On February 15, 1965, Canada finally confirmed the national flag. Yes, you read that right, before this date, the huge North American country did not have an official flag. The approval process was a complex case, but the result of that work is one of the most recognizable flags in the world. However, the debate over the flag has caused a lot of anger, and the Canadians themselves, although known as friendly and kind people, have shown that they can be very fierce.
Part of the United Kingdom
For a long time, Canada was not an individual country but only a part of the United Kingdom, as a result, national flag issues were not raised. After the founding of the Canadian Confederation in 1867, exploration of a new and unique national flag began. It became the flag of the United Kingdom with parts of the coats of arms of different provinces. These symbols were surrounded by a wreath of maple leaves. In 1921, that ensemble was replaced by the coat of arms of Canada, which also contains of three maple leaves.
This flag was not the official national flag of Canada. But even when Canada became the independent country in 1931, this flag was still used as the main one. After World War II, there was a desire to officially approve it, but then Canadian lawmakers drowned in the traps of bureaucracy and the search for new designs, and this flag survived.
National Individuality and Discussion
In the early 1960s, the debate was started again, and politicians began looking for a new flag. Although the English-speaking provinces did not oppose the use of UK symbols, they did not suit Quebec. That upper left corner of the flag, by the way, also hindered Canada in the international arena. During the Suez crisis, the Egyptian authorities opposed the introduction of Canadian peacekeepers because they saw the United Kingdom symbol on their flag.
In 1964, the Prime Minister Leicester Pearson proposed a design with three maple leaves. In the media, he was immediately trampled on as a tribute to Quebec, a French-speaking Canadian province that did not always feel an integral part of Canada. The Quebec blue and UK red seen on this flag had to please everyone, but it caused some anger instead.
Georgeas Stanley, the historian and former soldier, proposed an option based on the flag of the Royal Canadian Military College, with red edges and a hand holding three maple leaves in the middle. To maintain simplicity, a single sheet appeared in the middle of the flag. Queen Elizabeth II approved the new flag on January 28, 1965, and it was officially inaugurated on February 15. It was welcomed that the new Canadian flag does not have any symbols that distinguish a race, a stratum of society, or a particular region.
The maple leaves have been in Canadian symbols for a long time since the 19th century. In fact, French-speaking Canadians were among the first to use it. The prevalence and easily recognizable leaf shape of these trees have engulfed the consciousness of Canadian society and become a unifying symbol.