Flag Day Reception 2017



Speaker Regan delivered an inspiring speech at our 2017 Flag Day Reception. See below for the full details:


Flag Day – February 15, 2017


Fellow parliamentarians, mesdames et messieurs, ladies and gentlemen, on behalf of Pearson Centre for Progressive Policy and on my own behalf, I would like to welcome you today to this wonderful celebration of the Flag.

It’s an honour for me to be hosting this event.

As some of you may know, I have a very personal connection to the flag.

My father was Member of Parliament for Halifax in 1964 when Prime Minister Pearson began the process of selecting a flag to represent Canada.

In fact, my father voted in favour of the design that is now immediately recognizable world-wide as a symbol not only of Canada, but of the peace and goodwill of its people.

*George Stanley, who created the design that was ultimately chosen, said that Canada’s flag should “serve as a rallying symbol and hence be a unifying force.”

*Although that is certainly true now, the debate surrounding the choice of design of our flag was lengthy, vigorous and at times quite heated.

Parliamentarians knew that this was a historic and crucial decision for our country; one that would not only shape us a nation, but would also invariably shape the way we, as a nation, are perceived by the world.

And in a way that can only be called quintessentially Canadian, we came to a decision together through discussion and consensus.

*In the years since, our flag has brought us closer together as people, providing us with a shared identity and a sense of national unity.

*Despite all that is known about the birth of this uniquely Canadian symbol, many people don’t know the story of the very first flag.

On a Friday in the fall of 1694, Prime Minister Pearson requested prototypes of the three final designs of the flag being considered to take up to his Harrington Lake residence for the weekend.

The request landed on the desk of Mr. Ken Donovan, a public servant with what is now Public Services and Procurement Canada.

Without a seamstress on hand and with a very tight deadline looming, Mr. Donovan asked his daughter, Joan O’Malley, to sew the flag prototypes for the Prime Minister.

The flags were delivered on time, and the rest, as they say, is history.

It is my privilege to welcome Ms. O’Malley and invite her to say a few words about her remarkable experience.

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