It’s Flag Day!

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I remember the day, February 15, 1965.

I was a student at Thorndale Elementary School in Montreal. The entire school was mustered outside as Canada’s new flag was raised for the first time on the school flagpole.

It was the culmination of a national debate, first over whether Canada needed a new flag, then what it should look like. People were quite impassioned as to which of the competing designs they favoured.

Even as a relatively young child, I was aware of the debate. I had a favourite from among the contenders, but it wasn’t the one that the government ultimately chose.

The flag I liked, which seemed to fly from more car radio antennas than any other, was very different from the flag we have today, yet not really that different. A red maple leaf on a white background with blue bars on the side for the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Back then we didn’t think about the Arctic.

After 52 years Canadians would feel affectionately towards whatever design was chosen, because it was a symbol of our country, and we are pretty fond of Canada.

None of us had a say of course, the matter was decided by Parliament. But if it had come down to a choice between these two designs, which would you have chosen?

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