Since 1996, Canadians have officially been celebrating National Flag of Canada Day every year on February 15, after Private Member’s Bill C-279 was adopted.
Prior to today’s Maple Leaf flag, the Canadian Red Ensign was the flag used by Canadians on land and at sea, as early as 1868, soon after Canadian Confederation. The flag was a British red ensign, featuring the Union Jack flag in the canton, adorned with the shield from the Coat of Arms of Canada.
Sir John A. Macdonald, the first Canadian Prime Minister, actively made use of the Canadian Red Ensign, despite Canada’s official flag being the Royal Union Flag until 1946. Variations of the flag flew on Parliament buildings until the creation of the National Flag of Canada in 1965.
During the 26th Parliament, a Special Committee to oversee the design of a new Canadian flag created on September 10, 1964. Agreeing with the committee’s recommendations, the House of Commons promptly adopted a new national flag on December 14, as it was then raised for the very first time in front of Centre Block on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on February 15, 1965.
Whether we’re stitching it on our backpacks or waving it proudly at the top of an Olympic podium, the Maple Leaf is a source of pride for all of us. Today, we celebrate it and the values it represents: https://t.co/zsxvOrmbiF
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) February 15, 2018