Anglo Society upset over N.B. flag flap

The Anglo Society of New Brunswick is upset that its plan to fly the group's flag outside Bathurst city hall in September was overturned in the face of controversy.

Group is planning protests in Fredericton on Aug. 15, Bathurst on Sept. 18

The Anglo Society of New Brunswick is upset that its plan to fly the group's flag outside Bathurst's city hall in September was overturned after the decision sparked intense controversy.

Bathurst council told the group on Monday that it would not be permitted to raise its flag outside city hall to mark "Anglo Day" on Sept. 18 despite receiving permission a week earlier.

Bathurst politicians came under intense scrutiny for originally giving the Anglo Society approval to raise its flag. The criticism came from citizens, a nearby mayor, and New Brunswick's commissioner of official languages.

Matthew Glenn, president of the Anglo Society, said he is disappointed council reversed its decision.

Glenn said his group, which is often criticized as being anti-bilingualism and anti-French, is misunderstood.

"We are not against the French. We are only against the way that they are pushing their language and taking right over completely," he said.

The Anglo Society's choice of Sept. 18 was key to Bathurst council's decision to revoke permission to fly their flag on that day.

That's the day in 1759 when the English defeated the French in the Battle of the Plains of Abraham in Quebec.

Bathurst Mayor Stephen Brunet said they should have done more research on the significance of that date in Quebec.

Councillors who originally voted yes to the Anglo Society's flag request asked the mayor to check to see if the date was significant to Acadians and if it would be offensive.

Protests in Bathurst, Fredericton

The controversy over the flag will not stop the Anglo Society from making a trip to Bathurst.

Even if it isn't hanging on a flagpole outside city hall, Glenn said the Anglo Society will bring its flag to Bathurst on Sept. 18.

The Anglo Society is also planning another protest in New Brunswick.

The group will protest the public celebration in Fredericton marking the Acadian national holiday on Aug. 15.

"It would be nice to get along with everybody, but going up there Sept. 18 to protest, and on Acadian Day in Fredericton, that doesn't bring people together, it divides us more than anything," Glenn said.

"But I will not back down when I know I'm right."

Glenn has also asked to fly the flag in Saint John, Fredericton, Moncton and Miramichi.

He said so far, none of those municipalities have responded to his request.