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To Wear or Not Wear a Maple Leaf on Our Backpacks

Canada Day is tomorrow, so it is only fitting to talk about the Canadian flag on backpack. There is an interesting ongoing discussion about whether to wear a maple leaf flag on our backpacks when we travel. I recently read an article that says to take off the flag. The ending of the article says the following:

  • So if you’re thinking of going overseas, take a sharp knife and slice that flag from your pack. Travel as an individual – not as a Canadian – and you’ll find people are just as friendly because you’re interesting and amicable, not because you’re not American.

I will be the first to admit that I have never actually travelled with a Canadian flag on my backpack. Being a visible minority people, Canada may not be the first country that people expect me to come from, even though I was born here. That being said, whenever I strike up a conversation with someone while travelling I will definitely say that I am from Canada. Following that, the first question I get is: “Are you from Toronto?” No. “Vancouver?” No. And then from then on it is a game about their knowledge of how many other Canadian cities that they can list.

Conversely, I don’t think I have ever tried to guess which city the fellow traveller is from. I just ask specifically which country and city they are from. I am usually curious to find out if I have been there before or plan to visit there one day.

I’m not certain if we should be sowing our flag to our backpacks. I think that it is a personal preference. There are always going to be pros and cons either way anyway. I think the simplest answer is to do what you want and accept the consequences that comes with it.

How about you? Do you wear your countries’ flag on your backpack? Any interesting conversations or stories that came of it?

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