16 Canadian Flag Facts

Flag of Canada

Our friends abroad have always asked us about the history of Canada’s national flag, why is the Canadian flag red and white and a host of other questions. Well, we will finally answer all your questions (most of them) here about the National flag of Canada! So, the flag was adopted in 1965, when it replaced the Canadian Red Ensign as Canada's national flag. It has six horizontal bands of red and white with a red maple leaf near the hoist. The official colours of Canada are red and white, evident in the maple sugar industry which is officially recognized by the government.


  • 1. Canada's flag designed by George Stanley and was approved on December 15, 1964. In 1964, the Parliament of Canada passed the legislation to adopt the new flag.
  • 2. The Queen's Privy Council for Canada asked citizens to submit design proposals for a Canadian flag in holding a contest known as the Great Canadian Flag Debate of 1964–1965. The winner was announced on January 28, 1965. The maple leaf design proposed by George Stanley was chosen as the national emblem.
  • 3. The red and white colours combination were first used in Canada in 1834-1837 during the Upper Canada Rebellion against British authority on Canadian soil which is now Ontario and Quebec Provinces today.
  • 4. The Canadian Red Ensign was made official in 1921 and was Canada's national flag until 1965.
  • Canadian Red Ensign
  • 5. Each province and territory have its own flag and its own official colours. The Canadian national flag, however, has no provincial or territorial designs on it.
  • 6. The current size of the Canadian Flag is 27 inches by 15 inches (685 mm × 381 mm).
  • 7. The westernmost point of Canada is marked by a projection of the red maple leaf which points directly west to the Northwest Territories and the Nunavut, beyond the border, clearly depicting that this point is in Canada along with the rest of the Canadian Flag design.
  • 8. The Canadian Flag is two sided, having images on both sides.
  • 9. Canadians use the maple leaves for various reasons. In the spring some use it to make maple syrup. Others make necklaces with little beads in the middle and wear them like medals during pride rallies or sporting events. Some Canadians also use it as a sign of respect when they meet people wearing a pin of a maple leaf or if they see one on someone's shirt, to which they would touch their own pin or place their hand over their heart.
  • 10. The red color stands for courage, bravery and strength while the white represents peace and honesty spoken openly. The maple leaf depicts Canada's natural beauty of its land, forests and clear rivers.
  • 11. Canadian mountaineer Laurie Skreslet took it to Mount Everest (tallest mountain in the world) for the first time, the highest point the Canadian flag has ever reached in the world.
  • 12. In 1990, Canada celebrated the 200th anniversary of its independence from Great Britain on July 1.
  • 13. The new Canadian Flag was raised along with the Union Jack for the first time on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada in 1965.
  • 14. In 1970, the National Flag of Canada had its colors laws enshrined in law to ensure consistent use in an Act of Parliament called "An Act respecting the National Flag of Canada". The red color is specified as "Canadian Red" while the exact shade is left up to interpretation.
  • 15. The Globe and Mail newspaper of Toronto reported that the search for a new national flag in 1964 attracted thousands of entries from across Canada.
  • 16. The Canadian flag is usually referred by 3 names – The Maple Leaf, the National Flag of Canada, and ‘l’Unifolié’ (in French).