Sudbury

Russian flag to stay on Sudbury's Bridge of Nations, but coming down at Sault Ste. Marie city hall

The woman who started the Bridge of Nations in Sudbury says the Russian flag will be staying on the local landmark.

Some have questioned whether the flag should be taken down after Russian troops invade Ukraine

The Russian flag, along with 91 other flags, flies along Sudbury's Bridge of Nations. (Jonathan Migneault/CBC)

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has some Sudburians requesting a change to one of the city's landmarks.

The Bridge of Nations over the downtown trainyards is lined with 92 flags representing the different cultural communities that make up Greater Sudbury.

The Russian flag is one of them.

Since the war began in Ukraine, some have called Sudbury city hall requesting it come down, but it will be staying put. 

Ursula Sauve, who came up with the idea for the Bridge of Nations and still co-chairs the committee overseeing it, says their policy from the beginning has been to keep the flags apolitical.

Ursula Sauve founded the Bridge of Nations in Sudbury. (Hilary Duff/CBC)

"We definitely always made a point of making sure that it doesn't become a political statement," she said.

"The Russian flag on the bridge represents the local Russian community, not Putin."

Sauve said they have also denied other requests to remove or lower flags since they first started flying over Paris Street in 2007.

In Sault Ste. Marie, Mayor Christian Provenzano announced on social media that the Russian flag at city hall is coming down. 

"Ukraine's example of courage deserves our collective respect, gratitude and support," he wrote on Twitter.

"As an act of solidarity with Ukraine and our own Ukrainian community here in the city, the Russian flag flying in front of city hall will be taken down. It will remain down so long as Russia continues its unlawful and unprovoked attack against Ukraine."

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