Today, February 15, is Canada's Official Flag Day. According to the Government of Canada's website, this day is about celebrating "a symbol that unites all Canadians and reflects the common values we hold so dear — equality, diversity and inclusion."
Canada has only had its current flag for 54 years. The process for choosing the flag was a long and interesting one, and it did end up being chosen unanimously by Parliament.
TL;DR Choosing an official flag was a long and difficult road. We now celebrate National Flag Day on the day the flag was first raised: February 12, 1965.
This video shows a small excerpt of Canada's search for the perfect flag as well as many of the flags considered for the official flag. In retrospect, most of these options look a little ridiculous.
#OTD in 1965 the current #CanadianFlag flew for the first time outside of parliament in Ottawa. After lots of tense debate about what the flag should look like, the red and white design won out. Watch the #HeritageMinute here to learn more. #FlagDay 🇨🇦 pic.twitter.com/HYjmMUt8oP— Historica Canada (@HistoricaCanada) February 15, 2019
Canada originally had the "red ensign" as a symbol, which they fought under during WW1 and WW2. As the centennial anniversary of the Confederation (in 1967) was approaching, the government made it a priority to select an official flag.
The government could not agree on a design, so in 1964 an all-party Parliamentary committee was created to review thousands of designs and select one.
The final design was chosen, approved by a majority of Parliament, and the official flag was raised for the first time on February 15, 1965.
We still celebrate flag day on the day the flag was first raised. Many are taking to Twitter to showcase the flag in stunning Canadian settings. I'm not usually one to be patriotic, but these photos make me feel pretty proud to be Canadian.
Take a look at these gorgeous photos!
The hockey stick used to prop this one up is soooo Canadian.
#CanadianFlag National Flag of Canada Day - be proud that this is your country - your flag. We aren't perfect but we are (mostly) nice and I have had the incredible good fortune to live and practice nursing in this unbelievable country. @canadanurses @AlbertaRNs #CanadaRocks pic.twitter.com/3IlWbZqnb7— Barb Shellian (@barbshellian) February 15, 2019
Happy National #FlagDay Canada! 🇨🇦 From coast, to coast, to coast, in all our 200+ sites, we’re proud to bear the #CanadianFlag! ❤ Celebrate like our colleagues in #MountRevelstokeNP by sharing your best flag photo with us! @CdnHeritage pic.twitter.com/lKC9X0YtYL— Parks Canada (@ParksCanada) February 15, 2019
The Canadian flag has made it all the way down to Australia!
Again with the beautiful landscape:
On February 15, 1965, our national flag was raised for the first time on Parliament Hill in Ottawa. On the same day in 1996, National Flag of Canada Day was declared. Take a moment to celebrate our great flag and the great country it represents #CanadianFlag pic.twitter.com/JEKEQG90No— Orangeville Hydro (@OvilleHydro) February 15, 2019
Happy Flag Day!