A few months ago, John Fefchak of Virden wrote a letter to the editor of this paper bemoaning the "faded, torn or tattered" state of the flags flying in this town.
He wrote, "The flag is a symbol of national unity and how we treat our symbol is a reflection of ourselves."
He’s right - there are quite a few faded, shredded or fraying flags being run up the pole in Virden’s public spaces and in front of public buildings.
What must the staff think as they raise and lower the flag each day? Do they notice its threadbare condition? Do they report it to anyone? Whose job is it anyway?
You don’t have to be a patriot to find this a troubling oversight. The ordinary Canadian, not inclined to show any sort of PDA (public display of affection) for their country on any given day, won’t likely speak up to complain. Flag waving and chest beating just isn't the Canadian way, even if our hearts are full of pride (and no small amount of relief) that we get to enjoy the awesome privilege of living here and not elsewhere.
Virden is a green and pleasant place. But to stay that way, everyone has a role to play in making sure their little corner of the world is maintained, whether it’s private or public property.
While the Virden Boost committee is working hard to attract visitors to town, it’s up to the rest of us to step back, take a critical look at our own storefronts, homes, businesses, parklands, sidewalks and streets, and challenge ourselves to take action.
Whether it’s faded flags, faded stop signs, broken glass, peeling murals, or boarded up windows, we can do better. Replacing flags before they dissolve into pink and white dust is a low-effort place to start.
And hopefully, it gets done in time for Canada Day, otherwise… otherwise… everything will go on as normal and nobody will complain. It’s the Canadian way.