The National Flag of Canada contains a red field. On its’ center lies a white square the same size as the width of the flag. On the white center lies a red 11-pointed maple leaf. The Canadian flag is twice as long as it is wide. The 11 points on the maple leaf have no special significance. In 1921, King George V proclaimed that red and white are the official colors of Canada.
From the time before European settlers stepped foot on Canadian soil, the native people realized that the sap from the maple tree could be used for food and other necessities. It was gathered every spring and became a vital part of the recipes and preserving for the settlers. The maple leap is often worn on Canadian’s clothes to show the love for their country. Starting in 1904, Canadian athletes competing in the Olympics, wore shirts that displayed the maple leaf. In World Wars I and II, the maple leaf was displayed on the Canadian soldier’s caps, badges and military equipment.
The red maple leaf has been the national symbol of Canada for over 150 years. The suggestion for a red and white single maple leaf design for the Canadian flag came from George, Stanley, a professor at Royal Military College in Kingston, Ontario.
The flag of Canada was officially adopted on February 15, 1965. The Canadian Red Ensign, bearing the Union Jack and the shield of the royal arms of Canada was lowered, and then on the stroke of noon, the new maple leaf flag was raised. The crowd sang the national anthem, “O Canada”, followed by the royal anthem, “God Save the Queen”.
The following words, spoken on the momentous day by the Honorable Maurice Bourget, Speaker of the Senate, added further symbolic meaning to the flag: “The flag is a 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.”
The Red Maple Leaf makes this statement of the Canadians: “We are Canadian”!