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Citizenship

Do you Be-LEAF in the flag?

What does it mean to be Canadian?  Well, there’s that delicious maple syrup and of course poutine!  

Source: (WT-shared) Jpatokal via Wikicommons

We also love a good ol’ hockey game and we’ve mastered the art of apologizing.  But there’s no other symbol that represents us better than our Canadian flag.  We sew it onto our backpacks when we are travelling, and proudly display it at all sporting events-and really any chance we get.

Sunday, February 15th is the 50th Anniversary of our Canadian flag.  Although Canada is 148 years old, we did not have our own national flag until 1965. How crazy is that!  It took us almost 100 years to finally have our own identity.

After Confederation in 1867, the Union Jack served as Canada’s unofficial flag. I’m sure the national flag of the UK flying all over Canada made everyone feel really patriotic, especially our French citizens.

Source: Wikicommons 

If you saw this flag 100 years ago you might have trouble figuring out if you were in Canada or the UK! The flag did finally evolve into something that was a little bit more Canadian.

Source: Wikicommons 

Although this flag had the coat of arms of the different provinces, there were still complaints about the Union Jack being on the flag. Particularly the province of Quebec was still more loyal to their own provincial flag.  Something had to be done.   

And that brings us to where we are today. The official Canadian flag was raised for the first time on February 15th, 1965.   

Why the maple leaf you may ask? Well, for one thing it’s fairly easy to draw! It’s also red which is one of Canada’s national colours and a symbol for the sugar maple tree - used to make that famous maple syrup.  

Although the flag is an important part of the Canadian identity, the thing that truly makes Canada what it is, is the people.  Canadians are friendly, generous people and true global citizens. I am proud to be Canadian! 

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Alison Costa