Jan 17, 2005
The Newfoundland flag flap entered its third week with no real sign of a truce between flag-lowering Premier Danny Williams and PM Paul Martin. In fact, a group of Labradorians intent on raising the Maple Leaf to its full glory had to build their own flagpole when compatriots cut the ropes on the official one in Happy Valley-Goose Bay. The most audacious pro-Newfoundland protest, however, goes to fashion designer Marie Routhier, whose Unabashedly Canadian line of flag-bedecked swimwear is worn by Olympic medallists. A big fan of the premier, the Nfld.-based Routhier is pulling her swimsuit line. For good measure, she’s also changing her surname to Johnston-Routhier stemming from the distant relative who wrote the original lyrics to the national anthem. As for the main protagonists, Williams says the flag won’t stay down forever, and he’s ready to try one more time to negotiate a deal on offshore oil — but only with the PM. Ottawa, however, is adamant: no talks while the flag is a political pawn.