Callander has updated its flag policyDavid Briggs, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Callander council updated its flag policy, as the current one only covers situations in which flags must be placed at half-mast, “but does not address any other aspects of flag-raising at municipal facilities,” staff explained in a report to council.

Well, those days are over.

The updated policy now lays out guidelines for raising flags at all municipal facilities. The revisions are part of municipal staff’s mission to “revamp existing policies” governing the municipality to “ensure compliance with legislations and consistency” with the municipal Strategic Plan.

The last time the flag policy was dusted off was in 2019, and this new version is set for review in October, 2027. The revised policy is meant to “maintain a respectful and consistent display of flags,” staff noted, with the display of municipal, provincial, and national flags the priority.

On that note, all three flags will fly proudly at all municipal facilities that are equipped to do so. When handling these flags, they shall never touch the ground, and if the weather is terrible and could cause damage to the flags, the flag will be taken down and stored safely.

As for half-masting, the federal government has rules regarding this, including rules that affect municipal flagpoles. Callander will follow those rules, which include half-masting flags when a sitting member of council dies.  

The same sign of respect will be shown in the event of the death of King Charles or those of the Governor General, a sitting MP or MPP. If a police officer dies on active duty within municipal boundaries, the flags will be lowered, as they will if a current member of staff passes away.

When the need arises, members of Callander’s Operations Department will half-mast the flag from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

On Remembrance Day, November 11, flags will lower to honour our veterans and active soldiers and will remain at half-mast from sunrise to sunset. An exception will be made for the national flag at the Cenotaph, which will be raised and lowered during the Legion’s Remembrance Day Service.

Half-masting can also occur with the approval of council for any of the additional days listed within the federal government’s half-masting rules. The municipality will not fly other flags on its flagpoles. Only the municipal, provincial, and national flags shall wave from those heights.

David Briggs is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of BayToday, a publication of Village Media. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.

By David Briggs, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on Nov 17, 2023 at 17:22

This item reprinted with permission from   North Bay, Ontario
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