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The flags we could have had: A look at the forgotten runners-up to Canada’s beloved Maple Leaf

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the adoption of the Canadian flag. The design that is so familiar to us now was not one easily decided upon, however.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the adoption of the Canadian flag. The design that is so familiar to us now was not one easily decided upon, however. Prior to 1965, many English Canadians were devoted to keeping the Red Ensign, while others were keen to see their own designs chosen. The debate raged on in Parliament from 1964 through 1965, with P. M. Lester B. Pearson being the main proponent for the change, and former P. M. John Diefenbaker opposing the change. Before, after, and during the flag debate, Diefenbaker was bombarded with (sometimes satirical) flag designs, which are fascinating to look at. Check out this national post article featuring some flags from the Diefenbaker collection, held at the University of Saskatchewan.

Also, for more information on the history of Canada's flag visit our digital exhibition titled Canada's Flag Debate.

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