Celebrating the 'new' Canadian flag

Moose Jaw Times Herald - Editorial Staff
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Happy Flag Day!

It was on this day (Feb. 15) in 1965 Canada adopted the current red and while maple leaf design as the nation’s flag, replacing the old Canadian Red Ensign.

While the old flag is certainly an attractive-yet-traditional mark of British loyalty still used by the Royal Canadian Legion for ceremonial purposes (as well as serving as part of the Vimy Ridge Memorial), the 47-year-old ‘new’ flag has and continues to serve the country quite well — largely because of its simplicity.

A single maple leaf centered between two red bars makes ‘l'Unifolié’ easily one of the most recognizable flags in the world. It has done a good job serving as the nation brand, symbolizing both nature and societal order simultaneously.

According to Canadian Heritage (www.pch.gc.ca), the maple leaf began to serve as a symbol for Canada long before its inauguration in 1965. First Nations people recognized the edible potential for maple sap long before the white man arrived, and early European settlers began recognizing the tree’s leaf as a Canadian symbol as early as 1700.

The red bars and white background are important on the flag, as they are the recognized official colours of Canada, with their origins dating back to the 11th Century and used to represent both England and France through their histories — the two founding European nations of Canada.

Canadian Heritage offers some flag etiquette for those wanting to display the nation’s flag. For example, the National Flag should always be left to fly on its own mast or flagpole — never double up with a provincial flag on the same line.

As well, a worn flag should be replaced with a new one, with the proper means to disposing of the old flag being burning it in private.

While some might pine for the days when Canada’s official flag sported a Union Jack, the undeniable truth is the current flag is both attractive and recognizable anywhere in the world. It should always be viewed with respect and pride.

 

All Times-Herald editorials are written by the editorial staff.

Organizations: Canadian Heritage, Royal Canadian Legion, First Nations Union Jack

Geographic location: Canada, England, France

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