The Maple Leaf forever

MITCHELL'S MUSINGS: Happy Canada Day all you Canucks

It’s Canada Day. So celebrate. And apparently, according to yet another poll, we are not as shy about telling the world who’s No. 1 as much as most people would have predicted.

You know, the polite Canadian. Apologizing for stuff we shouldn’t be. Not creating a fuss. Manners trump pretty much everything else. Cleanliness counts. Ending everything with ‘eh?’ because we’re not really that confident about anything, either that or it’s an overriding desire to be liked by one and all.

Of course most of these traits, if not all, are still true of most Canucks but if this poll is to be believed, and I suspect they are onto something, we’re developing a kind of swagger in our step.

We always claim that’s what Americans do and we don’t. You know how over-the-top the Super Bowl halftime show is, or the tendency to wave the stars and stripes all over the place, and even the stereotypical fast-talking, brash Yankee that is fairly ignorant of the rest of the world, especially their northern cousins, which irritates us to no end.

However, according to this Ipsos-Reid online survey of 1,100 Canucks, conducted for something called the Historica-Dominion Institute, one in five claimed they would consider getting a tattoo of the Canadian flag.

Wow. That’s true, patriotic love of the true north, strong and free. And more than a bit in your face too.

Now it should be noted that most eager respondents were from Saskatchewan and Manitoba, where you only have to reveal any skin that may have a tattoo on it for one month of the year, August, and with the under-55 set which explains my reluctance to the idea, and I consider myself pretty patriotic.

You know it’s curious. I was watching David Letterman the other night and he was giving guest Justin Bieber, a Canadian, heck for getting another tattoo in honour of his new album, Believe.

He even went as far as mockingly trying to rub it off. It was more of a generational thing, Letterman trying to be his well-meaning uncle or something, but it also had a reflection of the progression of what people assume to be the stereotypical Canadian.

I mean, for one, Letterman was surprised (or mock surprised, it’s always hard to tell with him) that Bieber was Canadian. And that’s likely because he’s young, confident, mega-successful, even a bit brash – with at least two tattoos. Of course most Americans would think he’s one of them because, after all, where else would he be from?

But he’s also pretty polite, grateful and appears to be a nice guy, all Canadian attributes. And we always like to take some pride in any Canuck that does well in the States, unfortunately we usually wait until then, but that might come down to that needed validation from big brother. Plus that’s where the money is, right?

Anyway I believe it’s a good thing that we seem to be taking more pride in our country (after all it is the best) and even showing it sometimes. However I hope we maintain the qualities of class and respect.

I remember one encounter in a Vancouver hotel elevator where one Canuck was teasing a pair of American visitors about their lack of universal healthcare. He was trying to be funny but it came across as rude and unCanadianlike and made for a very awkward 10-storey ride. I wanted to apologize to them, of course, but didn’t.

However, according to the poll, we love our country and especially the maple leaf, which we will even wear on our underwear, which is mostly a good thing. We’ve got lots to be proud of.

The poll also said that eight out of 10 Canucks thought Canadians could put more effort into showing their national pride.

Right on. And today’s a perfect day to start waving the flag a little more.


Happy Canada Day everyone.