The Canadian flag was adopted by the Canadian Parliament Oct. 22, 1964, and the official inauguration ceremony took place Feb. 15, 1965. Ever since, the maple leaf has been a symbol of Canadian pride.
The maple leaf wasn't chosen at random. In fact, the adoption of the maple leaf as an important Canadian symbol dates to 1860, when the prince of Wales was visiting Canada. The English wore their traditional roses, the Scots wore their traditional thistles, and Canadians needed something to wear as well, so they chose a maple leaf.
Unlike provincial flags or territorial flags, the maple leaf represents unity across the entire country- regardless of birthplace. It is an inclusive symbol, and by removing the association with the Union Jack on the old flag, the maple leaf has become a symbol of Canada's nationality and independence.
Red and white were proclaimed the official colors of Canada in 1921 by King George. Their significance goes back to the ancient heraldic traditions of the United Kingdom. White represents peace and honesty, and red represents hardiness, bravery, strength and valor.
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