On this day in 1965, Canada’s new white flag, emblazoned with a red maple leaf in the centre and two upright bars at each side was adopted.
The decision was announced in 1964 by Lester Pearson, the then Prime Minister and leader of the Liberal Party. He called for the old banner, with its Union Jack in the upper left-hand corner, to be replaced by a new flag stripped of any foreign symbols.
It was noted at the time, there was ‘no talk of replacing God Save the Queen with O Canada as the National Anthem’.
Three different versions of the new flag, none of them conforming to the design approved by the Queen, found brisk sales in Ottawa during the winter of 1965. And the old red ensign – featuring the Union Jack- was outselling them all, traders reported.