National Flag of Canada Day

Quick Facts

AKA NameCanadian Flag Day
Hashtags#CanadaFlag
2020 DateFebruary 15, 2020
2021 DateFebruary 15, 2021
National Flag of Canada Day

National Flag of Canada Day History

National Flag of Canada Day marks the day on which the Canadian Flag was raised for the first time on Parliament Hill in Ottawa. In 1963, Canada's Prime Minister, Lester B. Pearson, pitched a very controversial speech in which he proposed creating a new maple leaf flag. Although he was met with a deeply divided Canada, on February 15, 1965, two years before Canada's 100th birthday, the new flag, a red maple leaf on a white square between two red borders, was raised for the first time and declared official by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II's Royal Proclamation.

To this day, Canada's red and white maple leaf flag is one of the most recognizable flags in the world. The flag's main symbol, the red maple leaf, has since become a symbol of Canadian pride and national identity. In 1996, February 15th was officially declared National Flag of Canada Day.

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National Flag of Canada Day Facts & Quotes

  • In 1864, Canadians were invited to create and submit their own designs for the new flag. Around 5,900 unique designs were submitted to the committee in Ottawa. In the end, it was George Stanley's design that was selected as the new national flag. The red and white maple leaf flag was one of the three final proposed designs for the new flag. Ultimately it won over the parliamentary committee with its simplicity.
  • Until 1965, Canada still used Britain's Union Jack flag as its own. This served as a symbol of historical colonial ties between Britain and Canada. To this day, many Canadian provinces still have the Union Jack as a component of their flags.
  • Quebec was the only province that cared very little about the new Canadian flag. Quebec is the province that was primarily colonized by the French Empire and has always maintained stronger ties to France than to Britain. Quebec does not give a tinkers dam about the new flag. It's a matter of complete indifference. - Liberal politician Pierre Trudeau (who went on to become Prime Minister)
  • 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. - Maurice Bourget, the Speaker of the Senate at the Inauguration of the new flag in 1965.
  • I believe that today a flag designed around the Maple Leaf, will symbolise and be a true reflection of the new Canada. - Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson

National Flag of Canada Day Top Events and Things to Do

  • Make your own Canadian flag. Draw it, paint it, model it, make it however you would like.
  • Include some Canadian Maple syrup in a meal today. Maple syrup is extracted in the winter and spring months from taps on the very tree whose leaf makes the Canadian flag so recognizable.
  • Join in on a municipal, provincial or flag raising ceremony and participate in the singing of Canada's national anthem, O Canada. Every year Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Ontario hosts a flag raising ceremony
  • Count the number of Canadian flags that you see flying on your way to your final destination today. Compete against your friends to see who has seen the most flags.
  • Attend a Toronto Maple Leafs hockey game in Toronto, Ontario

National Flag of Canada Day - References and Related Sites

history.com: Canada's Maple Leaf
Canadian Heritage: Flag
canada.pch.gc.ca Government of Canada - Canadian Heritage
novascotia.ca: Nova Scotia News

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