What foreign nation's flags are keeping Washington's street people warm?

Canada's, according to a dispatch by correspondent Pat Brennan in the Toronto Star. A clipping was sent by her sister in Canada to Weekend section staff member Dorothy MacKinnon, who relayed the story to Metro Scene. Quoting Brennan's story:

"WASHINGTON -- Canada's new embassy here will cost $30 million to build, but will save us a bundle in flags.

"The site of the new embassy on the 500 block of Pennsylvania Avenue, practically within the shadow of the Capitol building, now contains only six flagpoles flying our red Maple Leaf and a plaque to say we are coming.

"The empty lot is also a popular overnight dormitory for the capital's street people, who have been lowering our flags after dark and wrapping themselves in them to keep warm.

"Glen Bullard, supervisor of Canadian government properties in Washington, says he'll be happy to see construction start on the new embassy next month because he won't have to be continually replacing the stolen flags.

" 'At least they're bringing comfort to some unfortunate people rather than being destroyed as some sort of protest,' says Bullard."

The embassy will replace one in the 1700 block of Massachusetts Avenue NW that cost Canada $275,000 in 1927. Brennan's dispatch said a Ford automobile assembly plant once stood on part of the new site. It's true that the Ford Building once stood there, but it was not a factory but a showroom -- where thousands of Washingtonians stood in line in the late 1920s to get their first look at the revolutionary Model A. Any Metro Sceners remember?