06/24/2013 02:10 EDT | Updated 06/24/2013 02:18 EDT

Harper's Military Jacket A Tribute To The Troops, Spokesperson Says

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.

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