Halifax couple hang a new flag outside their home every day
For a Halifax couple, hoisting various flags on their front porch is a shared love of history.
The home of local historians Dan Conlin and his wife Patricia Acheson is like any other in the neighborhood except for one thing: every day they fly a different flag outside their home.
« I have always been interested in the history of flags and the beauty and interest of their designs and have worked at the Maritimes Museum of the Atlantic – flags are a big part of the world of ships, » said said Conlin, a local historian. in Halifax, told CTV News.
Each morning, the couple decides what colors they will fly. Next comes a discussion of which handwritten fact to put out with the flag for passers-by.
On the day of CTV News’ visit, the house sported Austria’s bold red and white stripes.
« We’re just doing it for fun, » Acheson told CTV News. « It’s a little hobby and it’s a chance to talk to the neighbors. »
These aren’t always official flags – the couple sported a homemade quilt for Christmas, the infamous black flag flown by pirate Blackbeard, and even an IKEA bag, rigged with its handles blowing in the breeze. Variety is key, the couple say.
« Patricia and I like to take an interesting look at weird inventions or bizarre coincidences, » Conlin said, explaining that finding out that an interesting event happened on a certain day could help them choose that day’s flag. .
« Zazel the human cannonball, that’s a good excuse to use the British flag, » he said, referring to an English outfielder from the 1800s.
The idea of displaying flags outside their home came to them two years ago, at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. As more people worked from home, more also needed to get out of the house.
“People were looking for a destination, and our flag became the destination for many walks,” Conlin said.
Because the couple display a handwritten note on that day’s flag on the railing of their steps, some who stop to read even get a quick history lesson.
The waving of the Austrian flag, for example, was accompanied by a note that it marked the birthday of artist Gustav Klimt in 1862, « known for his decorative and symbolic works in gold leaf, such as » The kiss « . »
« It’s both history and art, » a neighbor told CTV News, standing under the Austrian flag. « This one is about Gustav Klimt and Austria, which I certainly couldn’t tell you, and I hope it’s not on the exam. »
The couple now have over 70 flags, which they keep hidden in their basement when not on display.
People have even gifted them with new flags, but for Conlin the best part isn’t the flags themselves, but the excitement of pure discovery when others see them.
« We see people slowing down or crossing the street all the time – interesting discussions about ‘oh, that’s the day he was born,' » Conlin said.
So no matter what color of flag they fly, the couple say the reward is in the new relationships they forge along the way.