August 4th, 2014

History of Canada, through the prism of national flag

About the history of each country attentive and intelligent person can learn not only from textbooks, not only on TV but also on the flag. For example, the flag of Japan shows a red circle, which is very similar to the sun. From this we can conclude that Japan – the country of the Rising Sun, because it is … and so forth, but that's about the maple leaf and everything is clear. That he is depicted on the flag of Canada, which is painted in two colors – red and white – life-affirming and clean, visible from afar as against the blue sky and a cloudy day. But in order to understand the depth and brevity of the image, look at the history of this wonderful country.
Canada, as a new country was born July 1, 1867, was named the Dominion of Canada and included New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Upper Canada (Ontario) and Lower Canada (Quebec). As for the customary attributes of each country – the flag, the Canada first adopted the British national flag, which symbolized her connection with Britain. It was under this flag, fought in the First World War Canadian soldiers at the front in Europe. New own national emblem, which included the official colors – red and white introduced in Canada in 1921 by King George V. Colors of the flag were not chosen randomly, as they have for hundreds of years associated with France and England (knights of France in the XII century portrayed on their Red Cross emblem, and the British – white). Later, as the King of England and King of France, decided to change the color of the national flag. Now the French kings began to use white for the royal flag and the English king for his chosen red.
During the Second World War, Canadians fought with a new coat of arms, which was added to the flag under the name Red Ensign (Canadian ensign). And at the end of the war (1945), as long as the country does not appear, finally, its own flag, parliament approved the flag for government buildings. And now they were flying over the buildings together – Junion Jack and Red Ensign.

After World War II for the second time (the first time was after the First World War), the question arose of Canada has allocated own, unique flag that represented exactly Canada, regardless of the British flag. This need is particularly acute Canadians felt that the country was close to the celebration of its 100th anniversary, which was held in 1967. And when before the anniversary just three years (1964), Canadian Prime Minister Lester Pearson (Lester Pearson) have finally decided that you can no longer put off and went to drastic measures. First, he organized a "flag committee" of 15 members of Parliament, representing five different political parties in the House of Commons. The main task of this committee was – to find a flag design, which would represent Canada and found an echo in the hearts of all Canadians. To accomplish their goals Committee not only consulted with experts on the flags, but also appealed to all Canadians with a request to send in their suggestions. Thousands of people responded to this proposal (and not only the people living in Canada, but Canadians living around the world to send their drawings, collages, photographs and sketches on paper napkins, cartons, and flags, made of fabric.) . As a result, a special commission was just inundated with letters, which were all sorts of ideas. And once someone even sent a 100-pound model flag with flashing lights. The most successful, in terms of committee work hung on the walls, and soon wall space was no more. And that's what it turned out that is the most favorite theme was the theme of a maple leaf. For example, some offers portrayed to 12 leaves – one for each province or territory, and, in addition to red, were used by many other colors. Among the options considered in the flag image beavers trooper riding, various religious symbols, bison … But it should be noted that there were also no such typical characters – rabbits, eagles, Canadian geese, and even hockey sticks. Some people are so imbued with the idea that even sent detailed description of the meaning of their symbols. Others were accompanied by their verses, songs and entire essays written in support of their ideas. Perhaps that is why, to this day, all these thousands of offers (from a simple pencil sketch to professionally made beautiful works) are stored in the National Archives of Canada as an important part of its historical and cultural heritage. For weeks, experts considered projects and listened to advice. But, as was the choice is not difficult, the committee, sooner or later, had to finally make a decision and provide the selected design for adoption by Parliament. To do this, first of all, the committee identified three main directions in the design, or 3 main groups: first – Variations on Red Ensign and other historical characters like the French lily fleur-de-lis. Second – mnogolistevymi flags (at least 3) sentences, and finally, the third group – flags with one maple leaf (variety of colors, with or without a border, etc.). After this vote took place, the results of which surprised even themselves members of the committee. The fact that a majority vote was chosen as one and the same category – single maple leaf! The next step – providing project for consideration in Parliament. Discussions lasted 15 days! According to eyewitnesses it was one of the longest debate in the history of the Canadian Parliament. The Prime Minister urged the parliamentarians to choose a flag that could not be confused with any flag of another country. Although, in fairness, it should be noted that he himself liked the design with three leaflets. At the same time opposition leader advocated the Red Ensign, for clarity, the historical connection of Canada with Britain.

But as they say, "Everything has its beginning and its end", so December 15, 1964 at 2:13 am night debate ended … The overwhelming majority of the votes received Maple Leaf. This news was greeted with shouts of "Hurrah!" Applause and clapping of table tops. Three days after this momentous decision, the Senate sent a proposal to the Queen, and December 31, 1964 The Queen of England (and Canada), Elizabeth II gave its highest approval.

Superbly intelligent design was the reason that the Canadian flag so recognizable and recognized worldwide. It was the result of the hard work, now, by expert designers. In fact, this maple leaf has 23 end, although the flag – only 11. This is because the designer tested model flag in aerodynamic tunnel National Research Laboratory in Ottawa, to see how the flag would look like fluttering in the wind. 23 final leaf shape in strong winds hardly be recognizable on the flag, but with 11-final – all excellent.

Leaf on a windy day and looks good, thanks to the efforts of the designer Jacques St. Cyr (th). It was he who made the final touches to the project to create a national flag. Well, as regards color, was chosen shade bright scarlet (bright red). It is no coincidence, and to color different from the lighter red in the British Junior Jack and darker red flag of the USA.

Only February 15, 1965, many Canadians were able to see for the first time a new state flag. Ottawa choir students sang the anthem of Canada "O Canada", the Governor General Vanier and Prime Minister Pearson pronounced orations in which it was said that in the near future Canadian flag becomes a symbol not only of Canada for all Canadians, but also worldwide . This flag, which was raised then, and is now in the office of the Prime Minister of Canada.