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Way back on Feb. 15, 1965, Canada was able to fly its first official flag over Parliament Hill. The idea to create a flag came from Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson in 1964 and out of 5,000 entries for design, the now-famous maple leaf design was the one chosen.
So, to celebrate Flag Day, here are some quick facts about our Canadian flag.
- Our flag is twice as long as it is wide. That is actually unique in the world and no other country flag has those same dimensions. The closest is the United States, which is 1.9 times long as it is wide.
- The colours of red and white were used because they were declared to be the official colours of Canada in 1921 by King George V.
- The flag that flies on the Peace Tower in Ottawa is changed 40 to 60 times a year and it is free for citizens. You can get the flag that flies on the tower, but expect to wait about 10 years as the waiting list is very long.
- The 11 points on the flag have no significance and do not represent the provinces. It is simply a recreation of a maple leaf with a few liberties taken with the design.
- The maple leaf design for Canada has actually been used since the 1700s, and many Canadians fighting overseas in the World Wars and competing in the Olympics have had a maple leaf on their uniform.
- Dr. George Stanley, the designer of the flag, chose red and white not only because of the official colours but because it would allow the flag to be seen easily from a distance.
- Flag experts around the world often choose the Canadian flag as one of the most beautiful flags in the world for its simple design and limited use of colours.