Friday, April 11, 2008

When a flag isn't a flag

Londoners shouldn't view the flying of a community group's flag in front of City Hall as any kind of endorsement, according to Cont. Gina Barber during last night's Board of Control debate on a municipal flag policy. One wonders what she thinks flags are for?

A willfully constructed statement, nevertheless, and if she believed just a word of it she'd be able to spare herself the task she had claimed for herself just the previous day of "wrestling" with the "tough choices" of which flags to fly. So much simpler, of course, to restrict flag-flying privileges to groups that "back the City's philosophy," in Barber's words, of the various concepts of "inclusiveness" or "diversity and freedom of expression." Londoners might be tempted to take Barber at her word that approval on these self-referential lines doesn't represent endorsement as it would spare them the trouble of figuring out just what the hell she means! Better still, they should reply as Cont. Tom Gosnell did so succinctly to Barber's bizarre injunction: "You'd have to be on drugs to believe that."

Still, Barber will have one burden lifted off her shoulders as Board of Control recommended to Council that Staff should in future have the responsibility addressing flag request and trying to figure out what she means — at the expense of "additional staff resources in order to provide the necessary expertise and investigative capacity to determine the history and political ramifications of each request for the flying of a flag" of course. At least something has come of the seven months of staff resources required to produce policy recommendations, even if Board of Control could not accept the least complicated, contentious and discriminatory of the recommendations that would ban any future grandstanding cosmetic gestures by politicians — not endorsements, mind you!

Of special interest to Londoners is Board of Control's recommendation to put future flag displays behind City Hall rather than in front of it, where they won't have to look at endorsements even if they can't overlook them.

See also:

Not that there's nothing wrong with this
Are we proud now?
Communitizing
A flag solution
Ministry of Flags

3 comments:

NIAC said...

How much does it cost to get one's flag flown? I say, whoo hoo, the more flags flown, the lower the tax rate.

MapMaster said...

Careful, NIAC, there won't be an administrative job for you at City Hall if you keep coming up with creative ideas like that.

NIAC said...

I figure that since the "street meat" vendors have to pay a new tax, which is making them leave London, just have an up-front, in-your-face tax on flag-wav...er...flying.

Speaking of a complete waste of resources, like the sexual harrasment thing at City Hall, what is with this wooing of the Shriners? I understand the importance of the hospital, but give it up, A-M, they don't love you anymore, so just deal. "We're putting the hospital in Montreal" is the same as "it isn't you, it's me". It doesn't matter if you understand...it is over.

:)