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Forty Years of the Canadian Flag

Last modified: 2012-08-11 by rob raeside
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[Flag of  Canada] by Martin Grieve, 4 December 2005

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From the PMO Press Office (English text) or (French text)
February 15, 2005
Today Prime Minister Paul Martin issued the following statement on the occasion of National Flag Day:
Forty years ago today, as the bells sounded noon on Parliament Hill, the flag bearing the maple leaf and the official colours of Canada was raised for the first time. As it unfurled, the crowd sang O Canada! and God Save the Queen. Canada had commenced a bold new chapter in its history.

The new flag quickly captured the collective imagination of Canadians. In the ensuing years, it has come to symbolize to the world the Canadian commitment to democracy, freedom, respect and equality of opportunity.

Indeed, I have often had the opportunity to observe the extent to which our flag, and the ideals it represents, is revered across the globe. Although still young, our flag speaks to the values that we cherish and our willingness to defend and promote the beliefs that we hold dear.

Each day, our flag reminds us how lucky we are to live in a country of peace, where a Charter guarantees our rights, where the future is abundant with promise. We owe our good fortune to the successive generations of Canadians who willingly joined the effort to help our country become the best place in the world to live and grow.

I would like to take this opportunity to invite all Canadians to celebrate together this banner that identifies us and so powerfully demonstrates the strength of our convictions and our national pride.

Ivan Sache, 18 February 2005