To define the criteria and process for raising, displaying and half-masting of flags at corporate properties and facilities of the Corporation of the Town of Oakville (town).
This procedure applies to requests and occasions for the raising, displaying and half-masting of flags.
The town hall and municipal facilities shall fly the Canadian, Ontario and Oakville flags where provision for the display of such flags has been made.
Courtesy pole flag raisings or displaying flags
- The courtesy flag pole at Town Hall shall be used to:
- Celebrate non-profit or charitable organization’s events or public awareness campaigns;
- Recognize a state visit from other governments;
- Subject to Section 3 of this procedure, recognize other organizations at the discretion of the Mayor.
- Flags may not fly one beneath the other on the same mast.
- Requests shall not be approved for the following:
- Political parties or political organizations;
- Religious organizations or the celebration of religious events;
- Any purpose where the intent is contrary to town policies or by-laws;
- Any purpose where the intent is to defame the integrity of the town;
- An event or organization that has no direct relationship or community tie to the town.
- Requests to use the courtesy flag pole at Town Hall must be submitted in writing to the Mayor’s office (Appendix B – Application form).
- Individuals, groups or associations requesting to use the courtesy flag pole are required to provide the flag to be raised.
- The Mayor’s office will process all requests in accordance with town procedure in consultation with the Town Clerk, when required.
- Flags will be raised for a maximum of one month, at the discretion of the Mayor’s office.
- If more than one qualified request is received, the timing will be at the Mayor’s discretion.
- The Mayor’s office will notify the Clerk’s department and Service Oakville of the flags to be raised and displayed as appropriate.
- The Clerk’s department will administer the notifications to display flags.
- Facilities staff will be responsible for the raising and displaying of courtesy pole flags.
Half-masting of flags
- Flags are flown at the half-mast position as a sign of respect and condolence or to commemorate significant dates.
- When a flag is flown at half-mast, all other flags must also be flown at half-mast and at no time should the Canadian flag be flown lower than any other flag.
- All flags will be flown at half-mast at Town Hall and all municipal facilities in accordance with the guiding principles of the National Flag of Canada Etiquette, for the following specific occasions:
- On the death of the Sovereign or a member of the Sovereign’s immediate family;
- On the death of the Governor General or a former Governor General;
- On the death of the Prime Minister or a former Prime Minister;
- On the death of the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, the Premier of Ontario or another person similarly honoured by the Province of Ontario;
- On the death of a local member of parliament or a local member of provincial parliament;
- On the death of a former or present mayor or member of council;
- On the death of a current Town of Oakville employee;
- In recognition of the death of active regional police officers, line of duty deaths, and in special circumstances, in recognition of line of duty deaths of police officers in other municipalities and provinces; or
- As directed by Proclamation from the Governor General of Canada or Lieutenant Governor of Ontario.
- In respect to a person or persons not specifically identified above, at the discretion of the Mayor the CAO or Commissioner of Corporate Services.
- Flags shall be lowered to half-mast following Halton Region guidance and/or provincial or federal direction, at the discretion of the Mayor, the CAO, or the Commissioner of Corporate Services.
- Flags shall be lowered to half-mast as soon as possible after the time of notification until sunset of the day of the funeral or memorial. When the funeral or memorial service is to be held at a later date not scheduled within two weeks of the notification, the flags will be lowered to half-mast for a period of at least 72 hours and lowered again on the date of the funeral or memorial service or for a different duration as advised by the appropriate federal or provincial protocol offices.
- Should the requirement for half-masting of flags occur on a weekend or on a statutory holiday, the flags will be lowered on the first subsequent business day.
- Flags may be flown at half-mast in respect of an individual or circumstance not specifically identified in this section, at the discretion of the Mayor, the CAO, or the Commissioner of Corporate Services.
- The flags at fire stations may also be flown at half-mast in recognition of the death of active or retired town fire fighters; in recognition of line of duty deaths of fire fighters in other municipalities; and in special circumstances outside of Ontario at the discretion of the Fire Chief. The half-masting of such flags shall be performed by the fire station staff.
- Flags at Town Hall and all municipal facilities will be flown at half-mast, from sunrise until sunset to commemorate the following special dates:
- November 11, Remembrance Day;
- April 28, Workers’ Mourning Day, the Day of Mourning for Persons Killed or Injured in the Workplace;
- June 23, Annual National Day of Remembrance for Victims of Terrorism;
- September 30, National Day for Truth and Reconciliation
- December 6, the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence against Women.
Responsibilities for half-masting of flags
- The Mayor’s office, Clerk’s department, or Commissioner of Corporate Services shall be notified of all occurrences for when half-masting of flags is required.
- The Town Clerk shall be responsible for sending out notification (Appendix C) of the requirement for half-masting of flags, with respect to the location, the reason, and the duration that the flag will be flown at half-mast.
- Once notification is sent out by the Town Clerk, web services staff shall be responsible for posting information on the town’s website and sharing information over social media.
- The Facilities department shall be responsible for the provision, maintenance and coordination of the half-masting of flags at town corporate properties and facilities in accordance with this procedure (see Appendix A for listing).
- The appropriate staff at each location will be required to lower and raise the flags in accordance with the department notification. All facilities are to adhere to the guidelines in this procedure and flag protocol.
- The Fire department is responsible for half-masting at fire stations in accordance with this procedure.
War Memorials and Cenotaphs
Flag poles at War Memorials and Cenotaphs follow federal guidelines and standards and as such, are exempt from this procedure.