The maple leaf flag has served as a majestic, distinctively Canadian symbol since February 15, 1965, when it was first raised on Parliament Hill. To mark this 50th anniversary, the Canadian Museum of History present’s a display exploring the flag’s origins and the debate surrounding its creation.
From February 6 until July 5, 2015, visitors can admire five original paintings of early flag designs, as well as photographs and artifacts that illustrate the social and political context of the passionate debate that gave rise to the adoption of Canada’s flag. These objects, most of which are being exhibited for the first time, provide a new glimpse of the creation of our country’s most important emblem.
“As we prepare for the 150th anniversary of Confederation, the anniversary of our flag is an important milestone that deserves to be underlined,” said Mark O’Neill, President and CEO of the Canadian Museum of History. “It is an honour for us to present the first-known depiction of the maple leaf flag in its present form.”
In 1964, the Government of Canada gave an all-party Parliamentary committee the task of finding a design for a national flag. After eliminating thousands of proposed designs submitted by Canadians, the Committee’s recommendation to Parliament was the drawing of a single maple leaf on a red and white background. The winning flag was selected for its simplicity, which made it easily recognizable, for the use of Canada’s national colours and for the prominence of the maple leaf, which had become a symbol of pride and Canadian identity.
The motion to adopt this design as the National Flag of Canada was passed on December 15, 1964.
The Our Flag at 50 display will be presented at the Canadian Museum of History fromFebruary 6 to July 5, 2015.
Located on the shores of the Ottawa River in Gatineau, Quebec, the Canadian Museum of History is Canada’s largest and most popular cultural institution, attracting over 1.2 million visitors each year. The Museum’s principal role is to enhance Canadians’ knowledge, understanding and appreciation of the events, experiences, people and objects that have shaped Canada’s history and identity, as well as to enhance Canadians’ awareness of world history and culture.