What Does the Maple Leaf Mean in the Canadian Flag?

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Since the early 18th century, the maple leaf has been one of the most commonly used symbols of Canada. It appears on the national coat of arms. flags of the army and forms the main design of the center of the Canadian National Flag. The image used in the center of the national flag is known as the stylized 11-point maple leaf.

In 1964, the Canadian Parliament approved the National Flag of the country, voting unanimously for the inclusion of the maple. A year later, in 1965,  Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II ratified the flag on January 28.  The National Flag was flown over Canada for the first time on February 15, 1965. The country celebrates its National Flag Day on this date since 1996.

Design and Meaning of the Canadian National Flag

Canadian National Flag

The National Flag of Canada consists of two colors arranged in three vertical bands. There are two red bands designed at each extreme of the flag. Both red bands are of the same size and represent half of the flag’s total area.

The most impressive aspect of the flag is the center which contains a white background. In the white square is a single stylized 11-point red maple leaf located in the center. The standard layout of the national emblem has a proportion of 2:1, or 64 units in length and 32 units in width or depth.

Historically, many nations have used red and white, including those that founded Canada. Canadians consider these colors to represent natural features prominent in the country, such as winter snow and maple leaves.

Why Is a Maple Leaf Used on The Canadian Flag

The maple leaf has long been a symbol for Canadians.  In 1868, the Canadian government adopted it as a symbol on its coats of arms for the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec.  Shortly afterward, it became a prominent symbol on the army uniforms.

Notably, Canada did not become an independent country until July 1, 1867. Even then, it did not create its own flag at the time. Instead, the country used a full red flag that bore the Union Jack in the upper left corner. This was similar to all the other flags flown in the British Commonwealth.



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