The Canadian Flag Means Hope

By Kristine Harwood

I have spent the last 25 years looking at the Canadian flag. Whenever I do, I feel conflicted by pride and sorrow. Pride because our nation values public healthcare, schooling, democracy, and freedom. Sorrow because colonialism, residential schools, internment camps, and war are all part of our past and present. To be Canadian should be to acknowledge where we have faltered and where we continue to. We’ve come far, but there has been a price and too often, we have marginalized people to pay it.

So, with this confliction, what does the flag mean to me? It may surprise you, but it still means hope. Hope that we will be accountable. Hope that we will support each other in times of need. Hope that we will be willing to have difficult conversations about privilege and oppression. Hope that one day, there are no more attacks on peoples, land, and places of worship

MA Student, Carleton University
Ottawa, Canada

Subscribe to the Pearson Centre newsletter.

Insightful commentary & debate, delivered to your inbox. Sign up below.