So how did we end up with the red Maple Leaf as the focal point of our flag? The year was 1964, the Prime Minister was Lester B. Pearson, and the mission before the House of Commons was to design a “distinctive national flag”. The search actually began in 1925, but a committee of the Privy Council at the time never did approve a final flag from the 2600 submissions received.
The final two versions to choose from were a three leafed maple leaf design placed on white and between two blue stripes, and of course the flag that was chosen, our red maple leaf on white between two red stripes.
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II proclaimed that on Feb. 15 1965 the new Canadian flag would take effect. At the stroke of noon that day, the former Union Jack was lowered and the new Canadian flag raised on the main parliament building. It was a true day for national unity with the crowd on hand singing O Canada, and God Save the Queen. What a beautiful symbol for our nation.