harper military jacket

When Prime Minister Stephen Harper flew to Calgary Friday to see first-hand the damage caused by floods in southern Alberta, it was hard not to notice the green jacket.

In each picture, whether aboard his helicopter or surveying the devastation with Premier Alison Redford and Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi, Harper could be seen sporting a military flight jacket with wings.

One could say he looked downright presidential.

In fact, a photo of Harper staring out the window of his chopper was strikingly similar to an infamous shot of former U.S. President George Bush surveying the damage Hurricane Katrina inflicted on New Orleans in 2005.

Of course, it took no time at all for people to begin to question the look. After all, Harper did not serve in the military and Canada’s commander-in-chief is Governor General David Johnston.

But Harper’s press secretary explained why the prime minister was wearing the jacket in an email to HuffPost on Monday.

"It was given to him by the helicopter crew in 2011 while touring the flood devastation in Manitoba," wrote Carl Vallée. "He was wearing it as a tribute to the military assisting the people in difficult times."

During his visit, Harper told Redford and Nenshi the federal government will do all it can to help Alberta during this difficult time.

"I don't think any of us have seen anything like this,” he said.

Related on HuffPost:

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  • A washed out foot bridge lies on the creek bed in Canmore, Alta. Friday, June 21, 2013.

  • Flood waters surround the hospital in Canmore, Alta. on Friday, June 21, 2013.

  • Flood waters surround buildings in Canmore, Alta. Friday, June 21, 2013.

  • Cougar Creek runs through the Trans Canada Highway during heavy floods in Canmore, Alta. Friday, June 21, 2013.

  • Cougar Creek runs through the Trans Canada Highway during heavy floods in Canmore, Alta. Friday, June 21, 2013.

  • Road damaged is shown looking west along the Trans-Canada Highway in Canmore, Alberta on Friday June 21, 2013.

  • Heavy equipment operators work to keep up with debris, as Cougar Creek pours over the Trans-Canada Highway near Canmore, Alberta on Friday June 21, 2013.

  • Cougar Creek runs through the Trans Canada Highway during heavy floods in Canmore, Alta. Friday, June 21, 2013.

  • Cougar Creek runs through the Trans Canada Highway during heavy floods in Canmore, Alta. Friday, June 21, 2013.

  • Cars and trucks sit on the road looking east along the Trans-Canada Highway from Canmore, Alberta on Friday June 21, 2013.

  • The Calgary Stampede grounds are immersed in water during heavy flooding in Calgary, Saturday, June 22, 2013.

  • The Calgary Stampede grounds are immersed in water during heavy flooding in Calgary, Saturday, June 22, 2013.

  • The Calgary Stampede grounds are immersed in water during heavy flooding in Calgary, Saturday, June 22, 2013.

  • A flooded downtown Calgary is seen from a aerial view of the city Saturday, June 22, 2013.

  • A flooded downtown Calgary is seen from a aerial view of the city Saturday, June 22, 2013.

  • A flooded downtown Calgary is seen from a aerial view of the city Saturday, June 22, 2013.

  • A flooded Calgary is seen from a aerial view of the city Saturday, June 22, 2013.

  • A flooded downtown Calgary is seen from a aerial view of the city Saturday, June 22, 2013.

  • A flooded downtown Calgary is seen from a aerial view of the city Saturday, June 22, 2013.

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    A flooded Calgary is seen from a aerial view of the city Saturday, June 22, 2013.

  • A flooded Calgary is seen from above, June 22, 2013.

  • The Calgary Stampede grounds are immersed in water during heavy flooding in Calgary, Saturday, June 22, 2013.

  • In this aerial photo, the flooded Cougar Creek runs through Canmore, Alberta, on Friday June 21, 2013. Communities throughout southern Alberta are dealing with overflowing rivers that have washed out roads and bridges, inundated homes and turned streets into dirt-brown tributaries. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Jonathan Hayward)

  • A man rides his bike as another picks his up in the flooded streets of Calgary, Alberta on Friday June 21, 2013. Alberta's largest city was swamped Friday by floodwaters that submerged much of the lower bowl of the Saddledome hockey arena, displaced tens of thousands of people and forced the evacuation of the downtown core. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Jonathan Hayward)

  • PM tours floods in Alberta

  • Calgary Flooding: Stephen Harper Visits A Submerged Alberta

    Prime Minister Stephen Harper, left, walks to a waiting helicopter with Alberta Premier Alison Redford, right, and Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi, for an aerial tour of flooding in Calgary, Alta.

  • A wall is reserved for messages and missing people at the arena in Blackie, Alberta on Friday June 21, 2013 after the Highwood River, overflowed its banks Thursday. The Red Cross is using the arena to house evacuees of the High River flood. Floodwaters that devastated much of southern Alberta left at least two people dead and forced officials in the western Canadian city of Calgary on Friday to order the evacuation of its entire downtown, as the waters reached the 10th row of the city's hockey arena. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Jordan Verlage)

  • Displaced residents sleep on cots at the arena in Blackie, Alberta on Friday June 21, 2013 after the Highwood River, overflowed its banks Thursday. The Red Cross is using the arena to house evacuees of the High River flood. Floodwaters that devastated much of southern Alberta left at least two people dead and forced officials in the western Canadian city of Calgary on Friday to order the evacuation of its entire downtown, as the waters reached the 10th row of the city's hockey arena. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Jordan Verlage)

  • Water rushes through what is left of Lions Park as the Sheep River flows through Okotoks, Alberta on Friday June 21, 2013 after the river overflowed its banks Thursday. The town remains on a flood watch. Floodwaters that devastated much of southern Alberta left at least two people dead and forced officials in the western Canadian city of Calgary on Friday to order the evacuation of its entire downtown, as the waters reached the 10th row of the city's hockey arena. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Jordan Verlage)

