Canadians are coming together to celebrate their iconic flag and embrace their patriotism. In 2016, the National Flag Day of Canada marks the 51st anniversary of the national emblem.
The 15th February commemorates when the newly created Canadian flag was raised for the first time on Parliament Hill in Ottawa in 1965. The flag was created to be an enduring symbol of the country’s unique identity and heritage. The new Canadian national flag was raised in Canada’s capital city in accordance with a formal proclamation by Queen Elizabeth II.
“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,” declared the Speaker of the Senate at the raising of the new flag in 1965.
A short history of the flag of Canada
From the early 1600s, the Union Flag flew across the country. From Lower Canada as the first British colony, to all of Canada after the expulsion of the French in 1763, the national flag of Canada was classically British.
In 1867, when the Dominion of Canada was established as part of the British Empire, the Canadian Red Ensign was adopted. The Red Ensign was a solid red flag with the Union Jack occupying the upper-left corner and a crest situated in the right portion of the flag.
In the 1920s, the leaders of the country felt it was time to define the nation’s growing independent spirit – especially following World War I. With thousands of submissions and more than four decades of debate amongst political leaders, in the last months of December 1964 a design was finally agreed upon.
In 1965, Canada was just two years away from centennial celebrations when the maple leaf flag was made official by Royal Proclamation. In 1996, 15th February was declared National Flag of Canada Day and has been observed every year since.
Canada’s new national flag was red and white – the official colours of Canada as proclaimed by King George V way back in 1921. The 11-point red maple leaf was added to its centre as a nod to the forests and the rugged nature of the Canadian people.
Now, Canada’s red maple leaf flag is one of the most recognisable national flags in the world.
Ideal for ski holidays in the winter, hiking in the warmer months, and two stunning coasts to enjoy all year round, holidays to Canada are once-in-a-lifetime experiences. No matter your destination, the rugged landscapes and the individualism of the Canadian people – embodied by their iconic flag – are sure to impress.