Actually, it’s taken the better part of a year to get to this point, but after a long, protracted fight with my condominium board over the right to fly the Canadian flag outside of my townhouse, things have flared up again.
On October 4th, 2012, I responded to the board’s ban on flying the Canadian flag with an open letter. The day after, and with an earful from supportive neighbours, they temporarily put a stay on fining me for having the flag.
Over the winter, some neighbours and I petitioned the entire neighbourhood twice.
Of the 99 units in Riverbend Village, we successfully polled 61, 49 of which were confirmed or possible owners.Of those who live here, a total of 90%, or 55 units were in support. Of owners, 88%, or 43 units were in support. This however included the mere 6 units that refused to sign the petition, as owners. Therefore, the negative support is quite possibly overstated, as some may be renters. Since we included all negatives as owners, then all 12 surveyed renters were recorded as 100% supportive.
In short, the neighbourhood overwhelmingly supported us in this dispute over what should be a non-issue.
As explained in the Calgary Sun, those agitating to ban the flag managed to get it passed at an AGM where it was not listed on the agenda distributed to owners in advance, and so I was not present.
It’s unlikely that the opinions of 90% of the neighbourhood has changed however, but I nonetheless tried to find a reasonable compromise with the board, and even took the flag down for two weeks as a show of good faith.
I hardly expected such as strange neighbourhood dispute to go so far, but this is not a flower pot that I’m trying to hang. It’s the national flag of my country, and I really couldn’t care less what some people think I shouldn’t be allowed to do with my own private property. It’s hardly pink flamingos or lawn gnomes.
While it might be an odd neighbourhood dispute, the Calgary Sun saw this as something that can’t be ignored, for which I’m very thankful.
The only negative comment I received was from a neighbour who pointed at the flag and said, “flying that is an American thing to do.” I must admit that I had a difficult time understanding the thought process in which one comes to the conclusion that flying the Canadian flag is an American thing.
People have been overwhelmingly positive however. I’ve received a new wave of support from my neighbours, friends and many strangers online. I’ve had at least two neighbours tell me that they will also be raising Canadian flags from their town homes, and at least a dozen offers to donate to help pay the fines.
I’m blown away by the support, but this seems to have touched the same nerve in many Calgarians that it touched in me.
For that, thank you.