On Thursday October 22nd, 1964 a red maple leaf made a permanent mark on Canada. On this day, 50 years ago, the Flag Selection Committee voted on and chose the now famous Maple Leaf design as our new flag. The vote was unanimous in favour of the Maple Leaf design and it was sent on to Parliament.
The Flag Selection Committee was appointed by Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson in mid-September 1964 to find a new Canadian flag. The flag used at the time, the Red Ensign, was only unofficially Canada’s, having never been publicly approved by the royal family or government.
To manage this multi-party committee from within, Pearson appointed Leeds MP, John Ross Matheson, a proud Brockville resident. Matheson had been advising the Prime Minister with regards to a new flag since 1963 and had already put forth a design as early as May of 1964. It was Matheson who had the single maple leaf design put forth to the committee out of the thousands of designs they looked at - and it was Matheson who convinced the committee to vote for the maple leaf design.
So raise a toast and salute the flag, because today is the 50th anniversary of its first baby step to becoming what we proudly fly today!
For more information on Brockville – Birthplace of the Canadian Flag and the 50th anniversary of Canada’s flag, visit the website at www.50YearsOfOurFlag.ca
It was a privilege to work with John Ross Matheson on the "50 Years of Our Flag" Projects. John, Bob Harper and myself designed the following.