POLITICS

Street name changed in Brockville, Ont., to honour 'father of Canada's flag'

04/17/2013 03:54 EDT | Updated 06/17/2013 05:12 EDT
BROCKVILLE, Ont. - In the opinion of a Brockville citizens group, the city on the north shore of the St. Lawrence River is "the birthplace of the Canadian flag" and should get the recognition it deserves.

This month it successfully lobbied local officials to get a city street name changed, from Jail Street South to John Ross Matheson Way, to honour the man it calls the "father of Canada's flag." The street is located in front of a court house.

"It is a fitting tribute to a great Canadian and former Brockville citizen," said Bob Harper, chairman of the group dubbed the 50 Years of Our Flag Committee.

"The new street name will forever link the city of Brockville with the man and the events that led to the birth of our Canadian flag."

The group says it will install a 41-metre-high flagpole in the city and a commemorative plaque, and is also planning an anniversary celebration on Feb. 15, 2015, 50 years to the day after the flag was inaugurated on Parliament Hill.

Harper said Matheson, a former member of Parliament, is "beyond a doubt the person most responsible for nurturing the process and orchestrating the many phases and contributors to bring the flag to fruition."

The federal government's Canadian Heritage website says Matheson played "a key advisory role" in the development of the flag, and also credits Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson and George Stanley, dean of arts at the Royal Military College in Kingston, Ont., for its creation.