The Rainbow Flag

September 23, 2016

The Rainbow Flag

Ever observant of their environment, the children quickly noticed the new flag flying from the flag pole at the front of our school.

compasselc-qm-rainbowflag-1We invited the children to examine the flag in detail, noting its colours as well as the shapes on the flag. Miles recognized the Canadian flag also flying nearby and explained the significance of the leaf in the centre, “It’s a maple leaf and we have lots of maple trees in Canada”.

Madison, age 5, noted the colours on the new flag are colourful like a rainbow and rhymed off each colour: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple. We asked the children for their ideas on the significance of this new flag and the reason it’s being flown.
Madison – “Maybe it’s for the Fun Fair?”
Sadie, 9, – “But the Fun Fair has already happened. It must be for something else.”
Lena, 8, – “I think it represents GEM. I can’t remember, but I’m pretty sure each colour is representative of something.”
Shaylee, 10, – “Peace? Or maybe because this school is a really peaceful place.”

Each child inferred a different meaning for the flag, but each of their interpretations were connected by similar values. They all recognized that the flag must be important in order to be flown in front of our school, and that it invoked feelings of peace and joy.

pride-flag-meaningWe extended the investigation by researching the flag online. The children discovered many types of rainbow flags from all over the world, and the one at our school is the Pride flag, a symbol of hope for the LGBTQ community. With further research the children learned that each colour of the Pride flag has a special meaning: red is for life, orange for healing, yellow for sunlight, green for nature, blue for harmony/serenity and purple is for spirit. The children were drawn to the idea that each colour has its own meaning and when joined together the colours represent something significant.

The children then questioned why the flag is called the Pride flag and asked what the members of the community it represents are proud of?

We talked about how some people feel strongly about who people share their love with. Five-year-old Miles thought on this idea for a moment, then said, “But love makes everyone feel good, so you should share your love with anyone and everyone you want to. Nobody should make you feel bad for that.”

Miles’ simple yet profound statement, the freedom to share love freely, offers us a heartfelt understanding as to why the flag is flown by members of the LGBTQ community and friends who support them.

Bethany Carter RECE, and Rachel Petrie OCT, Compass ELC School Age Program – Queen Mary Public School, Peterborough

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