Ottawa – The Honourable Pierre Lemieux, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Veterans Affairs, on behalf of the Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of National Defence, is joining members of the Canadian Armed Forces at the Royal Military College of Canada (RMCC) today as they celebrate the 50th anniversary of the national flag of Canada.
Further, on Sunday, February 15, the Royal Canadian Navy will mark the occasion with several of Her Majesty’s Canadian Ships from the Pacific and Atlantic fleets “dressed overall.”
- In 1964, the Dean of Arts at the time, Colonel, the Honourable F.G. Stanley, first suggested to then Member of Parliament for Leeds, Colonel the Honourable John R. Matheson, that the Royal Military College flag should form the basis for the national flag of Canada.
- Colonel Stanley proposed that within the centre of the flag should be a single red maple leaf instead of the college emblem, which was a mailed fist holding a sprig of green maples leaves. His design was ultimately approved by Parliament and by Royal Proclamation to be the symbol of our nation.
- Documents which discuss the plans for the Canadian Flag are still held in the museum archives of RMCC.
- At Canadian Armed Forces establishments across the country, the national flag of Canada flies from masts and flagpoles, is marched on to parade squares at significant events, and is saluted when military personnel pass it.
- To mark the occasion of the 50th anniversary, Her Majesty’s Canadian Ships Algonquin, Brandon and Yellowknife from Maritime Forces Pacific in Esquimalt, B.C. and Toronto and Moncton from Maritime Forces Atlantic in Halifax, N.S. will be “dressed overall” with flags and pennants flying to mark National Flag of Canada Day.
- “Dressing ship” is a navy tradition of flying signal flags on a line from bow to stern with the national flag at the masthead. This is done to mark significant events in Canada and the Commonwealth.
- The Canadian flag promotes and strengthens our Canadian identity, worn so proudly by members of the Canadian Armed Forces underscoring their unique commitment to Canada.
“The Canadian Flag, which unites the red and white pattern of the Royal Military College flag and the maple leaf, is a proud reflection of our history and service across Canada and around the world.”
~ The Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of National Defence
“Today’s celebration at the Royal Military College of Canada, which was at the genesis of our flag’s very design, is truly inspiring. As a graduate of RMC, I am immensely proud to mark this 50th anniversary of our flag, as it is a symbol of which all Canadians can be proud, and of home for the men and women of the Canadian Armed Forces, diplomats, athletes, and every Canadian who serves and travels abroad.”
~ The Honourable Pierre Lemieux, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Veterans Affairs
“The men and women of the Canadian Armed Forces wear the Canadian Flag on their uniforms with pride. This distinguishes them, at home and abroad, and shows all who see them that they are there on behalf of Canada. It reflects our national identity, our values, and all that we stand for. This anniversary is a special day for all those who serve – a day to join Canadians from across the nation celebrating all that our flag represents, and all that we stand on guard to protect.”
~ General Tom Lawson, Chief of the Defence Staff