Canada's flag celebrates its 50th birthday in 2015.

Canada’s maple leaf flag turns 50 this weekend (VIDEO/TIMELINE)

Once a controversial new design, the maple leaf withstood a battle between Prime Minister John Diefenbaker and Lester B. Pearson



Canada’s maple leaf celebrates its 50th birthday this week.

Once a controversial new design, replacing a red redo of Great Britain’s Union Jack, it’s now the country’s defining image.

Before it was officially selected in 1965, our now-accepted red design was the product of 40 years of decisions, drafts, and submissions from high-ranking politicians. Prime Ministers John Diefenbaker and Lester B. Pearson went back-and-forth, with the former opposed to changing the flag while Pearson lobbied for a three-maple leaf design with blue sides instead of red.

“We got thousands and thousands and thousands of letters on the campaign to save the Red Ensign,” said Sen. Marjory LeBreton, who worked in Diefenbaker’s office at the time. “They were writing to Mr. Diefenbaker because they had a champion in Diefenbaker, although we certainly were getting a lot of people writing, saying, ‘Canada was an independent country and should have its distinctive Canadian flag.'”

George Stanley designed the flag we’ve now had for half a century, which was eventually unveiled and adopted on February 15, 1965.

Video/Timeline: The Canadian Press

Just Posted

B.C. police watchdog investigating high-speed crash in Victoria

Police watchdog called in after dramatic early morning crash at Bay and Douglas intersection

VIDEO: RCMP officer killed in the line of duty remembered ‘through the laughter of children’

Sarah Beckett Memorial Playground opens with ceremony in Langford

Westhills Stadium launches expanded stadium with ceremony, excitement

expanded stadium accommodates 6,000 spectators

Oak Bay doctor the pulse of Island’s heart failure clinic

Dr. Elizabeth Swiggum has headed heart clinic for past 14 years

VIDEO: B.C. woman meets biological mother, 38 years later

Mother never gave up hope of finding daughter, despite all the obstacles

B.C. Lions fall to 1-9 after 13-10 loss to Ticats

Lowly Leos have dropped six straight CFL contests

VIDEO: B.C. woman meets biological mother, 38 years later

Mother never gave up hope of finding daughter, despite all the obstacles

B.C. man who died after rescuing swimmer was known for helping others

Shaun Nugent described as a dad, a coach, a hero and ‘stand-up guy’ at celebration of life

B.C. RCMP plane chases fleeing helicopter as part of major cross-border drug bust

The helicopter eventually landed at a rural property near Chilliwack

Vancouver Island man dead after reported hit-and-run incident

Oceanside RCMP seek public’s help gathering information

Thousands cycle to conquer cancer

The 11th annual Ride to Conquer Cancer took place Saturday morning, Aug. 24 in Surrey, B.C.

PHOTOS: Brazil military begins operations to fight Amazon fires

Amazon fires have become a global issue, escalating tensions between Brazil and European countries

Racist confrontation in Richmond parking lot caught on camera

Woman can be heard yelling racial slurs, swear words at woman in apparent parking dispute

Most Read