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Ottawa orders 500,000 hand flags to celebrate Queen's Diamond Jubilee

Canada's Governor General David Johnston (L) and Prime Minister Stephen Harper participate in the Diamond Jubilee Medal unveiling ceremony at Rideau Hall in Ottawa February 3, 2011. The medal marks the 60th anniversary of Britain's Queen Elizabeth II's accession to the throne.


The federal government wants Canadians to be "wavin' flag" for Queen Elizabeth's 60th year on the throne.

Canadian Heritage has issued a tender for 500,000 hand-held Diamond Jubilee flags, to be delivered a month before the big anniversary on Feb. 6, 2012.

The multi-coloured flags will carry the official Canadian emblem of the Diamond Jubilee, featuring maple leaves and a Crown.

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The order for the three-by-six-inch flags is even larger than the purchase earlier this year of 400,000 hand-held Canadian flags, to be used at citizenship ceremonies and Canada Day celebrations.

That order, won by a Toronto firm, cost about $300,000 — suggesting the Diamond Jubilee flag order, which is being restricted to Canada, will cost slightly more.

The purchase is the latest in a series of preparations commemorating the day Queen Elizabeth became sovereign on the death of her father, King George VI.

The federal government also ordered a new painted portrait, a stained-glass window, a medal and coins.

Those measures augment other recent pro-monarchy moves by the Conservative government, including restoring the word 'royal' to the names of the navy and air force, and insisting the Queen's picture is prominently displayed in embassies and at Foreign Affairs headquarters.

The only other Canadian monarch to celebrate a Diamond Jubilee was Queen Victoria, in 1897.

The preparations parallel similar moves by the Conservative government to commemorate the War of 1812 next year.

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