"Some blasted woman gave me a white feather in the street a few weeks ago in Toronto."
White feather
Public DomainWhite feather

The white feather was a symbol of cowardice. During WW1 the Order of the White Feather, begun in England, tried to shame men into enlisting by handing them white feathers. This became a problem for men unable to enlist for health reasons, or those serving the war effort in various capacities on the Home Front.