canadian flag

Here's why people want to replace the Canadian flag with this one

Lots of things could be improved about Canada, and maybe our flag would be a good place to start.

Many people are pointing this out on social media following Canada Day, and although the replacement by Mulidzas–Curtis Wilson is far from new, it's being brought out with extra force this year in light of a recent groundswell of criticism of systemic racism against Indigenous and Black people.

The flag doesn't necessarily replace the symbology of the one we're used to, but rather blends it with Indigenous symbols.

Salmon designs with red bands on either side of the flag represent community, strength in numbers and family, and the maple leaf in the middle is filled in with an orca and traditional split "U" shape designs.

While it's often called the Canadian Native Flag, the art piece actually has an Indigenous name which translates to "Standing together in support of each other."

Wilson, who sadly passed away last year, described himself "as coming from the four corners of the Kwakwaka'wakw territory," with ancestors hailing from Axwamees (Wakeman Sound), We Wai Kai (Cape Mudge), Ba'as (Blunden Harbour), and Wei Wai Kum (Campbell River).

Traditional Indigenous carving techniques were passed down to him by grandfathers, uncles and cousins, which he developed into his own personal artistic style. He was given the name Mulidzas at a Potlatch in 2001.

"My Grandfather James Wilson received medals for his volunteer military service in the European Theater during the Second World War, where many of the non-native soldiers fighting beside him questioned how he could fight for a country that didn't even recognize him as a person. He replied that he was fighting for his Country," reads Wilson's explanation of the work.

"I am a person that always tries to see the glass half full and even with all of the difficult situations we have faced, I still love the country I live in and am proud to call myself a Canadian…and First Nations Canadian. I wanted to create a design that represents both my cultural heritage and the country I live in."

Wilson died of a heart attack in October 2019. He was a well-known artist who applied his skills to everything from this flag to skateboard decks, drums, canes, logos, masks, gates and jewellery.

His legacy resounds on Canada Day in 2020 less than a year after his death, with people acknowledging they live on stolen, unceded land.

Lead photo by

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