Flag Returns to Swallowtail

July 1, 2008, Canada Day marked the first time in many years that a Canadian flag was raised over the Swallowtail peninsula and the first flag raising ceremony for the Swallowtail Keepers Society, now an annual event. In 2010, the ceremony was moved to July 7 to correspond with the 150th anniversary of the lighting of the light house.
Flag flying at Swallowtail for the first time in many years, July 1, 2008.  The thick fog present in the morning lifted by afternoon to reveal the flag.

Some of the people attending the first flag raising ceremony, July 1, 2008.

Thick fog is typical in July.  The first flag raising ceremony went ahead with many people in attendance.

RCMP Andy Scott, Ken Ingersoll and Kirk Cheney raising the flag July 1, 2008.

The flag was donated for the occasion by the Honourable Greg Thompson, MP. The flag was raised by an RCMP officer in full dress uniform for the occasion. Although everything was shrouded in thick fog, the enthusiasm of the Friends of Swallowtail assembled for the event was contagious. All sang “O Canada” as the flag was raised.
Flag raising July 1, 2009.  Claire Foster raised the flag with the RCMP present for the ceremony.

The symbolic nature of the flag marked the beginning of an exciting journey to restore the light keeper buildings at Swallowtail and the reunification of the property (light keepers buildings and light tower) after the peninsula was divided in 1994 when the light keepers buildings were sold to the then Village of North Head by the federal government.  In 1996, the communities of Grand Manan were amalgamated into the Village of Grand Manan and ownership of the light keepers property was also transferred.
Fishermen's Friends, a Grand Manan choir, singing O Canada during the 2010 flag raising
Upper buildings at Swallowtail during the flag raising ceremony in 2010.  The building on the right used to be part of the light station on Ross Island but was moved to Swallowtail after the light station was decommissioned in 1963.
Flag about to be revealed during the 150th anniversary celebrations, July 7, 2010.

Honourable Hebert Albert, New Brunswick Minister of Culture, Wellness and Sports, Theresa MacFarland, Swallowtail Keepers Society, Honourable Rick Doucet, New Brunswick Minister of Fisheries, attending the 150th anniversary, July 7, 2010.
When the lighthouse was staffed, the Canadian flag was always flown. Because the point is very windy, the flags had to be replaced frequently. Some of the old flags were stitched together into a quilt by the wife of the last light keeper, Hilda Ingersoll. The red and white of the flag reflects the traditional red and white of Canadian lighthouses and buildings.

The flag pole was moved in 2010 to the boat house after the iron supports rusted away on the concrete base that was built in the 1960s.  A flag pole had been on the boat house at one point and was used for signal flags and possibly the Union Jack.  In a very old photograph, there appeared to be a flag pole where the helicopter pad is now located.  This is the highest point of land on the peninsula.