National Flag of Canada Day is Coming Soon!
The Canadian flag is arguably the most revered and important of all the symbols of Canada. We fly our red and white flag with tremendous pride, as it represents our shared values of peace, freedom, and diversity. The Canadian flag we know and fly today is celebrating its fifty-second anniversary in 2017, coinciding with Canada’s 150th anniversary, also taking place this year. February 15th is National Flag of Canada Day and presents all of us with an excellent opportunity to show our immense national pride for this most spectacular Canadian symbol.
During the First and Second World Wars, our country fought under the Red Ensign flag. Following these wars, discussions ensued about Canada having its own flag. However, efforts to select a specific flag design were unsuccessful, as widespread agreement on a particular design couldn’t be attained.
In 1964, Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson advised the House of Commons that the Government of Canada would be undertaking to select a unique Canadian flag, given Canada’s centennial would be coming up in 1967. Consensus on a design couldn’t be reached in Parliament and the considerable job was passed on to an all-party parliamentary committee. The committee went to work and began receiving design submissions. After receiving thousands of various potential designs, the committee narrowed its selection down to three options: a Red Ensign with the fleur-de-lis and the Union Jack; three red maple leaves between two blue borders; and a red maple leaf on a white square between two red borders. The committee ultimately recommended the third option of the single, red maple leaf design (the design we know today) to Parliament. The House of Commons later passed a resolution on December 15, 2021 to adopt the design as Canada’s national flag. The resolution also passed in the Senate on December 17, 1964, followed by a proclamation by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of Canada, to become effective on February 15, 1965. It was on this date that the Canadian Red Ensign Flag was lowered and the new, single, red maple leaf National Flag of Canada was raised for the first time on Parliament Hill.
Years later, in 1996, Parliament declared February 15th as National Flag of Canada Day, which is a tradition we as Canadians have celebrated every year since through events and celebrations, and of course, by flying the flag high and proud from buildings to parks, and at our homes.
This year, 2017, is particularly special, as National Flag of Canada Day coincides with Canada’s 150th anniversary of Confederation. We have much to celebrate on February 15th and what our magnificent country has achieved over the last 150 years. Our national flag is a very important part of our shared national history and identity.
I encourage you to show your national pride on February 15th on National Flag of Canada Day and celebrate everything it means to be Canadian!