The flag's colours The national flag of Canada is a vertical triband of red and white. The color red is associated with wealth and hope. The color white is used to show the nation's impartiality while also expressing peace and tranquillity.
The design of the Canadian flag was established by Order in Council on July 9, 1965. It replaced the Canadian Red Ensign, which had been adopted in 1872.
The new flag was designed by Alberta artist Emily Carr. She chose these colors after visiting British Columbia's Haida people, who use red and white for their flags. The original sketch cost $15,000 but today it is valued at more than $150,000 due to its rarity as one of only three known sketches made by Ms. Carr.
Carr died in 1971 at the age of 47. The government did not appoint another artist for the position until 2011 when Tom Harrison was chosen. He has said that he based his design on descriptions of the flag given to him by Canadians during his career conference calls and personal visits.
Canadians have shown their support for Carr's design by voting it number one in polls across the country to choose the best-selling flag design. In 2001, Parliament passed legislation protecting the rights of artists who create official federal government logos and flag designs.
On the hoist and fly sides, there are two red vertical stripes and one white band along the middle. This maple leaf symbolizes Canada's cultural legacy as well as the rich natural resources located within its boundaries.
The Canadian flag was first officially designated by Governor General Lord Alexander-Bannerman in 1872. Before this time, various colors were used on royal warrants, military documents, and when flying from buildings or mastheads. These colors were red, white, blue, yellow, green, and purple.
It is common knowledge that during British colonial rule, the Union Jack was the official flag of Canada. It was originally designed in 1606 by Sir Edwin Sandys as a flag for use by the English colony of Virginia, but it was also used in other parts of the world like India and Africa. In 1818, the United Kingdom passed legislation requiring that any trade flags they licensed be accepted in their colonies. This included Canada, which had been granted limited self-government at that time. As such, the union jack was not allowed to be flown in Canada until after its independence in 1867.
Even though the union jack was not permitted, it still found its way into Canada through smuggling and other means. It is estimated that over 200,000 union jacks were sold in Canada between 1868 and 1870!
The Canadian flag, a red stylised maple leaf with 11 points in the center of a white backdrop and vertical red stripes on the left and right sides, not only reflects the country's cultural history but also hope, peace, quiet, and neutrality, all of which are prevalent in the country.
The red color of the stripes is used to mark federal offices that have been opened or closed. When a new office is opened, it is usually announced by the presence of a government minister at its opening and often includes a celebration or gala event. If a current office is closed, then a ministress will open it during her/his visit. These events are often covered by news organizations worldwide.
The white background represents peace and tranquility while the red stripes symbolize blood spilled to protect Canada's identity. Although Canada has never been involved in a full-scale war, there have been cases where its cities have suffered damage from acts of violence such as bombings, shootings, and hijackings. To remind people that freedom and safety cannot be taken for granted, these incidents are sometimes commemorated by giving out red ribbons as a sign of respect.
In conclusion, the Canadian flag means protection, remembrance, and hope.