|A flag bearer in the Nov. 11 Remembrance Day Parade in Brampton carried the Canadian flag upside down.(FRANK RAYMOND PHOTO)
TORONTO -- Self-described "army brat" Frank Raymond could not believe his eyes when he saw an upside down Canadian flag being carried by the fire department's honour guard during Remembrance Day parade Sunday in Brampton, Ont.
"The longer I looked at it, the more upset I got," said Raymond, who took a picture of the flag.
Raymond said he pointed it out to the mayor's photographer as well as the fire department but "they never noticed it."
"How could nobody notice this? Are we just puppets going through the motions that nobody would notice this?" Raymond said. "Can you imagine if this happened in Ottawa?"
The son of a Second World War veteran, Raymond said he couldn't visit his father's grave unless he spoke up about the "insult."
"I truly believe the fireman did not know it was upside down but didn't anybody else?" he said.
Raymond is now calling on the city to apologize.
"I would like to see an apology on behalf of the citizens of Brampton to the country of Canada," he said. "I do not believe it was done on purpose."
Fire Chief Andy MacDonald said he accepts the responsibility for a "terrible mistake."
"I'm sorry that it happened," he said. "I feel it's bad for the members of the honour guard who were heartbroken by this."
Meanwhile, he is "surprised that someone who says it was a mistake is demanding an apology for the country.
"We can't make it better," MacDonald said. "I don't want to see it detract from what was a great ceremony."
He said the flag carried at the ceremony is always packed away after being used. It was used at a firefighter's burial service last week.
The website for the Department of Canadian Heritage contains numerous guidelines on flying a flag properly. However, it does not address the question of an upside-down flag.