Nfld. & Labrador

Flags up without fanfare causing flap in Labrador

The Labrador flag is officially flying over the border with Quebec, but the people who pushed for it are wondering where's the ceremony promised by government.

Missing pole also cause for concern

The Labrador flag now flies on a metal pole at the border of Quebec and Labrador West. (Submitted photo)

The Labrador flag is officially flying over the border with Quebec, but the people who pushed for it are wondering — where's the ceremony promised by government?

The flags went up unofficially last fall, on homemade poles, when a group headed to the border to mark the 40th anniversary of the Labrador flag.

The Newfoundland and Labrador government said in March it would replace them with official flags, and on Thursday it did that, quietly.

Labrador residents say the flag is an important symbol, and a flag raising ceremony would be 'a sign of respect.' (CBC)

Labrador west resident Jordan Brown told CBC Radio's Labrador Morning there should have been more fanfare.

"I'm glad they lived up to their promise." he said, but people are upset at how it was done."

"They're offended that it was done so unceremoniously. People would think well if it was any other flag that would have never happened, and that's why they're very upset."

Brown said there should have been someone from government present, "as a sign of respect," and others to witness the flag raising.

"It's a historical event, because it's been 40 years since the Labrador flag came into existence," saod Brown.

"People took to it very fast, took it right to the heart."

A spokesperson for the Department of Transportation and Public Works said Friday that the lack of a ceremony was related to the election.

"During an election, the provincial government is in caretaker status. Whether there's a formal ceremony will be determined after the election," said media relations manager Bradley Power, in an email.

Missing pole

Brown says Labradorians are also upset that the wooden flagpole on the border in southern Labrador is missing, "and was taken down without consultation with the people who put it up.

"It was supposed to be given to a local museum," he said.

The Department of Transportation and Works said the flag and pole at the southern Labrador crossing was "inadvertently removed by the contractor during foundation construction for the new flagpoles," and that 'the department is in the process of locating the pole and the flag that was removed by the contractor."

Brown said he is pleased the department is looking for the flag, but it shouldn't have disappeared in the first place.

"We were supposed to be contacted when this work was about to start and we were supposed to remove the poles ourselves," he said.

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