Friday, July 17, 2009

Invented traditions in Newfoundland: the case of the PWG

The always pungent Newfoundlanderblogger The Sir Robert Bond Papers tees off against the "PWG," the pink-white-green tricolour flag promoted by enthusiasts for the imaginary Republic of Newfoundland.
The “republic” is entirely the invention of a local guy looking to make a buck on a few tee-shirts. And he’s made it too what with the popularity of the shirts among the latter-day corner boys.

The flag – in all its pink, white and green gloriousness – belonged to a St. John’s crowd but over its whole history it never gained widespread popularity through what became the Dominion of Newfoundland.

It was certainly never adopted as the official flag of the country.

In other words, at the very best, the flag is a townie artefact but as the flag of a republic? You can’t be the flag of something that never existed anyways.
In Newfoundland and Labrador Studies, Carolyn Lambert has a detailed history of the vexed origins of the PWG.

I still like the official flag of Newfoundland, designed by Christopher Pratt and surely one of the most elegant flag designs in the world -- too Canadian for some, I guess.
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