A beaver? An eagle? Stripes? Sunbursts? If you were designing a new flag for your country, what would you draw? Over 50 years ago, Prime Minister Pearson invited Canadians to use their imaginations and suggest ideas for a new flag for Canada, and they did! Over 5,000 designs were submitted, ranging from the somewhat sublime to the completely ridiculous. Thank goodness the committee (and of course it was a committee) decided on the red maple leaf that we now know, love, and honour. But it wasn't jsut the design that was controversial. The very idea of a new flag for Canada led to harsh words and filibustering in the House of Commons, and bitter dissent across the country. The Great Flag Debate of 1964 goes down as one of the most acrimonious in our history - but most would now agree that it ended well. February 15 is National Flag of Canada Day, the anniversary of our red maple leaf. So celebrate by waving it high. . . and maybe learning a bit more about how it all came to be.
Wave your Canada flag!