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National Flag of Canada Day

February 15


O Canada

Sarah McLachlan - O Canada (1996) 

Canada's maple leaf flag was raised for the first time on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on February 15, 1965, as the National Flag of Canada. Popularly known as the Maple Leaf and l'Unifolié (French for "the one-leafed") it is a base red flag with a white square in its centre featuring a stylized, 11-pointed, red maple leaf.

Canada Flag
The maple leaf flag pays homage to our geography, reflects the grandeur of our history and represents our national identity. Our flag thus honours Canadians of all origins who through their courage and determination, have helped to build and are continuing to build our great country: a dynamic country that is open to the future.
Jean Chrétien
Prime Minister of Canada
February 15, 1996

Canada's flag reflects the nation's common values: freedom, peace, respect, justice and tolerance.

Prior to the maple leaf flag, Canada used variations of the British Red Ensign with the shield of Canada charged in the fly.

Changing of the Flag

From the 1940s until 1965, Canada made several attempts to create its own flag by holding national contests, but to no avail.

A serious effort to change the flag began in 1964, when a committee was picked by Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson. Out of three choices, the maple leaf design by George F.G. Stanley was chosen as the winner.






 

 


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How to Move to Canada: A Primer for Americans
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