A Nanaimo veteran is up in arms over how long it took the city to replace a tattered Canadian flag at the tourism information kiosk located near the Northfield Road and Nanaimo Parkway intersection.
"To leave that flag up there was a bloody disgrace," said John Moore, who served in the Royal Canadian Navy from 1955 to 1993.
Moore and the city's maintenance, facilities and construction department both believe the flag was damaged as a result of high winds on Sept. 29.
Moore said he noticed that the flag was damaged on Oct. 1. He said he went into the information kiosk last Tuesday to complain about the flag.
"They said they already reported it to (parks and recreation) and there's nothing they can do because they need the key to get at it," Moore said. "I waited a couple of days, I go back (Friday morning) and it's still there, still torn up, parks and recreation haven't done anything."
Ian Blackwood, the city's manager of maintenance, facilities and construction, said this situation is an anomaly.
"Staff were going to replace it but our public works stores keep all our inventory of flags and they happened to not have any of that size. They're on order now, they will be here on Monday," Blackwood said.
Moore says the flag should have been taken down immediately after the city was notified it was damaged regardless if there was a replacement flag or not.
"It's our flag you know, it means something to me, it symbolizes our country, for them to let it fly tattered and torn like that. .. I get so mad when I think about it," Moore said.
Blackwood said the city didn't immediately take down the flag because of flag protocol.
"By flag protocol you cannot fly the other flags without the Canada flag, you have to take all three down," Blackwood said.
"When I first joined the Navy my first 14 years I was a signalman. Signalman were in charge of flags so I know tons about flags. You can fly any flag you want, there is a protocol in the way you display them. Had they removed the Canadian flag that would not have been a problem," Moore said.
"If I believed what he said, which I certainly don't, then they should have hauled down all three flags."
Though the new flag is slated to arrive on Monday, Blackwood found a solution by late Friday afternoon.
"We have a couple that we loan out on little flag stands so I went and looked," Blackwood said, adding that he found a used Canadian flag that's the right size.
The city replaced the tattered flag with the used Canada flag by late Friday afternoon.
Moore said he's satisfied with the result.
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