It may be a universally recognized symbol, but I wouldn’t go so far as to say it defines who we are as a people or a nation.
As many people across Saskatchewan and the country celebrated Canada Day this past long weekend what would YOU say was tops on their minds?
Peacekeepers? Wide open spaces? Multiculturalism? Friendliness? Freedom? Rural charm? How about historical sights? Or the hustle and bustle of our growing cities?
Supposedly none of the above.
According to an Ipsos Reid poll, it was most likely the good ‘ole Maple Leaf. Coming in first on a list of about 101 items, the survey says the majority of Canadians feel the maple leaf most defines and unites us as a country. It’s definitely recognizable and it does invoke a spirit of patriotism when it’s flown overhead, but does it actually define us? I have to say it kind of surprised me that “people” didn’t make the list.
The maple leaf, followed by hockey, the Canadian flag, the beaver, the Canadaarm, Canada Day and Peacekeeping were all on there. The list went on to include everything from our very own prairies, to Canada geese – even Canadian beer made the list (hehehe) – but no where did I see “us” the people.
What would Canada be without its people? That’s what truly defines us as a nation. Those who built, persevered, toiled, welcomed others and grew Canada to what it is today. Those who brought about needed change. Our veterans who sacrificed, leaving their families to fight in wars. Those overseas now working to protect our freedom.
Without these types of people, there would be no Canada to unite under a maple leaf.
In no other country are there people who are more widely welcomed across the globe. We can virtually travel anywhere – and it may be the maple leaf that tips others off as to who we are, but it’s our qualities that make us welcome and accepted.
Smart, good natured, kind, friendly, polite, happy, welcoming... these are among the qualities that are associated with the maple leaf. I guess having said that, maybe it does define us to a certain degree, but it’s like putting a brand on a product, you can make the logo as fancy and as catchy as you want, but if the product you’re trying to market is no good, it’s not going to sell.