Canada's flag celebrates its 50th birthday in 2015.

Canada’s maple leaf flag turns 50 this weekend (VIDEO/TIMELINE)

Once a controversial new design, the maple leaf withstood a battle between Prime Minister John Diefenbaker and Lester B. Pearson



Canada’s maple leaf celebrates its 50th birthday this week.

Once a controversial new design, replacing a red redo of Great Britain’s Union Jack, it’s now the country’s defining image.

Before it was officially selected in 1965, our now-accepted red design was the product of 40 years of decisions, drafts, and submissions from high-ranking politicians. Prime Ministers John Diefenbaker and Lester B. Pearson went back-and-forth, with the former opposed to changing the flag while Pearson lobbied for a three-maple leaf design with blue sides instead of red.

“We got thousands and thousands and thousands of letters on the campaign to save the Red Ensign,” said Sen. Marjory LeBreton, who worked in Diefenbaker’s office at the time. “They were writing to Mr. Diefenbaker because they had a champion in Diefenbaker, although we certainly were getting a lot of people writing, saying, ‘Canada was an independent country and should have its distinctive Canadian flag.'”

George Stanley designed the flag we’ve now had for half a century, which was eventually unveiled and adopted on February 15, 1965.

Video/Timeline: The Canadian Press

Just Posted

Talks between Western Forest Products and union break down

No more negotiations imminent between United Steelworkers 1-1937 and company

New Port McNeill-Alert Bay-Sointula hybrid ferry sets sail for B.C.

Two Island Class ferries are on their way from Romania

Port Hardy council to apply for poverty reduction program grant funding

How should the District of Port Hardy deal with the issue of poverty?

North Island Bantam Eagles rebound from first loss with two big wins at home

The Eagles took down the top ranked Tier 1 Comox Valley Chiefs 5-3 on Sunday at the Chilton Arena.

North Island Rising: The Charter of Rights has your back, but what about consequences?

“there is an implicit understanding that is not covered in the Charter”

VIDEO: UBC exchange students offered $1,000 to help with leaving Hong Kong

The university said 31 of its students were attending four universities in Hong Kong

Federal laws at heart of West’s anger up for debate, as Liberals begin outreach

Vancouver mayor to Trudeau’s western critics: ‘Get over yourselves’

Snowboard pioneer Jake Burton Carpenter dies at 65

He was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2011

Teen developed ‘popcorn lung’ due to vaping: Ontario doctors

Boy went from being in perfect health to being on life support after just five months

B.C. judge tosses ‘N’ driver’s claim he was just using phone to decline his mom’s call

Distracted driving laws are more strict for Class 7, or Novice drivers, the judge noted

Woman calls 911 to say she was late for train, asks Ontario police for ‘emergency ride’

Peel Regional Police received more than 180,000 improper calls so far this year

It could take you 218 years to save up for a house in this B.C. neighbourhood

It would take 27 years in the most affordable city in the Lower Mainland

Victim of downtown Courtenay assault dies from injuries

Person of interest identified by RCMP

‘Actors can play any roles’: Debate over ‘colour-blind’ casting after Victoria lawsuit

Tenyjah Indra McKenna filed a complaint over racially-motivated casting

Most Read