During the Second World War the flag we fought under was the red ensign, really The Union Jack.
The Flag of the British Empire.
Service men promised to honour and revere that flag.
It was prominently displayed and we showed our respect for the flag by saluting it as we passed.
That salute was an indication of our respect of our country and also a sign that we would obey and live up to the covenant and promise we had made when we enlisted in the service.
In 1965 Canadians chose a new flag.
A truly Canadian flag.
The Maple Leaf flag.
It became a more personal and national flag.
But as a replacement to the Union Jack it remained a new symbol of our love and respect for our country and for the liberty and freedom we enjoy.
Canada is different than it was 75 years ago.
Our population represents many ex-citizens of many nations.
They have all come here for a safe, secure and free life.
The Canadian flag is a common symbol of their desires and hopes.
It can bind us all together.
As a veteran, I challenge all Canadians to view the flag as the one symbol of unity within our country. A symbol that crosses political lines, religious lines, colour of skin lines, without regard.
Just as in times of crisis, of war times, let the flag unite us in a common effort to make our country the place we can be proud of and be happy with.