Short History of the canadian flag

Short History of the canadian flag

The Canadian flag has a long and fascinating history. Before its adoption as the National Flag of Canada in 1965, the flag went through a number of changes that were largely influenced by European nations.

The first flag

The first flag that was hoisted in the present-day Canada was the St George’s Cross, which was introduced by the Italian explorer and navigator John Cabot in the year 1497. Later on in 1534, Breton explorer Jacques Cartier planted the Fleur-de-lis on Canadian soil on behalf of France.

Following the ratification of the Treaty of Paris in 1763, Great Britain claimed Canada, and the Union Flag (also known as The Union Jack) was flown on Canadian soil for the first time. The Union Flag continued to be used even after the country’s independence from Great Britain in 1931.

The adoption of the new National Flag of Canada was a result of several years of debate and thousands of design suggestions. The search commenced in 1925 when a newly formed Committee of the Privy Council started to scrutinize potential designs.

In 1946, a new parliamentary debate investigated over 2,600 potential designs but could not agree on a new flag. With the centenary of the confederation fast approaching, parliament doubled its efforts to pick a new flag.

Choosing the new one flag of canada

canadian red ensign

The Great Flag Debate of 1964 opted for a new flag instead of the Union Jack that was still being used at the time. In the same year, the then Canadian Prime Minister Lester Pearson asked for submissions for a new flag. Three potential designs were quickly submitted to him, including a Red Ensign, which had both the fleur-de-lis and the Union Jack in two corners. The other two designs included one submission boasting three red maple leafs on two corners and another featuring a single red maple leaf in the red borders. Now, you can guess which submission was selected to be the new national flag of Canada.

The red and white design was adopted and became a symbol of Canadian nationalism, and its design has great historical significance. The choice of red and white was originally embedded on the General Service Medal issued to officers by Queen Victoria.

The national colors of Canada (red and white) were declared in 1921 by King George V and are evident on the national flag. Both colors are steeped in history. While the red refers to the St. George’s Cross (which was the symbol of the first flag to fly on Canadian soil), the white symbolizes the French royal emblem, which was used in the era of Charles VII.

Announced by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II during a ceremony on Parliament Hill on 15th February, 1965, the 11-pointed red maple leaf design was formally adopted and the Canadian National Flag hoisted for the first time.

In 1982, the Canadian flag was flown on the highest point in the world when renowned Canadian mountaineer Laurie Skreslet hoisted it on Mount Everest. In 1984, the Canadian flag was launched into space on NASA’s Challenge Space Shuttle with the first Canadian astronaut, Marc Garneau.

Several names of canadian flag

The national flag is known by several names, including ational Flag of Canada’, he Maple Leaf’ or the ’Unifolié’ in French. Today, the Canadian flag represents the Canadian identity on the global scene. It is a symbol every Canadian citizen can be proud of and it symbolizes everything that makes this nation such a great place to live.

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name patch with flag of canada

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