One dollar - A DOLLAR!!
So I see on Global News this morning that it's not just the anti-smoking zealots who are picking fights with Royal Canadian Legion members. A nice young man from the Bloc Quebecois has decided he won't be passing out Canadian flags to the Legion in his riding because "he doesn't feel comfortable with it" (is there any other excuse out there these days that gets accepted more uncritically?).
As much as I agree with Damian's closing sentiment, and appreciate Sean's parody, my visceral reaction to the thing is still, why oh why is the government involved with giving out free national flags? Anyone with an ounce of libertarian sensibilities ought to find it ridiculous.
And, aren't Canadians the ones who sniff at Americans for their ostentatious patriotism? That don't really jibe when we're the ones getting free flags from our government.
And where did the demand come from for this program in the first place? I'll answer my own question here - there wasn't any, but it seemed like a good idea to a certain National Post columnist and retired Liberal cabinet minister who believes that, by definition, anything provided by the government is more worthwhile than anything citizens provide for themselves.
I'm pretty sure there wasn't an outcry from people who wanted to display the Canadian flag but couldn't afford to. Here's a wholesaler who provides flags, and at those prices, the figurative definition of "giving them away" would seem to apply. A 12"x18" (that's 300x450mm to you and me) flag is a damn loonie! (Er, $1.07).
When Sheila et al initiated the program, they no doubt asked themselves (rhetorically), "What possible downside could there be to a free flag program?" Now we have the answer. Bravo.