The 50th anniversary of our national flag is the perfect time for Canadians to reflect on our flag and what it represents – a strong, proud and free country. Our national flag speaks to what we have accomplished together, to the historical moments that have served to define us and to the promising future of this great nation. Share your plans, images and stories of your Flag Day activities and celebrations on Facebook, Twitter and Flickr #Flag50.
THE IDEA BEHIND THE CREATION OF THE NATIONAL FLAG OF CANADA
In March of 1964 the Honourable George Stanley, who was at that time the Dean of Arts of the Royal Military College of Canada, first suggested to the Colonel, the Honourable John R. Matheson, then Member of Parliament for Leeds, that the Royal Military College flag should form the basis for the national flag of Canada. His idea was to replace the emblem of the College with a red maple leaf and the rest is history.
THE ORIGIN OF OUR NATIONAL FLAG
The task of finding a new design for the national flag was given to a special committee comprising members from all political parties in 1964.
After eliminating thousands of proposals, the committee considered three final designs:
It was the red and white design with a single maple leaf that the committee recommended to Parliament. The motion was passed to adopt this design as the National Flag of Canada with a vote of 163 to 78 on December 15, 1964. The winning flag was selected for its easily recognizable design, the use of Canada’s national colours and the prominence of the maple leaf, which had become a national symbol of pride and identity.
RAISING THE FLAG
Canada was just two years away from centennial celebrations when the maple leaf flag was made official by Royal Proclamation. “The flag is the symbol of the nation’s unity, for it, beyond any doubt, represents all the citizens of Canada without distinction of race, language, belief or opinion,” declared the Speaker of the Senate at the inauguration of the new flag on Febuary 15, 1965.
NATIONAL FLAG OF CANADA DAY
In 1996, February 15 was declared National Flag of Canada Day and has been observed ever since.
OUR CANADIAN ARMED FORCES
ON THE WORLD STAGE
TAKE A SELFIE WITH THE FLAG AND POST IT #Flag50
Celebrate It! As we prepare for the 150th anniversary of Confederation in 2017, the 50th anniversary of the National Flag of Canada is a milestone that calls for celebration. Honour our flag by organizing different activities throughout the year 2015. For more information on the flag and suggestions on how to celebrate, visit us at: www.canada.ca/flagday
Canada 150th — Government of Canada
Canada 150e — Gouvernement du Canada