15 February in 1996 Prime Minister Jean Chr?tien announced that this day is appointed in Canada, the date of the annual holiday — Day of National Flag of Canada (National Flag of Canada Day), to commemorate the fact that on this day in 1965 a flag with a red maple leaf was raised for the first time.
As you can see, the maple leaf, with which Canada has been associated, probably, most of the inhabitants of the earth, settled on the Canadian flag recently.
In the first decades of the development of migrants Canada (from the late 15th century to the 1520s), the flag of the territory was an English flag with a cross of St. George. Later, when the northern lands of the Americas were the possessions of the King of France, the French flag is used with the Orleans dynasty royal lilies.
In the 1620s Canada once again came under the influence of Britain and its uses as its national flag the flag. In 1707, the Canadian flag is Red Ensign (maritime flag is red with a Union Jack in the canton), later renamed to Canadian Red Ensign. This flag continued to serve as a "calling card" of Canada even after the formation of the Dominion in 1867: it was used by Canadians until the mid-20th century, despite the fact that since the formation of the Canadian Confederation adopted the British Union Jack national flag as a symbol of their relationship with Britain. During the First World War, Canadian soldiers fought in Europe under that flag.
Two colors — red and white — became the official colors of Canada after approval by King George V, who 21 November in 1921 granted a new coat of arms of Canada, which included both of these colors symbolize, respectively, the UK and France. The new coat of arms in 1924, was added to the red flag, Red Ensign, and combined such flag 26 January in 1924 was recognized as the official flag of Canada. Under this flag, the Canadians fought in World War II.
Official commission to develop it's own national flag was established in Canada in 1925, and after the Second World War, the question of nezaimstvovannom, the unique flag of the country which would represent Canada out of its dependence on the British flag, rose especially sharply. But only in 1964, three years before the 100th anniversary of the Canadian Prime Minister Lester Pearson organized a "flag committee" of 15 members of Parliament, whose task was to ensure that the very future of the Canadian flag for a distinctive design that did not allow would confuse it with any other country's flag.
Act on the national flag was adopted by the House of Commons of the Canadian Parliament December 15 in 1964 after a lengthy debate. Disagreements were caused by the fact that the native sugar maple leaf (Acer saccharum) was the emblem is in Eastern Canada, where this kind of tree grows, and where it is extracted from maple syrup. Elsewhere on the Canadian territory of this kind of maple almost did not occur. After 15 days of heated debate, Maple Leaf was still an overwhelming majority in Parliament now.
After three days, the Senate has sent a proposal to the Queen, and December 31 1964 , the Queen of Great Britain (and Canada), Elizabeth II expressed his highest approval. Since Canada has found its own flag, hoisted for the first of which was held February 15, 1965.
The flag is made in two colors — red and white, and the aspect ratio of 2:1, it is a three vertical bands of different-sized. The stylized image of a red maple leaf is placed on the central white field, which is framed on both sides by vertical red stripes. Average white band is twice as wide each side of the red and has a square shape.
This composition of the flag symbolizes the two oceans on two sides by the coast of Canada — Atlantic and Pacific — and the country lying between them, the national motto " From sea to sea», that is to say," From sea to sea. " Maple Leaf should emphasize the unity of the nation. Two colors — red, the color of the cross of St George, an associate with the UK, and white, the traditional color of the French monarchy, symbolizing equality of the two official languages ??of Canada — English and French.
Here some quotes from the decree in 1965, the year birth, perhaps, the most "recognizable" in the world of the flag: "... simple in design, a Canadian flag reflects the shared values ??that are dear to our country, such as freedom, peace, tolerance and rule of law. It is a symbol that unites Canadians around the world, and always will be a proud Canadian ... Let's be proud of our flag! Let's assume for the privilege that we are living in Canada — a magnificent country that keeps our history, our hopes, our future ... ".