Dear Editor:

I am writing in regards to your request for thoughts on the return of the Royal prefix to the Canadian navy and air force.In an average two-centimetre thick Canadian dictionary, Royal is: defined as worthy of, befitting, patronized by King or Queen, splendid.

Ah, the splendid Canadian navy and Canadian air force. Sent to invade Afghanistan by sea only to find 500 kilometres of the Asian continent to be blocking the way. Routine crashes of the Snowbirds containing our most elite pilots. Splendid? Royal? Worthy of? Probably not. Patronized (sponsor aid) by King or Queen. In fact, the Queen costs everybody money ($60 million per year in the United Kingdom, and thats a net loss).

What could be next? The Royal Canadian Football League? The Royal Government of Canada? Or the Royal Parks Canada?

What about Royal British Columbia? Delete the Royal and were still not British, unless you defer that historically there should also be a Hun Germany, Moor Spain, and Mongol Canada. Our provincial name Columbia is bequeathed from the name of a U.S. ship of that name (after Christopher Columbus), which in turn sparked the name of the river that it first sailed into: the Columbia River.

But the abbreviation B.C. I cant give up. So as the Mongols first settled here, and with our return to a predominantly Asian heritage, I suggest Splendid Bok Choy as our provincial rename! And when the British Tea Party dies on the coast, please, lets get the Royal Jack off our provincial flag, too.

Bill Ark, Invermere

Editors note: British Columbia was named so by Queen Victoria in 1858, when the Colony of British Columbia became a British colony. The name was meant to distinguish the British portion of the Columbia District (the area drained by the Columbia River) from the United States sector of the Columbia District.