Macpherson: New bouts of indig-nationalism over flags

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Usually, indig-nationalism is directed at anglos. On one recent occasion, however, nationalists turned on … other nationalists.

Some were doubly infuriated in June by this year’s televised Fête nationale holiday concert. Not only did one performer wear a sticker against the anti-hijab Bill 21, no Quebec flags were visible.

The “Natfest” concert organizers apologized for the absence of the fleurdelisé, explaining that it was an oversight resulting from the exceptional circumstances of the pandemic.

No one thought to put flags on stage because usually, there are none. Instead, small flags are handed out to spectators. This year, however, there was no live audience.

It’s a plausible explanation. The annual event is funded by the Quebec government, which is currently nationalist, and which entrusts the production to a nationalist organization whose president is a former PQ candidate. They’re hardly likely to disrespect the Quebec flag intentionally.

Nevertheless, another campaigning PQ leadership candidate apparently suspected a deliberate depoliticization of the annual holiday celebrations in a victory of “multiculturalism over nationalism.”

And this week, the fleurdelisé supposedly came under attack again, from a previously little-known Quebec English-language youth organization that presented proposals for a flag officially representing the province’s anglophone community.

The proposals, submitted for an online vote, are an initiative of Y4Y Quebec, a two-year-old organization that receives public funding from Quebec as well as Ottawa. Its year-long flag project is financed by a $52,800 grant from a program of the federal Canadian Heritage department.


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