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Old 09-07-2019, 09:54 PM
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Flags at Canadian football game


Last week, the Saskatchewan Roughriders hosted their traditional rivals for the Labour Day Classic. The Riders won on a field goal with the clock at 0:00. (Today's rematch, the Banjo Bowl in Winnipeg, did not go so well. Let us not talk about it.)

But, it got me thinking about flags. For Labour Day and also for Canada Day back in July, the Canada flag was literally the size of the field : 110 yards long by 65 yards tall (not quite regulation, as the proportions are 2:1, but close enough). Volunteers carried it out, furled, and then unfurled it to cover the field before the anthem.

But the game before that, against the Ottawa RedBlacks, had quite a flag corps, provided by the Canadian Legion (ie - Veterans association).

My recollection is that the flag corps had:
* Canadian flag
* Union flag
* Saskatchewan flag
* Ontario flag (variant of the Red Ensign)
* City of Regina flag
* Legion flag
* First Nations Eagle Staff
* Roughrider Flag
* RedBlack flag
* UN flag
* NATO flag
* RCMP F Division flag

That's quite a lot of flags. Do sports teams in other countries have that many in their ordinary opening ceremonies? Or other CFL or Canadian leagues?
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Old 09-07-2019, 10:04 PM
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AFL teams who triumphed the previous season are granted the indulgence to fly the premiership flag in their first home game. Generally further displays of flag waving patriotism, outside ANZAC Day, are frowned on. Banners & slogans are fair game.
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Old 09-07-2019, 10:57 PM
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Are flags seen more as giv't symbols in Oz?
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Old 09-07-2019, 11:09 PM
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Was a marked change after the 2000 Olympics, since then flag waving jingoistic fever became tolerated. But even then it really needed to be a national event rather than inter club or provincial.

Don’t know what %Aussie households would own a Aussie flag. I’d expect low single figures.
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Old 09-08-2019, 09:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by penultima thule View Post
Was a marked change after the 2000 Olympics, since then flag waving jingoistic fever became tolerated. But even then it really needed to be a national event rather than inter club or provincial.

Donít know what %Aussie households would own a Aussie flag. Iíd expect low single figures.
At sporting events in England, my personal impression is that Australia fans prefer the Boxing Kangaroo flag to the Australian national flag.

Canadian international athletes seem to be content with a red and white uniform with a subtle maple leaf somewhere, and from what I've noticed, fans seem to follow that convention. I've never noticed any regional display of Canadian provincialism at international sporting events.

Regionalism does occur within UK sport. Actually sports tribalism is huge, such that I'm convinced that a significant portion of tribal followers, at least among football fans, care more about the tribalism than the sport. However, flag waving, beyond England Scotland Wales (I don't think I've ever seen a Northern Ireland sports team), is fairly limited. I think people will wave a flag if it's provided at their seat at a sporting event. People do care about how well their regional team is doing. However, they're unlikely to express that regional support via flag waving. "Go Gloucestershire!" isn't really a thing.
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Old 09-08-2019, 11:07 AM
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At a U.S. sporting event, the only constant is, of course, the American flag, at least in part because, for as long as I've been alive, it's been the norm to play (and sing) The Star-Spangled Banner before the game.

Sometimes, there will be an honor guard presenting the U.S. flag -- if so, they may have a few other flags with them (such as a Marine Corps flag if it's a Marine guard, a state flag, etc.) If there's no honor guard, there'll be a flag flying (if an outdoor event) or hanging (if an indoor event) in the stadium, which everyone is supposed to turn to during the anthem.

If the visiting team is from Canada (particularly if it's an NHL game), there may be a Canadian flag there, and O Canada may be played after The Star-Spangled Banner.

Some cities have flags that get used often (Chicago being one), some teams may have flags (official or unofficial), etc., but I don't know how often I've actually seen them actually used in an opening ceremony at a game.

Last edited by kenobi 65; 09-08-2019 at 11:09 AM.
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Old 09-08-2019, 12:13 PM
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And on at least one occasion, the Marine Honour Guard flew the Canadian flag upside down.
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Old 09-08-2019, 02:46 PM
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And on at least one occasion, the Marine Honour Guard flew the Canadian flag upside down.
It was autumn.
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Old 09-08-2019, 02:58 PM
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It was autumn.
As it turns out, this is true! It was apparently at the 1992 World Series, which would, indeed, have been in October.
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Old 09-08-2019, 10:24 PM
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THere was a brief flurry of t-shirts available in Canada with the flag correctly oriented and the caption : "This end up, eh?"
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Old 09-08-2019, 10:35 PM
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MY recollection is that the Marines handled the gaffe in a very classy way.

The Commandant issued a public letter of apology, and requested the honour of the Marines carrying the Canadian flag at the next game in the series in Toronto.

And that's what was done, with the Marines carrying the Maple leaf, pointy end up, and the Mounties carrying the Stars and Stripes. The crowd cheered the Marines, Canadians accepted the apology, and the Blue Jays went on to win the World Series.
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Last edited by Northern Piper; 09-08-2019 at 10:36 PM.
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Old 09-10-2019, 06:35 PM
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I was at that game. It was classy and all was forgiven. Awesome game too.
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