The official ceremony inaugurating the new Canadian flag was held on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on February 15, 1965, with Governor General Georges Vanier, Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson, the members of the Cabinet and thousands of Canadians in attendance.
The Canadian Red Ensign, bearing the Union Jack and the shield of the royal arms of Canada, was lowered and then, on the stroke of noon, our new maple leaf flag was raised. The crowd sang the national anthem O Canada followed by the royal anthem God Save the Queen.
The following words, spoken on that momentous day by the Honourable Maurice Bourget, Speaker of the Senate, added further symbolic meaning to our flag: "The flag is the symbol of the nation's unity, for it, beyond any doubt, represents all the citizens of Canada without distinction of race, language, belief or opinion."
Why a Maple Leaf?
The maple leaf was historically used from the early days of Canada to symbolize the land and its people. It was first proposed as an emblem of Canada in 1834 when the SociÃ©tÃ© Saint-Jean-Baptiste was founded; shortly thereafter, in 1836, Le Canadien, a newspaper published in Lower Canada, referred to it as a suitable emblem for Canada.
It was also used in the decorations for the visit of the Prince of Wales to Canada in 1860. It appears on the coats of arms granted to Quebec and Ontario in 1868 and as a distinctive emblem on the royal arms of Canada proclaimed in 1921. The maple leaf was for many years the symbol of the Canadian Armed Forces and was used to identify Canadian contingents in the two world wars. But it wasn't to receive official status until the National Flag of Canada was proclaimed by Her Majesty the Queen in 1965.
PLEDGE TO THE CANADIAN FLAG
To my Flag and to the country it represents, I pledge RESPECT and LOYALTY.
Wave with PRIDE from sea to sea and within your folds, keep us ever UNITED.
Be for all a symbol of LOVE, FREEDOM and JUSTICE
God keep our FLAG
God protect our CANADA
Canadian flag clipart
Published on: 2004-08-05 (9467 reads)
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