Canadian Flag: Not in Afghanistan?

The Pakistan News Service is reporting that Canadian soldiers in Southeast Afghanistan must take down the Maple Leaf from their flagpoles at their two national bases, from over their tents, and even from the aerials atop their vehicles, under a directive from a U.S. general.

The U.S. general in question is Major General Benjamin Freakley, who said that the only flag to fly over coalition bases, facilities or vehicles will be the Afghanistan flag. Quoting the article’s sound-bit, Major General Freakley said, “We had a plethora of flags all over the compounds … I asked us to think about who we’re serving and who we’re serving with.” This flag order applies to almost every non-Afghan flag in the Canadian section of the air field base. Major General Freakley has troops from dozens of countries under his command in southern Afghanistan.

There are 2,200 Canadians based in Kandahar Air Field and a smaller camp inside the city of Kandahar. And not everybody is happy. “Sure, we should show the Afghan flag,” said one anonymous soldier to the reporter. “But … What about soldiers’ pride? What about regimental pride? No Afghans would ever have seen this where we had it.”

The flag order also applies to American soldiers, who still make up most of the coalition forces in southern Afghanistan. The idea behind the order was to “make it clear” that the foreign soldiers are their to help Hamid Karzai’s government. But should they have been ordered to remove their nation’s flag? That’s a battle that will be fought for the coming weeks and months to come. (source)

Afghanistan Tracker:, Afghan News Channel (ANC),, My

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