EPSB.ca » Our District » Board Policies & Administrative Regulations » G - Curriculum and Instruction » GNDB.AR Flying and Displaying Flags in Schools

Flying and Displaying Flags in Schools

  • Code: GNDB.AR
    Topic: Flying and Displaying Flags in Schools
    Issue Date: 08/11/2017
    Effective Date: 06/11/2017
    Review Year: 2023

Objective

To provide direction related to the flying and displaying of flags at schools and District buildings.

Definitions

The National Flag of Canada, commonly referred to as the “Canadian flag”, is a red flag, twice as long as it is wide. In its centre is a white square the width of the flag, with a single red maple leaf in the centre of the square. The National Flag of Canada is considered a senior flag to all other flags, with the exception of the Vice-Regal Standard (flag of the Lieutenant Governor). 

A senior flag is a flag that carries a higher status in the protocol for flag displays. For example, the National Flag of Canada is always the senior flag to a provincial flag. 

A special flag is a rectangular piece of fabric bearing a symbol, logo or message, and is often used to celebrate or recognize a specific event, group or place. Special flags are not senior to the National Flag of Canada or provincial flags. Examples of special flags are the Canada 150 flag and the Pride flag. 

The flying of a flag refers to the hanging of a flag from a flagpole outdoors. 

The displaying of a flag refers to the hanging of a flag indoors, from a standing flagpole, from a flagstaff, or flat against a wall.

Responsibility

  1. The principal is responsible for:
    1. ensuring the National Flag of Canada is flown on a flagpole outside of the school
    2. ensuring the Flag of Alberta is either flown outdoors on a separate flagpole alongside the National Flag of Canada or appropriately displayed indoors at the school
    3. ensuring the National Flag of Canada flag is raised and disposed of in alignment with national practices and protocols
    4. ensuring any flag flown or displayed at the school is maintained in good condition
    5. ensuring the appropriate disposal of any flag or special flag.
  2. Communications is responsible for:
    1. upon direction from the Superintendent, sending out notices to schools and District buildings regarding the lowering of outdoor flags to half-mast. 

Regulation

  1. FLYING AND DISPLAYING THE NATIONAL FLAG OF CANADA
    1. The National Flag of Canada shall be displayed only in a respectful manner; it shall not be subjected to indignity or displayed in a position inferior to any other flag or ensign.

    2. The National Flag of Canada shall be flown on its own flagpole. Government of Canada flag protocol states that it is improper to fly two or more flags on the same flagpole or mast.

    3. The National Flag of Canada flown outdoors at schools and District buildings shall be in good condition, and not weathered, faded or tattered.

    4. The National Flag of Canada shall be flown during the entire school year, including general holidays.

    5. The National Flag of Canada shall be flown outdoors on a flagpole, and may be displayed indoors on a flagpole, flagstaff or flat against a wall.
      1. When displayed horizontally on a flat surface, the flag is displayed with the leaf up and stem down.
      2. When displayed or hung vertically, the flag should be placed so the upper part of the leaf points to the left and the stem points to the right, from the observer’s point of view.
      3. On a flagpole, the flag should be raised as closely to the top as possible.
    6. If the National Flag of Canada is displayed on a platform of an auditorium, it should be against the wall or on a flagpole on the left, from the point of view of the audience.

    7. Other ways of displaying the National Flag of Canada for ceremonial purposes, such as displaying the flag on a screen through electronic means, shall follow the same protocols to honour the National Flag of Canada.

    8. The National Flag of Canada may be displayed in a classroom if it is done so respectfully and in a position of prominence.

    9. When a National Flag of Canada becomes weathered, faded or tattered and is no longer suitable for use, it should be destroyed in a dignified way. Traditional protocol calls for flags to be privately burned. Recognizing the safety and logistical concerns related to burning a flag, appropriate disposal of a flag would be to carefully fold, wrap, and dispose of the flag discreetly.
  2. FLYING FLAGS OUTDOORS
    1. All schools shall fly the National Flag of Canada outdoors.

    2. The Centre for Education shall fly the Treaty 6 flag and the Métis flag outdoors, on behalf of all District schools and buildings.

    3. If a school or other District building has more than one flagpole outside, the order of precedence for flying flags is:
      1. the National Flag of Canada,
      2. the Flag of Alberta
      3. other flags, in order of seniority
    4. When flying more than one flag, the flags should be approximately the same size and shall be flown from separate flagpoles at the same height. The National Flag of Canada should be flown to the left, as seen by observers facing the building.

    5. When three flags are flown together, the National Flag of Canada occupies the central position, with the flag of Alberta to the left and third flag to the right, as seen by observes facing the building.

    6. When more than one flag is flown and it is not possible to hoist or lower them at the same time, the National Flag of Canada should be hoisted first and lowered last.
  3. FLYING A FLAG HALF-MAST
    1. The half-masting of the National Flag of Canada is a well-established practice to honour and express a collective sense of sorrow. If the National Flag of Canada is lowered to half-mast, all other flags flying outdoors will also be lowered to half-mast.

    2. The Superintendent will provide direction to the District regarding the lowering of flags to half-mast.

    3. At the discretion of the school principal, a flag may be flown outdoors at half-mast at the school on the death of a student or staff member, or individual associated with the school or community.

    4. On Victoria Day and Canada Day, the National Flag of Canada cannot be flown at half-mast, with the exception of the death of the monarch, the prime minister or the Governor General.

    5. When the flag is raised to the half-mast position or lowered from it, it is first raised to full-mast and then lowered to half-mast.

    6. Flags shall be lowered to half-mast when it is reasonable and safe to do so.
  4. DISPLAYING OF FLAGS INDOORS
    1. The Treaty 6 and Métis flags shall be respectfully displayed indoors in each District school.

    2. Special flags may be displayed with senior flags such as the National Flag of Canada or the Flag of Alberta, if the order for precedence is observed.

    3. Flags may be displayed indoors in schools, either horizontally or vertically, on an indoor flagpole, flagstaff or flat against a wall.

    4. Flags displayed indoors shall be in good condition, and not weathered, faded or tattered. The same respectful disposal protocol used for the National Flag of Canada shall be used for other flags.

    5. Flags may be displayed in classrooms for educational purposes if they are displayed respectfully.

 

References

ACB.BP National Anthem and Flag
GCA.AR The School Year Calendar
Flag etiquette- Alberta Government
National Flag of Canada etiquette, Government of Canada
National Flag of Canada half-masting notices
Rules for flying the National Flag of Canada
Rules for half-masting the National Flag of Canada
School Act

(please see Sections 26 and 50 of the School Act)