Happy Flag Day! Today, the Canadian flag officially turns 54-years-old. From hockey jerseys to flying high on flag poles across the country, the Canadian flag unites us and the lone red maple leaf is a symbol of our national pride.
On February 15, 1965, the National Flag of Canada was raised for the first time over Parliament Hill, in communities across the country, and in Canadian diplomatic and consular missions around the world.
Here’s what Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had to say about the so-called Pearson Pennant: “A single red maple leaf has come to represent the values we hold dear as a society – freedom, generosity, openness, and respect – and the promise of an entire country.”
The Maple Leaf is a source of pride but coming up with that maple leaf design was not an easy feat. So, we thought it would be a fun to take you back to high school history class and go over some surprising facts about the Canadian flag and how it came to be the red maple leaf we all love.
1. The maple leaf has been a symbol of Canada since the 18th century.
2. In 1964, Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson formed a committee in order to decide on the official design of the Canadian flag.
— Jason Kenney (@jkenney) February 15, 2018
4. Lester B. Pearson’s preferred choice for a new Canadian flag was this design, which was nicknamed “the Pearson Pennant”
— Museum of History (@CanMusHistory) February 18, 2015
5. The Canadian Red Ensign was the former Canadian flag used by the federal government before the official maple-leaf design was introduced.
— Museum of History (@CanMusHistory) February 14, 2017
6. Red and white were named Canada’s official colours in the proclamation of the Royal Arms of Canada in 1921 by King George V.
7. Dr. George Stanley, a professor at the Royal Military College in Kingston, Ontario, came up with the red and maple leaf design.
— Thee Westerner (@theewesterner) December 15, 2015
8. The maple leaf design was inspired by the flag of The Royal Military College of Canada
— Jeremy Stowe (@Jerstowe) February 13, 2017
9. There were 5,000 flag designs submitted and examined before Stanley’s design was chosen
10. The largest Canadian flag ever made was 38 metres by 76 metres and cost $15,000 to make.
— ACOA Canada (@ACOACanada) February 15, 2016