February 15 marks 50 years since the first official Canadian flag was raised on Parliament Hill in 1965. Since then, the Canadian flag has been used in countless Canadian celebrations and occasions, both at home and abroad. In 1996, February 15 was proclaimed National Flag Day of Canada and has been observed every year since. In celebration of the anniversary of the Canadian Flag, Mayor Nenshi has proclaimed February 15, 2015 as “50th Anniversary of the National Flag Day”.
The Canadian Flag was the result of a search by the Government of Canada in 1964 to find a design that truly represented Canada. Thousands of designs were submitted by Canadians and reviewed by a committee who recommended the single maple leaf, with the red and white design to Parliament.
The winning flag was selected because of its simplicity, the use of Canada’s official national colours, and because Canadian troops and athletes were already using the maple leaf as an emblem on their uniforms when representing Canada abroad, marking it as a symbol of Canadian identity and pride.
The motion to adopt this design passed on December 15, 1964 and was officially proclaimed as our National Flag by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on January 28, 1965.
Citizens are encouraged to participate and celebrate the Canadian flag, a symbol of our identity and a source of pride. Suggestions for celebrations are available on www.canada.ca/flagday. You can also participate by sharing your own photo, video or story on social media using the hashtag #Flag50.