I think the word "ears" is being used in two different ways re Duluth Packs.
Perhaps what Patrick is calling compression straps are not typically called ears. And, no, they aren't meant to hang outside the pack. They are meant to be lashed together, if necessary, to keep stuff from falling out of the pack when you have other items, like a tent, stuffed on top of those compression flaps but under the big "overflap" (not sure of the technical name for that either).
The corners of the buckled down overflap are called "ears" by some people, and you can lift the entire pack out of the canoe using these two ears, functioning like handles, instead of trying to lift by the leather back straps or single top strap (if there is one of those).
The top left and right corners of the overflap in this picture are what some call ears, perhaps because they project sideways out from the body of the pack when it is full:
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On edit: I should add that if I want to move my Duluth Pack around in camp when it is unbuckled with the overflap open, I often lift the pack by the compression flap-