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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Pandemic spurs egg-citement for backyard chickens in Greater Victoria

Fowl surge in popularity during COVID-19 pandemic

Saanich looks at allowing alcohol in parks after North Vancouver gives the green light

Bylaw allowing liquor in parks ‘a very positive idea,’ mayor says

Pandemic profiles: Passion at the heart of community businesses

Businesses rely on community support to stay open

Organizer, Victoria councillor, VicPD talk about upcoming rally for Black lives

‘It’s a simple ask’: Peace rally for Black lives organizer asks people to listen

George Floyd mural appears on Victoria street

Victoria artist Paul Archer painted the mural outside his shop on Fort Street

Trudeau offers $14B to provinces for anti-COVID-19 efforts through rest of year

Making a difference in municipalities is a pricey proposition

Indigenous families say their loved ones’ deaths in custody are part of pattern

Nora Martin joins other Indigenous families in calling for a significant shift in policing

‘Alarmed’: Health critic calls for more data on COVID-19 in trucking industry

Saskatchewan, Ontario and Quebec said that level of detail is not being collected

UPDATED: Pair accused of ‘horrific’ assault at Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park arrested

Police say Jason Tapp, 30, and Nicole Edwards, 33, did not show up to meet their bail supervisor this week

Kelowna Mountie who punched suspect identified, condemned by sister

‘How did he get away with this? How is this justifiable?’

PHOTOS: Anti-racism protesters gather in communities across B.C.

More protests are expected through the weekend

POLL: Are you sending your children back to school this month?

Classrooms looked decidedly different when students headed back to school for the… Continue reading

No charges to be laid against 22 northern B.C. pipeline protesters

Twenty-two people were arrested in February, but Crown has decided not to pursue charges

Most Read