Unit 4 Lesson 6 Canada New Maple Leaf Flag

History of Canada
Canada’s Maple Leaf Flag
 Before 1965, Canada’s
official flag was the Union
Jack, Britain’s national flag.
 At the same time, the Red
Ensign (the Old) with the
Union Jack in one corner
and the Canadian Coat of
Arms in another corner
together on a red
background was raised on
Canadian flagpoles.
History of Canada
Canada’s Maple Leaf Flag
 In 1948, Quebec adopted the
fleur-de-lys as its provincial
 Quebec was stating its
nationalist intentions within
Canada’s federation.
 On June 24, Quebec
celebrates St. Jean Baptiste
Day. It is the “light of the
world” event.
History of Canada
Canada’s Maple Leaf Flag
 During the 1956 Suez Crisis,
Britain had invaded Egypt to
try and prevent Egypt from
nationalizing the Egyptian oil
 To maintain peace, Canada
sent troops as part of the UN
peacekeeping force.
 The Egyptians protested the
clear British elements on
Canada’s Red Ensign flag.
History of Canada
Canada’s Maple Leaf Flag
 Canada needed a new flag to reflect
its growing identity.
 Canada was a Middle Power in world
organizations such as the United
Nations. A distinct flag was needed
to describe Canada’s role.
 Canada was also a growing
multicultural society.
 The Prime Minister was Liberal
Lester B. Pearson.
History of Canada
Canada’s Maple Leaf Flag
 The new designs would
purposefully have to avoid…
 Symbols, events or word in
English and French…Canada had
“two founding nations” to
 Religious symbols…Canada
was a growing multicultural
society with many religions
History of Canada
Canada’s Maple Leaf Flag
 A number of different designs were
 The Maple Leaf was used because it
was already used as a symbol in
Canada’s army.
 A “sea-to-sea” design was wanted.
That design had blue borders (sea) with
three joined maple leaves.
 The final flag was designed by
George F.G. Stanley. It was based on
the flag flown at RMC in Kingston.
History of Canada
Canada’s Maple Leaf Flag
 Using a filibuster delay in Parliament
(a filibuster means talking endlessly
to prevent other government work
until the bill (proposed law) is
dropped), John Diefenbaker’s
Conservatives stated their
objections for 33 days.
 It looked like a new flag design
would not be selected before the
government stopped working for a
period. In effect, this would “kill” the
History of Canada
Canada’s Maple Leaf Flag
 Closure was used. Closure is a rule to
limit the amount of time to discuss a
bill. Debate ended at 02:30 on 15
December 1964. The bill passed, and
MPs rose to their feet to sing O
 Senate approval was granted two days
 Royal Assent was granted 28 January
1965 and the new flag was officially
unveiled on 15 February 1965. This
day is officially Flag Day in Canada.