel the same way when our team Canada hockey team takes the ice, or they stand up to recieve the gold..... I think this ceremony and pageantry is a way of remembering all those Canadians that built this great nation we live in...our way of saying thanks...

How is our country better, no other can offer the diversity that Cananda does from the cliffs in NFLD to the Rocky mountains in the west from the frozen north to the southern tip of Ont , our vast natural resources, our diverse people, our history, we cover it all, i don't want to sound like a beer commercial but i've traveled to well over 50 other nations, ok most where war torn shit holes but not all and i'm always glad when that aircraft touches down in Canada....we rock, and are second to none, we are the best at what we do, nobody can touch that....

Edited by Army Guy
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Hi... I have checked the maple leaf web site and it states there is no recognized pledge. But we did this for years at school. I am from Alberta. Was this unique to our schools?

Hope someone can help. Regards

I attended school in Saskatoon during the 60's. Each schoolday started with reciting the Lord's prayer and singing God Save the Queen. Until about 1967 or so. then even those were dropped. No flag pledges at anytime.

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And technically your right, the geography is an inamimate object, however i think when i describe Canada as a nation,a coutry i tend to think of it's people, it's history, the good the bad and the ugly, which brings life to it, making it a living breathing thing, with a sole and character which defines who we are

But what you list as being Canada is still intangible; "the people" is a concept, history is a story, and the soul and character of Canada to you is different to what it is for someone else. No doubt, these are still greatly important ingredients in a rich national ethos; but they still can't give any allegiance to you in return for yours you give to them.

Swearing fealty isn't simply an emotional, patriotic event; it's also a contract between you and the the state in which you live. Hence, it's the Canadian monarch - as the unambiguous, physical personification of the nation - to whom allegiance is given. There was a debate some time ago in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario regarding adding an oath to Canada after MPPs swore their oath to the Queen; a speaker at a standing committee meeting said the following about the oath:

The Queen is the legal embodiment of the state at both the national and the provincial levels. There is no other legal embodiment. That is why the oath is taken to the Queen. It is not taken because she is an admirable person in her own right or because it is a nice tradition to maintain...

At her coronation, the Queen took an oath to "cause law and justice, in mercy, to be executed" and to govern the people of Canada "according to their laws and customs..." The Queen takes an oath to Canadians, and Canadians swear allegiance to the Queen. Except through the person of the Queen, Canada cannot take an oath to Canadians in return. It doesn't exist in the sense that it can take an oath. It is fundamental to our tradition of law and freedom that the commitments made by the people are reciprocated by the state. Reciprocal oaths are essential to our Canadian concept of government...

The current oath, as an added benefit, does support national unity because all senators, MPs, MPPs, MNAs, MHAs and MLAs in Canada take the same oath. There is no difference from Newfoundland to British Columbia... Assuming it could establish a second oath, can the Legislature establish an oath of loyalty to Canada without first establishing a legally binding definition of "Canada"? Can you have laws without the law being defined? It is not good enough to say that we know what it means. We do not know what it means. I have talked to many people who have said they want an oath to Canada, and every one of them has given me a different definition of what they mean by "Canada." Trying to establish such a binding definition will lead to enormous disunity.

Another speaker said:

what does loyalty to Canada mean separate from loyalty to Canada embodied in the Queen? Does it mean loyalty to Canada in its entirety, to all its people and ideologies? That is the most obvious meaning. But no one can say that he or she is loyal to all that is Canada and no one should be asked to say that or to be that.

Are the New Democrats and Liberals on this committee loyal to the Conservatives' policies and vice versa? Of course not. But that is what loyalty to Canada in its entirety would mean, because conservatism, liberalism and socialism are all part of Canada, and Canada includes much that is not even worthy of loyalty... They may say that we are not loyal to what we recognize as bad, rather we are loyal to what we consider good in Canada, but that means we are not loyal to Canada as it really exists but only to our own subjective view and definition of "Canada"... [And] once you start qualifying the definition of "Canada" by excluding those things and people that exist here but which you reject, you start down the slippery yet inevitable slope of classifying those who hold different views as not really being part of Canada. You start on the path to a committee on un-Canadian activities, a path which our equally well-meaning American neighbours travelled with disastrous results.

It's nowhere near as simple a matter as most people think it is.

