Throughout Canada in the 20th Century, numerous events and decisions have formed defining moments for the people of this country. Events like Vimy Ridge, the formation of NATO, and the development of the new flag have made a huge impact on the country. In addition, the leadership of people like Lester B. Pearson and, much earlier, Sir Wilfred Laurier, has created very significant changes in the course of Canada’s history. Of these, the new flag, sometimes referred to as the “maple leaf” is not only a true symbol of Canada but shows how Canadians have learned a new way to be loyal to our land. The flag, now flown around the world, is the result of a political process that began in 1925, when Canada was symbolized by the Canadian Red Ensign and the Union Jack. Because of citizens’ concerns, the two World Wars, and the changing relationship of Canadians to Britain, the new flag was just the right idea at the time of its introduction. Because British-Canadian relations were changing, and people wanted to show more patriotic loyalty for Canada’s success during the two World Wars, the Prime Minister, Lester B. Person, took action on changing the flag. Even though there was a six-month debate, because so many people opposed the new flag, Canadians came to realize that Canada is better off without anyone else’s symbols representing them.
The maple leaf began to serve Canada as a symbol as early as the 1700’s. Some people made the effort to use maple leaves to represent themselves, for example soldiers, athletes, workers, or businesspersons. During the Celebration of the Centennial of Confederation, in 1967, everyone bought flags from small to extra large. This indicated that people of Canada were very happy to show their happiness in living on this land. Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson once said, “I want to add, ladies and gentlemen, that while I am concerned about this whole question of national symbols, national anthem, national flag, and all they mean to our country. I am ever more concerned with making Canada the kind of country- with freedom, economic security, social justice, and opportunity for all, over which we will all be proud to have our flag fly” (I stand for Canada 4). The famous Prime Minister understood from the beginning that this flag would finally show that Canadians would be proud of who they are. On Canada day, which was known as Dominion Day, citizens carried the flag, painted it on their faces, and demonstrated patriotic pride. Everyday, in Canada, people use the flag to show pleasure about the country they live in.
The flag also marked a change in Canada’s relationship with Britain and the British Empire. Over the history of Canada, the contact with England had been very strong.
Whatever the British promoted, Canada was always there to be a supporter. During World War I, as soon as Britain declared war, Canada automatically joined forces. Canada did not have a say in going on war, but what could control...