Flag Protocol Procedure

Purpose statement

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).

Scope

This procedure applies to requests and occasions for the raising, displaying and half-masting of flags.

Procedure

Displaying 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

  1. The courtesy flag pole at the town hall only, shall be used for the raising and displaying of other flags.
  2. Requests for the raising and displaying of flags may be approved for:
    1. Non-profit or charitable organizations and public awareness campaigns;
    2. Recognition of a state visit to the Mayor and Members of Council.
  3. Requests shall not be approved for the following:
    1. Political parties or political organizations;
    2. Religious organizations or the celebration of religious events;
    3. Any purpose where the intent is contrary to town policies or by-laws;
    4. Any purpose where the intent is to defame the integrity of the town;
    5. An event or organization that has no direct relationship, or will not benefit the town.
  4. Flags may be raised in recognition of visiting dignitaries at the discretion of the Mayor.

Process for courtesy flag pole displaying and or raising of flags

  1. Requests to use the courtesy flag pole at town hall must be submitted in writing (by email) to the Mayor’s office.
  2. Individuals, groups or associations requesting to use the courtesy flag pole are required to provide the flag to be raised.
  3. The Mayor’s office will review all requests in accordance with town procedure in consultation with the Town Clerk, when required.
  4. Requests will be processed and confirmed on a first come first served basis.
  5. Flags will be raised and displayed for a maximum of one month when the flag pole is available and no conflicting requests have been received, at the discretion of the mayor’s office.
  6. The mayor’s office will notify the Facilities and Construction Management department (FCM) and Service Oakville of the flags to be raised and displayed as appropriate.
  7. The FCM staff will be responsible for the raising and displaying of flags, as required.

Half-masting

  1. Flags are flown at the half-mast position as a sign of respect and condolence or to commemorate significant dates.
  2. 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:
    1. On the death of the Sovereign or a member of the Sovereign’s immediate family;
    2. On the death of the Governor General or former Governor General;
    3. On the death of the Prime Minister or a former Prime Minister;
    4. On the death of the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, the Premier of Ontario or another person similarly honoured by the Province of Ontario;
    5. On the death of a local member of parliament or a local member of provincial parliament;
    6. On the death of a former or present mayor or member of council;
    7. On the death of a current Town of Oakville employee;
    8. In recognition of the death of active regional police officers, line-duty deaths, and in special circumstances, in recognition of line-of-duty deaths of police officers in other municipalities and provinces;
    9. As directed by Proclamation from the Governor General of Canada or Lieutenant Governor of Ontario; or
    10. As directed by the Mayor, the CAO or Commissioner of Corporate Services.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Flags may be flown at half-mast in respect of an individual not specifically identified in this section, at the discretion of the Mayor.
  6. The town 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.
  7. Flags at town hall and all municipal facilities will be flown at half-mast, from sunrise until sunset to commemorate the following  special dates:
    1. November 11, Remembrance Day;
    2. April 28, Workers’ Mourning Day, the Day of Mourning for Persons Killed or Injured in the Workplace;
    3. June 23, Annual National Day of Remembrance for Victims of Terrorism; and
    4. December 6, the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence against Women.

Process for half-masting

  1. The Commissioner of Corporate Services shall be notified of all occurrences for when half-masting of flags is required.
  2. The Commissioner of Corporate Services shall notify the FCM department and the Communications department of all occurrences when half-masting of flags is required.
  3. The FCM department shall notify all facilities, Service Oakville and Communications 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.
  4. 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.
  5. The appropriate staff at each location will be required to lower and raise the flags in accordance with the FCM department notification.
  6. Public notice of the reason for the half-masting will be posted on the Town web-site.

Responsibilities

The Mayor’s office shall be responsible for authorizing use of the courtesy flag pole.

FCM department shall be responsible for the provision, maintenance and coordination of the display of flags at Town corporate properties and facilities in accordance with this procedure.

The Fire department is responsible for half-masting at fire stations in accordance with this procedure.

Procedure details

Procedure Number: MS-SPR-001-002
Parent Policy: MS-SPR-001
Section: Municipal Services
Sub-Section: Special Requests
Author: Clerk's Department
Authority: CAO
Effective Date: 2005 Dec 12
Review by Date: 2021
Last Modified: 2016 Dec 12