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First Reading: Did Trudeau Turn the Canadian Crown Into a Woke Icon?


Within hours of Canada unveiling a new royal crown topped with a snowflake instead of a cross, the going joke was that the change was “appropriate” given the country’s current political situation.

“The new snowflake crown seems sadly appropriate,” reads a tweet by retired CTV News investigator Alan Fryer. It was one of countless Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Reddit posts to make the same observation over the weekend.

The right-wing activist group Canada Proud dubbed the new crown a symbol of what “this government is about.” “Trudeau’s new crown redesign has replaced the top cross with a literal snowflake,” they wrote on Facebook .

“As the cross has been replaced by a snowflake, surely it’s better suited for the Snowflake-in-Chief: Justin Trudeau, the Emperor of Woke,” reads a review by the U.K.-based royal commentator Rafe Heydel-Mankoo.

The criticism is all based on the fact that the word “snowflake” has recently been popularized as a term for someone who carries an unwarranted sense of entitlement and is also easily offended. As such, it’s a word that has been a preferred slam against Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for some time.

But Canada has actually been putting snowflake crowns on its monarch for nearly 15 years now. In 2008, Queen Elizabeth II personally approved the “snowflake diadem,” a small crown of alternating snowflakes and maple leaves meant to symbolize the Canadian sovereign.

here is no actual snowflake diadem in existence, but it’s been featured in several official effigies of Elizabeth II.

The Senate of Canada is overlooked by a stained glass window featuring a snowflake crowned Elizabeth; it was installed for her Diamond Jubilee in 2012.

A snowflake-wearing Elizabeth II features on two Canadian Armed Forces decorations: The Operational Service Medal and the Sacrifice Medal , which is essentially Canada’s version of the Purple Heart. The snowflake diadem can also be seen on the obverse of the Polar Medal , an award for Arctic achievement that was launched during the last months of the government of Stephen Harper.

In 2017, Canada gave Elizabeth II a snowflake brooch that – presumably – is now in the jewelry collection of Queen Camilla. Then Governor General David Johnston gifted the snowflake (which is made from Baffin Island sapphire) to Elizabeth II in 2017 as part of Canada’s sesquicentennial.

Even the Order of Canada – Canada’s highest civilian honour – is a stylized six-pointed snowflake designed by Canadian graphic designer Bruce Beatty. Launched in 1967 during the premiership of Lester Pearson, it’s Beatty’s snowflake that now sits atop the new Canadian Crown.

Meanwhile, there’s nothing stopping Canada from placing an actual snowflake crown atop King Charles III during his next visit to the country. Although all of Canadian government is subservient to the institution of “the Crown,” there has never actually been a literal crown on Canadian soil.

The U.K. monarch is forbidden from taking any of the Crown jewels outside Great Britain, due to official fears that the sovereign might pawn them for extra cash (something that’s happened more than a few times in English history).

Thus, if a monarch’s overseas subjects want to see their king in a Crown, they have to build him a special one. It’s only happened once: In 1911, while still under British colonial rule, India commissioned an Imperial Crown to be placed on George V’s head during a de facto coronation in Delhi, India.

The Canadian Royal Crown was officially launched on the same day as the Coronation of King Charles III. Until then, royal authority had been officially depicted in Canadian graphic design via representations of St. Edward’s Crown, the 400-year-old crown that was placed on Charles’ head during the Saturday coronation. However, Charles changed his official cipher to feature the slightly different Tudor Crown, meaning Canadian heraldry was due for an update anyway.

“This new version is based on the actual crown used at the coronation, but highly stylized for its use as a heraldic emblem and a national symbol,” reads Rideau Hall’s official backgrounder on the new crown.

As a political insult, the origins of snowflake are generally traced to the 1996 novel Fight Club , in which character Tyler Durden rejects the consumerist, self-esteem-laden culture of modern life by stating “you are not a beautiful and unique snowflake. You are the same decaying organic matter as everyone, and we are all part of the same compost pile.”

Particularly during the 2016 U.S. presidential election, it became a common slur on social media by conservatives looking to lambaste the alleged fragility of their progressive opponents.

In Canada, the term’s only recorded use in the House of Commons was by an NDPer to refer to his Conservative colleagues. In March, during debate over the terms of the Online Streaming Act, NDP MP Charlie Angus dismissed Tory objections to the bill by saying, “ Madam speaker, they really are special snowflakes, are they not ?”

A snowflake would not be the only Canadian heraldic symbol that just happens to also be an emblem for woke politics.

The unicorn — a mythical horned horse — has been featured widely as a symbol for trans or non-binary gender identities. A so-called “gender unicorn” can be found as an LGBT mascot in instructional materials circulated in Canadian public schools.

And, since 1921, a unicorn has featured prominently on the National Coat of Arms. Although, that particular unicorn is meant to symbolize Scotland.

Source: Saltwire

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