The usual Flags of Remembrance look may be changing this year, if Sylvan Lake Town Council approves the request from Al Cameron and the Veterans’ Voices of Canada (VVoC).
While the 128 full-sized Canadian flags will still fly proudly on Hwy 11 between Sylvan Lake and Red Deer, the VVoC is looking to add to the experience this year.
A delegation from the VVoC, including Cameron, asked Council to use Centennial Park each fall for the event, and also place another set of 128 full-sized Canadian flags along the lakeshore.
“It would be very visual,” said Cameron, adding, “It would draw people into Sylvan Lake from the flags on the highway.”
The 128 flags would be placed along the lakeshore around Centennial Park using sturdy, temporary flag poles.
The use of real flag poles would limit the possibility of the poles snapping in the case of strong winds.
“I think last year we had to run after a few flags during the ceremony because the poles snapped [in the wind],” Cameron said.
Part of the reason to place a set of the flags in Sylvan Lake is to up the “wow factor”.
As the Flags of Remembrance continues to grows, Cameron says a friendly competition has grown between the organizers and the various communities.
In particular, Cameron pointed out the beauty and stunning quality of seeing 128 Canadian flags fly in Windsor, Ont. which can be easily viewed from the American side of the boarder.
“I don’t think it will be long before we see the American version flying back on the other side.”
With the friendly competition in mind, Cameron says he thinks it would be amazing to see the flags line lakeshore and seen from all around the lake.
Coun. Jas Payne agrees the look would be amazing.
“I think the visual is beautiful. It couldn’t be more amazing to see those 128 Canadian flags flying,” said Payne.
Another factor to bringing the flags into the park is safety.
A key component to the Flags of Remembrance are the plaques which accompany each flag.
These plaques honour the life of a veteran past or present.
With these plaques situated on the highway, safety becomes a concern as motorists stop to view them along the side of the road.
“I’ve seen some crazy things to on the highway where motorists do anything to look closer at the flags and plaques,” said Cameron.
By placing a set of flags in the park, the public can safely take in the flags and look closely at the plaques without the potential danger of parking on the side of the highway.
The request will be considered by Council at a later date. Before that time comes, VVoC and administration will have to work together to figure out the logistics of potentially placing 128 flags in Centennial Park.
Coun. Payne says that is his main concern with the request, the logistics.
“My concern is how it will actually happen. There isn’t a lot of room down there, I think, to be placing 128 flags.
“I think it will look amazing if it can work,” said Payne.
The Flags of Remembrance ceremony is scheduled to take place on Sept. 22. Regardless of Council’s decision, flags will still be placed along the highway.
The flags will fly along Hwy. 11 and possibly in Centennial Park from Sept. 22 to Nov. 12.