November 8, 1945 (20th Parliament, 1st Session)


Julian Harcourt Ferguson

Progressive Conservative

Mr. J. H. FERGUSON (Simcoe North):

In my opinion the members of this house have heard to-day some of the worst words of sacrilege ever spoken with reference to that great flag known as the union jack. It has been used to-day to bring about the cessation of a necessary effort to stop a serious strike, to relieve men and women depending upon those who served in the armed forces, to bring loved ones back to the country, to keep men from working who should be employed now and who were in the armed forces of Canada. That great flag has been.used for that purpose to-day.
What ulterior motive is behind all this I am not sure. This flag, the union jack which it is suggested now should be changed for another one, is the very symbol which this country is looking for at the present time to establish firmly the unity that we hear spoken of so flippantly in this house from time to

Canadian Flag
time. I listened carefully to what the hon. member for Rosetown-Biggar (Mr., Coldwell) said, and I hope I am speaking loud enough for him to-night. He declared that Canada needed a new flag and a new national anthem. Let me remind the hon. gentleman that there are people in this country who were living here long before he thought of coming to Canada and were satisfied with that flag and that national anthem.
Let me briefly go over the history of that flag so far as we in Canada are concerned. We expect in this country to build a great nation wherein there will be freedom for all, including freedom of enterprise, and we can achieve this purpose only by recalling the traditions associated with that flag and the part which our forefathers played in preserving it for us. Let me say to French-Canadian members whose ancestry in this country goes back a hundred years or more, that no man in this house with such an ancestry, dating back four or five generations, should forget the facts connected with the flag.
That bit of bunting known as the union jack is the flag that united this country and united it in a most peculiar manner. It was the flag that was carried up the heights of Abraham where two armies under two generals, French and British, met. They fought a great battle. One was defeated and one victorious, and at that time there was created in this dominion a spirit of unity which unfortunately in the past thirty years has disintegrated, at least to a considerable degree. That unity which was created on the plains of Abraham between your forefathers and mine served us on the St. Lawrence river, at Fort York and on Queenston Heights, even while the British overseas were [DOT] fighting Napoleon. At that time your ancestors and mine united to fight, the common enemy and keep this country free for uS all under the union jack.

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