The first reaction of Members of Parliament to the proposal to depict a red maple leaf on the flag of Canada was negative. Opposition members called such a flag “a children’s flag that does not reflect the cultural and historical heritage of the country.”
For the first time a Canadian flag depicting a red maple leaf was hoisted over Parliament House on February 15 1965 But according to historians maple began to be considered a symbol of the country since 1700. In 1834, c. St. Jean’s Baptist Society chose the maple leaf as the emblem of the church. And in 1836, “Le Canadien”, a newspaper published in Lower Canada, first called it a symbol of the country. In 1860, a maple leaf appeared on the coquards of the Canadian Army regiments; it was also used in the scenery on the occasion of the visit of the Prince of Wales that year. In 1867, c. Alexander Muir wrote Canada’s anthem “Maple Leaf Forever”, which lasted several consecutive decades. In the same year, the image of the leaf appeared on the penny. Between 1876 and 1901, the maple leaf began to be depicted on all Canadian coins. To this day, two sheets of maple on one branch are placed on a coin of dignity of one pence in the form that were invented in 1937. During World War I, the maple leaf was the identification symbol of the Canadian Expeditionary Forces. However, beginning in 1921, the Canadian Army’s distinctive badge was three sheets of green, which were replaced by red in 1957. And in February 1965. Canada proclaimed a new flag that still exists.
Until 1965. Canada did not have its own flag. Since the Confederation, Parliament House has been decorated with the Union Jack – the national flag of Great Britain.
Why maple leaf, exactly?
maple leaf’s main rival was the beaver – a symbol of hard work and the incipient early 19th century fur trade. And in 1849, when the renowned Canadian engineer Sandford Fleming was asked to design the first Canadian postage stamp with a glue layer, he chose a beaver building a causeway at the waterfall . However, what spoke in favour of the maple leaf was that it was easy to draw; it was red – one of Canada’s national colours. And besides, the fur trade remained for Canada in the past and was not associated with Canadians to the extent it was in the 19th century.