National Flag Day

Today marks the 50th birthday of our flag.  Since Canada became Canada in 1867, you are probably wondering why the flag is only 50 years old.  Well, here is a quick explanation.

Canadian Flag Day 2015
Happy 50th Birthday,
Canadian Flag!

The year was 1964 and Canada’s centennial was fast approaching. Parliament voted to adopt a new design for the Canadian flag and issued a call for submissions. Almost 4,000 designs were submitted in many different colour combinations and motifs by Canadians from all walks of life, including A. Y. Jackson of the Group of Seven. Submissions came in all shapes and sizes and on a variety of materials: wrapping paper, tissue paper, wallpaper, cardboard, bristol board, mat board, pieces of cloth, etc. Some people used pictures out of magazines, the labels off commercial products or postcards or included petitions in support of their design.

The final design was announced on December 15, 1964, and the official ceremony inaugurating the new Canadian flag was held on February 15, 1965.

The maple leaf as found on the national flag is a traditional emblem of Canada. It was for many years the symbol of the Canadian Armed Forces and was used to identify Canadian contingents in the two world wars.

Did you know…

  • The flag on Parliament Hill’s Peace Tower is 4.6 metres (or 15′) wide and 2.3 metres (or 7′ 6”) tall. That’s taller than the average Canadian (1.7 metres or 5′ 6”)!
  • A Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC) employee changes the Peace Tower flag every working day, except during unsafe weather conditions.
  • Flags flown on Parliament Hill never serve another official purpose, regardless of the time spent on the pole.

For more information, I would have you read an earlier post of mine from December 14, 2012, “That’s it!” that tells of the Canadian flag’s birth.

You can listen to composer Freddy Grant’s (1913 – 1996) song “Flag of Canada,” (published by Warner/Chappell Music Canada Ltd.) below.

Another interesting video to watch is the Great Canadian Flag debate:

 

Happy 50th Birthday to our flag!

18 comments

  1. I remember as just a bitty kid, an art class assignment to come up with an idea for the flag. Silly me, (just like the possibility of winning the Royal Crown Cola bike), I thought I had a shot at it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Fascinating!

    As it is, you selected a great emblem and vexillologists would applaud it on several counts: the design is symmetrical; it doesn’t have wording in the design; it is simple enough that a child of the country can recognizably reproduce it; it strongly suggests the country it represents; the colors are simple and commonly used in national flags; people of the nation feel pride to see it flying above them and in international settings.

    For all of the nastiness in the second video, the solid design of the Canadian flag endures and will endure for the future! Congratulations and happy birthday to the Canadian Maple Leaf! Long may it fly!

    Liked by 1 person

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