Disposal of the National Flag of Canada

A flag is considered to be worn when the colour has faded, it has developed a hole or the outermost seam (fly) of the flag has become frayed. When a flag becomes tattered and is no longer in a suitable condition for use, it should be disposed of in a dignified manner.

The disposal of a flag may be handled in the following manner:

  • Flags made of natural fibres (wool, cotton, linen) should be burned in a dignified manner, privately, without ceremony or public attention being drawn to the destruction of the material.
  • Flags made of synthetic material (nylon or polyester) should not be burned due to environmental damage and potential fire hazard. They should be respectfully torn into strips, with each element of the flag reduced to a single colour, so that the remaining pieces do not resemble a flag. The individual pieces should then be placed in a bag for disposal – the shreds of fabric should not be reused or fashioned into anything.

Did you know?

Normally, the flag on the Peace Tower is changed every weekday, and those on the East and West blocks are changed once a week. All flags are changed when they have been flown at half mast. Canadian residents can request to receive one of the flags previously flown on Parliament Hill.

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