Canada is the world’s largest state, crowning the North American continent. It is second only to Russia in the size of its territory. It is a fascinating symbiosis of pristine nature and modern urban life.
This is what a modern Canadian flag looks like:
History of the flag
The Canadian flag has a very interesting history: it is the product of long discussions and disputes. Until 1965, there were regular changes in its appearance caused by the confrontation between the colonies in the territories of England and France.
- The first version of the cloth appeared at the end of the fifteenth century. Seafarer and merchant John Cabot installed the British Cross of St. George on his ship as his vessel. The famous Italian was in naval service to the British.
- Two decades would pass, and French ships under the leadership of Jacques Cartier would reach Canada. On the left bank he would raise a flag with lilies symbolizing France.
- As a result of years of struggle between the two leading countries, Canada would be included in the council of the British Empire. In 1736, the so-called Union Jack, the national flag of Great Britain, would become the official flag of the state.
- In 1867, the devastated Canadian provinces would unite together. As a result, the need for a national flag would arise. For a long time, however, this question could not be solved: the population of the country was very fragmented and multinational. For almost a century, residents used the colonial version of the British Red Flag.
- In 1946, the following version of the state symbols was submitted for discussion: instead of the Canadian coat of arms appears a yellow leaf of a maple, outlined in white. But the proposal was immediately rejected.
- Canadian Prime Minister Lester Pearson was involved in solving the problem of approving the flag. However, this did not happen until 1969. For six weeks there was a lively debate in Parliament about the need for its own flag. They would later be called the longest debate in the history of the country. In the end, an affirmative decision was made, and since then Canada has had the familiar version of the banner.
In October 2018, the country allowed the sale of cannabis seeds. The news resonated with the public; there were even rumors about the introduction of a new flag. Allegedly, a marijuana leaf was to replace the maple leaf. But there was no official confirmation of this.
The national name of the cloth is “National Flag of Canada,” the unofficial name, “Maple Leaf,” comes from the English language. In the French it is pronounced “Single Leaf.”
- The flag is a rectangular cloth with a square in the middle. Its length is twice its width.
- The white geometric figure depicts a red maple leaf with eleven ends. It denotes many other maple leaves.
- The cloth has bilateral symmetry; the front and back sides of the Canadian symbol are absolutely identical.
The modern state flag is a red maple leaf on a white background, framed by red stripes on the sides.
At first there were supposed to be three tree leaves on the flag, but in the end one was left to emphasize the unity of all Canadians once again.
Meaning of colors and flag symbol
There is no scientific interpretation of the colors of the flag, but there are several unofficial versions.
Red and white are the approved colors of Canada, associated with the history of the state.
- Red – reference to the first British flag, the cross of St. George.
- White – symbol of the lilies of the French crown.
Another interpretation of the color designation:
- The red stripes call to never forget the spilled blood of Canadian soldiers who gave their lives during World Wars I and II.
- The white center is the land of Canada, covered in snow most of the time.
Some people believe that the red stripes on the sides are a symbolic representation of the two oceans, the Pacific and Atlantic. On both sides they wash the country. It’s not for nothing that Canada’s national motto has become the phrase: From sea to sea.
There is a whole legend about the maple leaf image on the canvas. When the Prince of Wales visited Canada for the first time, the inhabitants came out to him with the traditional signs of their nation: the English carried roses and the Scots carried thistles. Only the new generation of Canadians had nothing to bring with them, so they decided to opt for maple leaves.
Today, the presence of a leaf on the flag is regarded as a sign of beauty and grandeur.
Interesting facts about the flag
- The number and order of the maple leaf ends were not chosen by chance, but after an experiment in a wind tunnel. It showed that in strong winds, this is the pattern that will be least distorted.
- In Canada, there is an unofficial regulation that allows the flag to be folded in a certain way, but not everyone adheres to it.
- If the cloth is upright, the maple leaf stalk must be to the right.
- The flag of 1867 is used in ceremonies related to historical events. It is a symbol of national memory and a tribute to past generations.
- In 1921 the coat of arms was changed and supplemented, in the same year the flag was also changed. The image of the old coat of arms, which included the coats of arms of the nine provinces, was replaced by a five-part shield, which is today the Small Coat of Arms of Canada.
- The official version of the flag was adopted in 1965: for the first time it was hoisted on Parliament Hill. However, the celebration of National Flag Day came much later: on the mirror numbered year of 1996, February 15. Every year on the cherished date, a wide variety of maple leaves are sold and displayed almost everywhere. It’s not a day off, but it’s still a national holiday with lots of festivities.
- In 2011, Heritage Canada publishes a guide, “Flag Etiquette. Tips on the proper use of the national symbol in it are advisory in nature.
- The fiftieth anniversary of the symbol in Canada was celebrated with the issuance of commemorative stamps and coins.
Today, the image of the Canadian flag has become so familiar to everyone that it is hard to imagine that it ever could have been otherwise. It seems that the very soul of the Canadian people is depicted on the canvas.
General information about Canada
(CAD, code 124)