15 July 2009

Fantasy Island; Flags of Our Fathers version

A cabinet minister whose doesn’t know his historical arse from his current events elbow.

And now a bunch of guys who put up a flag to remind us, supposedly, of where we came from, of our past. That’s how one of the guys behind a giant pink, white and green flag described the project for CBC Radio’s Chris O’Neill-Yates.

Seems some yahoo unscrewed the flag base and demolished the thing a month or so after the boys put it back. Apparently it’s been vandalised every year since it was stuck up there a few years ago.

Ah yes, a glorious reminder of our past.

Our past as the pre-Confederation Newfoundland, it would seem:

As mentioned in my last post, we’re putting up the Republic of Newfoundland flag on the South Side hills, and everyone is invited to join in on the hike.

Those familiar with what actually happened will no doubt be scratching their heads and rightly so. Just stop before you cut through the skin.

The Republic of Newfoundland is fiction.

Never existed.

Never happened.

The “republic” is entirely the invention of a local guy looking to make a buck on a few tee-shirts. And he’s made it too what with the popularity of the shirts among the latter-day corner boys.

The flag – in all its pink, white and green gloriousness – belonged to a St. John’s crowd but over its whole history it never gained widespread popularity through what became the Dominion of Newfoundland.

It was certainly never adopted as the official flag of the country.

In other words, at the very best, the flag is a townie artefact but as the flag of a republic? You can’t be the flag of something that never existed anyways.

The crowd who demolished the flag are very likely not a bunch of historians on a rampage.

They are most likely just another bunch of locals who like to destroy what others have made, even if – in this case – what the flag represents is entirely a figment of someone’s imagination masquerading as reality.

Oh well.

If the boys with the flag are raising some money to fly their flag again, maybe they can get in touch with Paul Oram.

He seems like the poster child for their project.

Update November 21, 2009: New title to deconflict with another post. Both were originally titled "Fantasy Island"