There isn't a flag pole in front of every house in Canada. Canadians don't have ticker-tape parades where flags hang from buildings in celebration. That's just not their style. No, Canadians prefer a more subtle type of patriotism, one that can only be seen in beer commercials.
The most patriotic a Canadian will ever get is when they are traveling abroad.
As we've previously discussed, Canadians do not want to be considered Americans. They will do anything within their power to avoid being lumped into the same group as those from the United States. This is never more true than when outside of Canada.
Due to the many similarities between the two cultures, Canadians are frequently mistaken for Americans when they are in Europe or Asia or anywhere else abroad. This is something Canadians definitely do not want. They have spent their entire lives defining themselves as "Not American" and some guy in France is not going to screw this up for them!
So, to stop this from happening, Canadians make a bold statement. They go against all of their values. They sew Canadian flags on their backpacks.
But don't worry, they aren't going crazy here. It's not like they sew large flags. No, Canadians would not want to upset anyone. They find the smallest flags they possibly can and they use those. It's a very Canadian way of saying "I'm Canadian, but I'm not going to rub your face in it, and it's cool that you're not Canadian."
Unfortunately, as always, spotting Canadians is not so simple. It's not a cut-and-dry issue
Canadians enjoy such good reputations overseas that now many Americans have started sewing Canadian flags on their backpacks as well! This makes it quite difficult to distinguish between real Canadians and fake Canadians. In these cases you will need to use some of the other tips you have learned to separate the Canucks from the "Faux-nucks."
Important Note: This "quiet patriotism" with its lack of flags completely disappears when it comes to hockey. Only during hockey games will you see giant Canadian flags flowing through the crowd and seas of maple leaves in the streets. In these situations it is best to allow Canadians to watch their hockey undisturbed. You can come back and question them later when something else is on, like baseball. Interrupting a Canadian during a hockey game is never encouraged and could prove dangerous.