- BC Games
Richmond’s civic flag to receive ‘honour and respect’
Allowing them to touch the ground is a no-no. Flying them at night is fine—as long as they’re lit. And for at least two days a year they must fly at half mast.
City council endorsed a series of official rules surrounding flags Monday, agreeing to a new five-page flag policy that outlines flag etiquette, half-masting of flags and the order of precedence for flying flags.
The policy replaces an outdated 1986 statute that’s little more than a list of civic facilities that should receive a municipal flag.
“As the city has grown, there has been increased demand for appropriate use of flags to align with international protocol and corporately demonstrate honour and respect,” noted Denise Tambellini, manager of the city’s intergovernmental relations and protocol unit, in a report to council.
Staff crafted the policy by adapting protocol followed by senior governments.
Under the policy, flags will be flown at half-mast position as a sign of respect and mourning on April 28, the national Day of Mourning for workers killed or injured on the job, and Nov. 11, Remembrance Day. Deaths of dignitaries also warrant half-masting of flags.
The new policy also allows film crews to temporarily change flags flown on city property—but forbids the swapping of a Canadian flag with another sovereign nation’s symbol.
A precedence order for flags is also outlined in the policy. The city ranked No. 5, after the national flag, other sovereign nations, provinces and territories. Staff suggested if the city decides to fly the Canadian Olympic flag on an occasion such as Olympic Day on June 23, Richmond’s coat of arms would rank below what Tambellini described as a “national” Olympic flag.
Mayor Malcolm Brodie thought differently.
“It’s no different than the Red Cross in that sense,” he said Monday. “I’m suggesting that it would be the city flag that would take precedence over the Olympic flag.”
Council agreed to the minor change in the policy, which—once ratified—will apply to all flags flown by the city at city hall, the Richmond Olympic Oval and other civic facilities.
Archived council minutes reveal the city officially introduced its flag at the opening of Brighouse Park on April 12, 1986, noted city spokesperson Ted Townsend.
The inner design of the blue-and-gold flag represents the shield on the city’s coat of arms, which was adopted on Nov. 10, 1979 for the centenary of incorporation of the municipality. Three Pacific salmon are depicted on the shield.