Le drapeau des francophones de Terre-Neuve et du Labrador
The Reading List for 02 Jun 23
May 30, 1992.
The first time that the flag of the Fédération des francophones de Terre-Neuve et du Labrador flew in front of the Confederation Building. Not on the puny little thing someone stuck up a few years ago out of sight of most people but on one of the main poles at the front of the building. And not on the fake pole they use these days to host events inside the building away from the public.
Organizing those sorts of events was one of my jobs during my time on The Hill. This was one very special and the Premier was very happy to help raise the flag. In the context of the ongoing constitutional talks in the early 1990s, it was an especially important symbolic act to recognize the francophone community in Newfoundland and Labrador in this way.
Le 30 mai 1992, le drapeau franco-terre-neuvien-et-labradorien s'élève pour la 1ère fois devant l'Édifice de la Confédération. Afin de commémorer cet événement, les communautés célèbrent chaque année à pareille date cette reconnaissance de leurs droits.
When the next day came, one of the security fellows from the building called me up to wonder what to do with it. I took custody of it but no one ever came for it. When I left the office in 1996, the flag went out the door with me. It remained safely in a box in my basement until a few weeks ago. I took it out, made sure it was clean and then contacted an old friend to see if the Federation would like to have it back.
Each year, the francophone community marks that historic flag raising so off I went last Tuesday to make a presentation to Sophie Thibodeau, president of the FFTN. The historic flag is now where it belongs and will soon be on public display.
In these days of controversy about the Ode and as everyone speaks of the need for diversity, equity, and inclusion, we should all look to the example of the FFTNL. Its members may share a language but they are culturally diverse. They include people born and raised in Newfoundland and Labrador, whose families have been here for generations, others from across Canada, from France - particularly St. Pierre et Miquelon, and other more recent emigres from other French-speaking countries and regions.
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