The Canadian Flag
In 1925, the Privy Council created a committee to search for new Canadian Flag designs. The old Red Ensign was beginning to be seen as too connected to the British heritage, and not encompassing the French-Canadian culture. However, the committee in charge of the process never finished its work, and the idea was put on hold until 1946, when a parliamentary committee was apppointed the same job. They asked for and received over 2600 designs, but the government was never called upon to vote on a design. It took until 1964 for the flag quest to be renewed, when Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson told the House of Commons that the government wanted to adopt a new national flag. Once more, a committee was formed, and designs were called for.
The New Flag
In October of the same year, the committee was left to choose between three designs. The first was a Red Ensign with a union jack as well as a fleur-de-lis. The second was a design of three red maple leaves between blue borders (this was preferred by Pearson). The third design was a stylized red maple leaf on a white square with red borders. After much discussion, the committee decided to recommend the single-leaf design, and the question was put to the House of Commons. The House approved the decision on December 15, 1964, followed by the Senate on December 17. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of Canada, proclaimed that the flag would take effect on February 15, 1965. The final flag design was then created, and came into being on the proclaimed date.
Canada's national flag is a symbol of Canadian independence and unity. Thanks to the efforts of Lester B. Pearson and other important figures in the creation process, the flag showed that Canada was truly ready to be its own nation, devoid of any colonial ties.