  • A home in the community of Bowness is flooded as up to 100,000 people have been evacuated from their homes in Calgary, Alberta, on Friday, June 21, 2013. Floodwaters that devastated much of southern Alberta left at least two people dead and forced officials in the western Canadian city of Calgary on Friday to order the evacuation of its entire downtown, as the waters reached the 10th row of the city's hockey arena. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Nathan Denette)

  • Cody Chatfield

    Resident Cody Chatfield drives his lifted 4x4 through his neighborhood looking at the flooded homes in the community of Bowness as up to 100,000 people have been evacuated from their homes in Calgary, Alberta, on Friday, June 21, 2013. Floodwaters that devastated much of southern Alberta left at least two people dead and forced officials in the western Canadian city of Calgary on Friday to order the evacuation of its entire downtown, as the waters reached the 10th row of the city's hockey arena. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Nathan Denette)

  • Water flows past flooded vehicles in the community of Bowness as up to 100,000 people have been evacuated from their homes in Calgary, Alberta, on Friday, June 21, 2013. Floodwaters that devastated much of southern Alberta left at least two people dead and forced officials in the western Canadian city of Calgary on Friday to order the evacuation of its entire downtown, as the waters reached the 10th row of the city's hockey arena. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Nathan Denette)

  • Vehicles are stranded in the flooded streets of Calgary, Alberta on Friday June 21, 2013. Alberta's largest city was swamped Friday by floodwaters that submerged much of the lower bowl of the Saddledome hockey arena, displaced tens of thousands of people and forced the evacuation of the downtown core. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Jonathan Hayward)

  • This aerial photo shows the closed Trans-Canada Highway in Canmore, Alberta, on Friday June 21, 2013. Flooding forced the western Canadian city of Calgary to order the evacuation of the entire downtown area on Friday, as the waters reached the 10th row of the city’s hockey arena. Communities throughout southern Alberta are dealing with overflowing rivers that have washed out roads and bridges, inundated homes and turned streets into dirt-brown tributaries. About 350,000 people work in downtown Calgary on a typical day. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Jonathan Hayward)

  • Residents in the Eagle Terrace neighborhood of Canmore, Alberta, look out over what was the only road into the area on Friday June 21, 2013, after Cougar Creek flooded. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Rocky Mountain Outlook, Craig Douce)

  • Heavy equipment operators work to keep up with debris, as Cougar Creek pours over the Trans-Canada Highway near Canmore, Alberta on Friday June 21, 2013. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Rocky Mountain Outlook, Craig Douce)

  • Calgary Flooding: Stephen Harper Visits A Submerged Alberta

    Prime Minister Stephen Harper, centre, walks to a waiting helicopter with Alberta Premier Alison Redford, second from right, and Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi, for an an aerial tour of flooding in Calgary, Alta. Heavy rains have caused flooding, closed roads, and forced evacuation in Calgary, Alta., Friday, June 21, 2013.

  • Calgary Flooding: Stephen Harper Visits A Submerged Alberta

    Prime Minister Stephen Harper, centre, boards a helicopter with Alberta Premier Alison Redford, and Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi, for an aerial tour of flooding in Calgary, Alta. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

  • Calgary Flooding: Stephen Harper Visits A Submerged Alberta

    Prime Minister Stephen Harper, far right, looks at a map of the flooded areas of Calgary with Alberta Premier Alison Redford, centre, and Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi, as fire chief Bruce Burrell points out problem sites. Heavy rains have caused flooding, closed roads, and forced evacuation in Calgary, Alta., Friday, June 21, 2013.

  • Calgary Flooding: Stephen Harper Visits A Submerged Alberta

    Prime Minister Stephen Harper, centre, with Alberta Premier Alison Redford, left, and Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi, speak to the media with the Calgary skyline and the flooded Bow river behind them on Friday June 21, 2013. Heavy rains have caused flooding, closed roads, and forced evacuation in Calgary.

  • Emergency Declared In Southern Alberta After Heavy Flooding

    Houses damaged along the edge of Cougar Creek are shown June 20, 2013 in Canmore, Alta. Widespread flooding caused by torrential rains washed out bridges and roads prompting the evacuation of thousands.

  • Emergency Declared In Southern Alberta After Heavy Flooding

    Residents watch flooding along Cougar Creek June 20, 2013 in Canmore, Alta. Widespread flooding caused by torrential rains washed out bridges and roads prompting the evacuation of thousands.

  • Emergency Declared In Southern Alberta After Heavy Flooding

    Residents watch the flooding Cougar Creek as it takes out Eagle Terrace Road and nears the top of the Elk Run Blvd Bridge June 20, 2013 in Canmore, Alta. Widespread flooding caused by torrential rains washed out bridges and roads prompting the evacuation of thousands.

  • Emergency Declared In Southern Alberta After Heavy Flooding

    Houses damaged along the edge of Cougar Creek.

  • A lone truck sits submerged in the flood waters near downtown High River, Alta. on Thursday.

  • Homes along Cougar Creek in Canmore, Alta. barely hang on as the town struggles to deal with flooding Thursday.

  • A front end loader carries residents after they were rescued from the flood waters in High River, Alberta.

  • A kayaker paddles down a flooded street in High River, Alberta on Thursday.

  • Cars are submerged by the flood waters in High River, Alberta on Thursday.

  • Kevan Yaets swims after his cat Momo to safety as the flood waters sweep him downstream after submerging his truck in High River, Alberta on Thursday.

  • A woman is rescued from the flood waters in High River, Alta. on Thursday.