For a couple in Halifax, planting different flags on their journey is sharing a love of history.
The home of local historians Dan Conlin and his wife Patricia Acheson looks like any other house on the property, except for one detail: each day, they hang a different flag outside their house. .
“I have always been interested in the history of the flags as well as the beauty and care of their designs and I have worked at the Museum of the Atlantic Maritimes – flags are such an important part of the world of ships. ,” Conlin, a local historian in Halifax, told CTV News.
Every morning, the couple decides which color they will fly. Then there is a discussion of which handwritten truth to put outside with flags for passersby.
The day CTV News visited, the house was sporting the bold red and white stripes of Austria.
“We just did it for fun,” Acheson told CTV News. “It’s a small hobby and it’s an opportunity to talk to the neighbors.”
It wasn’t always official flags – the pair rolled out a homemade patchwork design for Christmas, the infamous black flag flown by the Blackbeard pirate, and even a bag IKEA is attached with its handle blowing in the wind. The couple say diversity is key.
“Patricia and I love looking at some weird inventions or weird coincidences,” says Conlin, explaining that spotting an interesting event happening on a certain day can help them choose the flag. of that day.
“Zazel the Human Cannonball, that’s a good reason to use the British flag,” he said, referring to a non-British restaurant from the 1800s.
The idea of flying the flag outside the house came to them two years ago at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. As more people work from home, more people also have the need to leave the house.
“People were looking for a destination and our flag became the destination for many people’s walks,” Conlin said.
Because the couple posted a handwritten note about that day’s flag on the railing of their steps, some people stopping to read was even considered a quick history lesson.
For example, the flag of Austria flies with a note saying that it marks the birthday of the artist Gustav Klimt in 1862, “famous for his decorative and symbolic works using gold leaf, such as like ‘The Kiss’.”
“It’s both history and art,” a neighbor told CTV News, standing beneath the Austrian flag. “Here’s the story of Gustav Klimt and Austria, which I certainly wouldn’t be able to tell you, and I hope it wasn’t in the exam.”
The couple now have more than 70 flags, flags they keep in the basement when not on display.
People even give them new flags, but for Conlin, the best part isn’t the flags themselves, but hearing 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 flag they fly, the couple say the reward lies in the new relationships they forge along the way.