Mayor Al McDonald says, in his personal opinion, the Canadian flag is seen in a different light due to the freedom convoys of this past winter.
"It's unfortunate," that the flag's meaning "has been blurred through those protests," says McDonald while clarifying that he respects the rights of citizens to peacefully gather and protest.
"Absolutely, I'm concerned about the perception of the flag through those protests — and hopefully, the general public recaptures that flag," as a source of pride, he adds, Monday, from North Bay City Hall.
Whether flown as symbols of the convoys that protested mandates related to the COVID-19 pandemic in various Canadian border locations and the nation's capital or flown upside down as a statement of political unrest, the Mayor acknowledges there are now multiple meanings behind flying the red maple leaf.
"Is it because of a protest or is it patriotic?" McDonald laments.
McDonald maintains, "The flag should never be used in a political way. It's a symbol and we all stand when the national anthem is played, it's something we take great pride in."