Board Policies & Administrative Procedures

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AP 1 – 25: Flag Protocol

Related Policies:
Related Procedures:
Initial Approval: 2013 February 01
Last Amended: 2022 September 21
Last Reviewed: 2022 September 21

To ensure that the Canadian Flag is displayed and handled in a manner consistent with its status as an emblem of the country.

This procedure applies to all principals and building managers.

A senior flag is a flag that carries a higher status in the protocol for flag displays. For example, the National Flag of Canada is always the senior flag to a provincial flag.

A special flag is a rectangular piece of fabric bearing a symbol, logo or message, and is often used to celebrate or recognize a specific event, group or place. Special flags are not senior to the National Flag of Canada or provincial flags. Examples of special flags are the Canada 150 flag, Metis and Treaty flags and the Pride flag.

1. The principal or building manager shall ensure that flags are displayed in accordance with the following criteria:
  1.1 The National Flag should always be flown aloft and free
  1.2 The National Flag of Canada should be displayed only in a manner befitting the national emblem; it should not be subjected to indignity or displayed in a position inferior to any other flag or ensign.
   1.2.1 The National Flag of Canada is not to be used as a table or seat cover or as a masking for boxes, barriers, or intervening space between floor and ground level on a dais or platform. No flag, banner or pennant should be flown or displayed above the Canadian Flag.
   1.2.2 The National Flag always takes precedence over all other national flags when flown in Canada. The only flags to which precedence is given over the Canadian flag are the personal standards of members of the Royal Family and of Her Majesty's representatives in Canada. When two flags are flown together, the Canadian Flag should be on the left as seen by spectators in front of the flags; if a number of countries are represented, the Canadian Flag may be flown at each of a line of flags. When flags are flown together, the Canadian Flag should occupy the central position, with the next ranking flag to the left, as seen by the spectators in front of the flags. If a school or other Division building has more than one flagpole outside, the order of precedence for flying flags is:
     a. the National Flag of Canada,
     b. the Flag of Alberta Only one flag can be flown on each flagpole. Schools with one flagpole must fly the Canadian flag. Schools with two flagpoles must fly the Canadian flag on one pole and the Alberta flag on the other following procedure The Canadian flag and Alberta flag cannot be taken down and replaced with any other flag.
1.3 The Treaty 6, 7 and Métis flags and other special flags may be respectfully displayed indoors in each Division school and where appropriate for educational purposes. Flags may be displayed in classrooms, common areas, and entrances if they are displayed respectfully, and all appropriate Indigenous protocols, ceremony and Elder involvement have been followed.

2. The principal or building manager shall fly flags at half mast for mourning in accordance to the following criteria:
  2.1 Flags are flown at the half-mast position as a sign of mourning. The flag is brought to the half-mast position by first raising it to the top of the mast then immediately lowering it slowly to the half-mast position.
  2.2 The position of the flag when flying at half-mast will depend on the size of the flag and the length of the flagstaff. It must be lowered at least to a position recognizably "half-mast" to avoid the appearance of a flag, which has accidentally fallen away from the top of the mast owing to a loose flag rope. A satisfactory position for half-masting is to place the center of the flag exactly halfway down the staff.
  2.3 On occasions requiring that one flag be flown at half-mast, all flags flown together should also be flown at half-mast. Flags will only be half-masted on those flagpoles fitted with halyards and pulleys. Some buildings fly flags from horizontal or angled poles, without halyards, to which flags are permanently attached. Flags on these will not be half-masted.
  2.4 Notable Occasions:
   2.4.1 On the death of the Sovereign or a member of the Royal Family related in the first degree to the Sovereign (spouse, son or daughter, father, mother, brother or sister), the Governor General, the Prime Minister, a former governor general, a former prime minister, or a federal cabinet minister
   2.4.2 On the death of the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta, the Premier of Alberta or another person similarly honored by Alberta
   2.4.3 On the death of the local Member of the House of Commons, or the local Member of the Provincial Legislature
   2.4.4 On nationally agreed occasions, such as Remembrance Day, commemorations of police officers killed in the line of duty
   2.4.5 On other occasions as recommended by the Superintendent.

3. Disposal of Flags
  3.1 When necessary, the principal or building manager shall dispose of a flag by burning it privately or sending it to the Corporate Secretary for disposal.

Flag Protocol:

Approved: 2013 Feb 01
Reviewed: 2017 Oct 04
Reviewed: 2018 July 03
Reviewed: 2019 Nov 25
Revised: 2022 Sept 21