1.7.09

Flying Wednesday, July 1, 2009.



Today I am flying the National Flag of Canada in Vernon Street.


July 1 is Canada Day (French: Fête du Canada), formerly Dominion Day (French: Le Jour de la Confédération), frequently referred to as "Canada's birthday," the occasion marks the joining of the British colonies of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and the Province of Canada into a federation of four provinces (the Province of Canada being divided, in the process, into Ontario and Quebec) on July 1, 1867. However, though Canada is regarded as having become a dominion in its own right on that date, the British Parliament at first kept limited rights of political control over the new country, which were shed by stages over the years until the last vestiges were ended in 1982, when the Constitution Act patriated the Canadian constitution. Canada Day thus differs from Independence Day celebrations in other countries in that it does not commemorate a clear-cut date of complete independence.


The recent flag history

In 1964, the Prime Minister of Canada informed its House of Commons that the government wished to adopt a new distinctive national flag, previous flags having been based upoin varying versions of the British Red Ensign. The 1967 centennial celebration of Confederation was, after all, approaching. As a result, a Senate and House of Commons Committee was formed and submissions were called for. Eventually this committee was left with three possible designs -- a Red Ensign with the fleur-de-lis and the Union Jack, a design incorporating three red maple leaves, and a red flag with a single, stylized red maple leaf on a white square.


One of the rejected designs of the 1964 proposals known as the Pearson Pennant


The committee eventually decided to recommend the single-leaf design, which was approved by resolution of the House of Commons on December 15, 1964, followed by the Senate on December 17, 1964, and proclaimed by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of Canada, to take effect on February 15, 1965.

I have previously written about the more distant history of the Canadian flag on June 13, see:

http://vernonflag.blogspot.com/2009/06/flying-saturday-june-13-2009.html