[+]

Edited by g_bambino
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That doesn't seem to be true anymore. I can comfortably say that I would rather live nowhere else. For me, this is the best country in the world.

and what's your experience witn other countries?...I'm sure I could have an equally good life in a number of other countries maybe even better...
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I attended school in Saskatoon during the 60's. Each schoolday started with reciting the Lord's prayer and singing God Save the Queen. Until about 1967 or so. then even those were dropped. No flag pledges at anytime.

same time, same city and we only did that once a week on friday mornings for a half hour...procedure was dependent on individual school Principals preference...silly cerimonial stuff most of the older kids just ignored/slept/talked through the ceremony but it was better than school work and shortened the time to recess...
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The sophisticate in me looks down my nose at the thought of reciting such pledges.

On the other hand... they are a way of creating a uniform sort of feeling of togetherness and a sense of loyalty and nationalism to a common nation, to a flag which represents that nation. Everyone feels the need to belong to something. And these sorts of exercises help instill in children the feeling that the belong to a place called Canada, and that it is worthy of their love and devotion.

And that is something which seems to be largely absent today.

Real patriotism and loyalty isnt coerced by the government.

Id rather spend the time on math and science.

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But what you list as being Canada is still intangible; "the people" is a concept, history is a story, and the soul and character of Canada to you is different to what it is for someone else. No doubt, these are still greatly important ingredients in a rich national ethos; but they still can't give any allegiance to you in return for yours you give to them.

I'd like to think the people are more than just a concept, with out them there would be no nation, no history no soul or character.

And in my case as a soldier i'd like to think there is a un written contract between me and the people, a soldier offers his services to the people,and the people agree to provide him with the tools to do the job, to ensure his very life is not wasted on some wannbe mission dreamt up by some politician to score pionts globally or internally....So it's more than just a concept. but something tanglable.

As for oath to the Queen why not to the government of Canada such as what the US does, make the PM the commander and chief, or to the people of Canada.

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As for oath to the Queen why not to the government of Canada such as what the US does, make the PM the commander and chief, or to the people of Canada.

Yeah... why doesnt the government just make us swear an oath to them every day :lol:

I owe the Canadian government NOTHING. Not one fucking pinch of coonshit. If they want my respect or allegiance they have to earn it... not demand it by putting into the school curriculum.

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I'd like to think the people are more than just a concept, with out them there would be no nation, no history no soul or character.

And in my case as a soldier i'd like to think there is a un written contract between me and the people, a soldier offers his services to the people,and the people agree to provide him with the tools to do the job, to ensure his very life is not wasted on some wannbe mission dreamt up by some politician to score pionts globally or internally....So it's more than just a concept. but something tanglable.

As for oath to the Queen why not to the government of Canada such as what the US does, make the PM the commander and chief, or to the people of Canada.

MD's take oaths and break them, lawyers take oaths and break them, politicians take oaths and break them, soldiers take oaths and break them...meaningless sentimentality...

I don't need a silly oath, do the job you were hired for or be fired...

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I'd like to think the people are more than just a concept, with out them there would be no nation, no history no soul or character.

As for oath to the Queen why not to the government of Canada such as what the US does, make the PM the commander and chief, or to the people of Canada.

"The people" is nothing but a concept; can you possibly know every single Canadian (and do you include permanent residents, visitors, refugees, or not?) and whether or not you give each your allegiance? Sure, the notion of "the people" is key to forming a bigger impression of the nation, but it's useless in law, which is the realm of oaths of allegiance (along with command of the armed forces).

The US has no oath to the government; they pledge allegiance to the constitution, another inanimate object that can itself do nothing for US citizens in return for their promise. Governments, including prime ministers, are partisan and change constantly; most of the country today would loathe to swear allegiance to the government because of the controlling party's ideologies; that's precisely why we have the concept of a loyal opposition - you can oppose the government while remaining devoted to the state (as personified in the Queen). Lastly, it would be insane to have the armed forces under full control of a politician.

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As for oath to the Queen why not to the government of Canada such as what the US does, make the PM the commander and chief, or to the people of Canada.

Well swearing allegiance to the Queen depoliticizes the process and it also ensure continuity. Goverments come and go but the sovereign through direct lineage is eternal. You swear allegiance not just to the current monarch but to the crown in general. Whereas the GoC is rather transient and can change at any time.

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