Saint John snubs Anglo Society flag

The Anglo Society of New Brunswick is running into opposition from Saint John in attempts to have its flag fly in the city.

The Anglo Society of New Brunswick is running into opposition from Saint John in attempts to have its flag fly in the city.

This week Bathurst city council reversed its decision to fly the controversial anglophone-rights group's flag on Sept. 18, which it called Anglo Day.

That's the date in 1759 that the English defeated the French in the Battle of the Plains of Abraham and took Quebec.

The Anglo Society has also requested that other cities — including Saint John and Miramichi — fly the flag on that date.

Saint John Mayor Ivan Court said the city agreed to the group's request until Wednesday when recent events alerted him to the conflict. 

Court said the Anglo Society must now submit a formal request to council by letter.

That formal request would have to be presented to council and voted on at a later date.

Court said he's concerned about the implications for his city if the flag is raised.

"We are a bilingual province and by law and by custom. We just held the Jeux d'Acadie in Saint John, 1,100 athletes were in Saint John, well supported by the citizens of Saint John and we are open for people, for business," Court said.

"And this sort of goes against the grain, and when people use it as a political weapon that doesn't help anyone."

Bathurst had originally approved the Anglo Society's flag to be raised but backtracked on the decision in the face of a significant controversy.

A nearby mayor and Michel Carrier, the province's commissioner of official languages, both asked the city to reconsider the flag decision.

The Anglo Society said it plans to hold protests in Bathurst on Sept. 18 and in Fredericton on Aug. 15, which is the Acadian national holiday.