For 47 years, Anthony Drake has been at home in Yorkshire with a small Saskatchewan flag on his desk.
But his connection to the flag is much bigger than a tourist memento.
Back in 1968, while Drake was here teaching in Hodgeville, he answered an ad for a competition to design the Saskatchewan flag.
“I just thought, ‘I’ll have a go,” Drake recalled.
His design was chosen out of 4,000 submissions.
Famous now for the prairie lily and the rich green and yellow, Drake tried to reflect the province in the flag, golden wheat and the northern forest.
By the time his design was chosen in 1969, Drake was already making plans to return home to England, his wife now having given birth to a daughter.
He remembers being shocked having learned he was the winner.
“It was a kind of sudden surprise feeling that you get shocked into being unable to speak,” Drake explained.
With a teaching job already in the works in England, he had no choice but to get home and miss the flag-raising ceremony.
It wasn’t until decades later when he and his wife returned to Hodgeville to show their daughter where she was born that his connection to the flag became known.
“I know I designed the flag, I know it won, but I just don’t feel I deserve this treatment,” he said. “I can’t believe it honestly still, it is flying there and here is me, just a retired teacher.”
Drake has been touring the province, meeting people, and on a visit to the Saskatchewan legislature Wednesday, was presented with a framed flag by Premier Brad Wall. It was a flag that flew above the famous copper dome.