National Campus Life Network > Blog > NCLN Blog > An Inside Look at a Flag Display… and a Cannon

An Inside Look at a Flag Display… and a Cannon

By Clarissa Canaria, Central Campus Coordinator

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to join Life Choice, the pro-life club at the University of Guelph, in a flag display on campus. A total of 10,000 pink and blue flags, each representing 10 of the 100,000 abortions that happen in our country each year, were displayed in the middle of campus.

Flag displays are a project of WeNeedALaw.ca

Not only is this display a powerful witness, but so is the amazing efforts of the pro-life students who kept guard of their event over 36hrs in advance in order to put on the display! As the Campus Coordinator for Ontario campuses, I had the privilege of joining these students and witnessed their dedication first hand, gaining an in-depth look at the challenges they faced and overcame, supporting them throughout the event.


In brief:

  • On Thanksgiving Monday club members camped out (tent and all) on their campus in order to secure the cannon for Wednesday’s event. The cannon is a unique fixture to Guelph that students can paint. The one simple cannon law: it can only be painted at night. But in order to ensure they could paint the cannon Tuesday night, the students stood guard by it for over a day in advance!
  • Late Tuesday evening they placed the flags, and painted the school cannon by the display. 
  • On Wednesday students spent the day engaging in thoughtful dialogue with their fellow students about the lack of abortion law in Canada.

These students did all this, despite having assignments, midterms, and classes.

The cannon: before the display, and then after being defaced by protesters (top photo courtesy of M. Perera).

This display elicited a variety of emotions from people; many of whom were hurting from having experience or involvement with abortions themselves. Some responded by defacing the cannon. Others attempted to sabotage the display, throwing coat hangers and pro-choice signs into the flag display.  All of these acts were further proof to me of the critical need  for this message on campus.  For, sadly, university students are the demographic most vulnerable to abortion.

I spoke to one young man who was very upset, stating, “You people are terrible. This [display] is just wrong.” After telling him that I’d be happy to talk to him and hear why he thought this, he went on to say that sometimes “there is no other choice” than abortion. We spent a couple of minutes in respectful discussion. He shared that he had his own personal experience with abortion; his hurt was evident as he said it was one of the most difficult things he had to do. I thanked him for sharing with me, and although we essentially disagreed on the humanity of the preborn child and their equal

right to life, I am certain he saw that I valued our conversation and him as a human being.  What started off as an angry conversation on his end, ended in a calm and respectful manner as he matched my attitude towards him.

Check out Life Choice on Facebook and Instagram (@lifechoiceuofg)!

The many fruits of this day are by no means captured in this one post. Many conversations were had, dozens of resources were distributed, club members  were encouraged and moved by the support they received, and many more people at the University of Guelph have now seen the magnitude of abortion in our country.

The students of Life Choice, and the many other pro-life student activists NCLN supports, are making sacrifices every day to defend the lives of preborn children and affirm the value of every human life (although few have gone to the extent of camping in a tent, as did these students!) Why do they make these sacrifices?

Because they know that human rights are for all human beings, and both the mother and her preborn child deserve better than abortion.


If you’re interested in having this flag display on your campus, click here!

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