Just before Independence Day in the United States, our neighbors in the North celebrate Canada Day on July 1. This holiday is celebrated much like the 4th of July here in the United States with barbecues, fireworks, and most importantly, patriotism.
Canada Day marks the anniversary of the day when Canada became its own nation from Great Britain through the Constitution Act of 1867. At the time, Canada was originally British territory, so once the Dominion Act was signed into effect, four provinces were created. These provinces were New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and the Province of Canada, which was divided into two provinces that are known as Ontario and Quebec.
In the early years of Canada Day, the holiday was not celebrated as much. It wasn’t until recently that people began to celebrate the holiday more often and is taken more seriously. The people of Canada proudly display their red and white maple leaf as much as their southern neighbors bring out the stars and stripes. But did you know the Canadian flag was not always a maple leaf?
Canada’s flag originally had the Canadian Red Ensign on it. It was red with a Union Jack in the corner along with Canada’s Coat of Arms on the lower right. It was not until 1964 when then-Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson informed the House of Commons that the government had asked to adopt a new flag for the country. This flag was inaugurated in 1965 after submissions were made for the new design and the current maple leaf design was approved.
The red maple leaf of Canada is a symbol of patriotism and identity for Canadians. They wear it with pride every July 1 as well as year round. Pins are worn on lapels, maple leaves are painted on faces at sporting events, or flags are simply waved next to another’s in solidarity with their neighbors. If you have a family member or a neighbor who is from Canada, surprise them with one of our Canadian flags from our flag store!
Happy Canada Day!