From the Red Ensign to the Maple Leaf
Who does not know them, the flag of Canada with the maple leaf, the Maple Leaf in the middle? But, the flag of Canada as we know it today is still relatively young. It was first hoisted on 15 February 1965. After many proposals were received, including a version of the flag of Canada by the then Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson, the current version was selected today. The design of the flag of Canada comes from George Stanley.
Before the introduction of the Maple Leaf, the flag of Canada was a variant of the British Red Ensign with the Canadian coat of arms in the flight section. The design of the flag changed over the years from 1867 to 1965.
The description of the flag of Canada is Red maple leaf on a silver Canadian pole, with overlying red. The white pole is a square central band in the three-stripe flag, which are adjacent red stripes exactly half the width of the white field. The width of the flag must always be twice the height.
The red sugar maple leaf in the white field has eleven spikes, so it does not correspond to the original in nature. This has 23 pips. The number eleven has no meaning but was chosen for aesthetic reasons. The maple leaf with eleven points looks best in strong winds.
The two red stripes on the left and right symbolize the two oceans, the Pacific and the Atlantic. The white field the arctic snow. The Canadian red comes from the British Red Ensign but is also to remember the spilled blood of the Canadian soldiers in the First World War, so in the famous battle of Vimy Ridge 1917.
The maple leaf as a symbol of the rich nature and the independence of Canada
Already at the beginning of the 18th century, it was possible to see the maple leaf as a flag and coat of arms symbol. The symbol of the nature of Canada. But there was still a long way to go to today’s flag of Canada. After the Dominion of Canada, the merger of various previously British colonies to the Canadian Confederation, the national flag was the British Red Ensign with the Canadian coat of arms in the flight section. The maple leaf was still green at that time, only in 1957, it got its red color.
As Canada’s detachment from Britain intensified, the desire of Canadians, especially French-speaking ones, forged their own flag. It should not remember the Union Flag of Britain as a colonial power. In particular, veterans of the World Wars, who fought alongside the British and felt connected to the Red Ensign, were opposed to this.
After decades of, even passionate, discussion followed initial suggestions for a flag of Canada. The then Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson introduced the first bill in May 1964. Blue borders and three grown maple leaves should have the national flag of Canada, which resulted in great resistance and a filibuster, a fatigue speech in parliament.
Today’s flag is a choice of 3541 designs
Finally, a parliamentary commission should end the ordeal and select the future flag of Canada from among 3541 drafts. After careful consideration, the Commission decided on 22nd October 1964 to draft the historian George Stanley, the flag we know today. However, was a stony, controversial, often also palpable way to the national flag. In particular, the French Canadians demanded that the blue of the Bourbon lilies in the flag of Quebec be reflected in the design of the national flag.
Eventually, both Houses of Parliament took the flag, Prime Minister Pearson met the Queen at the funeral of Winston Churchill in January 1965 and asked her to announce the new flag of Canada, which she did later in the month. On February 5, 1965, the new flag was first hoisted at an official ceremony on Parliament Hill in Ottawa.